Week 5- Blogs Seminar

The core readings for this seminar are:

[1] Tama Leaver,”The Blogging of Everyday Life”, Reconstruction, 6.4, 2006.

[2] Adrian Miles,”Blog and Documentary (all middle)”, vlog 4.0, November 16th, 2006.

[3]Derek Barry,” Australian Blogging Conference – The Politics of Blogging” , September 29th 2007.

As we know, blog has become the fourth most influential network communicate technology after the Email,BBS and IM. However, the BBS is excessively public; on the contrary, the Email and the IM are too much personal . “With the shift to digital media and related communication technologies, the amateur voices of millions of grassroots online cultural producers are cohering to form a realm of participatory culture which is often exemplified in the form of the weblog or simply blog.”[1] Blog is a website which always origins as personal space, with regular entries of commentary. By and large, it can be seen as personal online dairy which includes individual’s day to day existence. Obviously blogs start out as primarily textual but now it is trivial to include images, audio and video within a blog. In addtion, the blog has aroused the controversial issue among people. With the more types of the blogs appearing, especially, in light of the blog in educational area, it has mutated into a far more academic form, whichi is formed as platform to share and exchange thoughts. For example, the edublogs website can meaningfully extend the educational experience, giving us a space to engage, write and communicate beyond the tutorial room.

Quotation[1] from “The Blogging fo Everyday Life” Tama Leaver Reconstruction 6.4,2006

When you enjoy the readings, please keep these simple questions in mind:

[1] How is the blog influent and recreate people’s life (especially for the young people)?

[2] Performative documentaries stress subjective experience and emotional response to the world. So what are the most distinctive differences between blogs and documentaries as you think?

[3] What are the character of the Australia’s blogosphere and how do politics apply to it?

20 thoughts on “Week 5- Blogs Seminar

  1. Well, well, well it should be either Tama or I who should start posting comments on this seminar but I am way too far from Tama’s 200,000 words! LOL guys!

    Anyway, blogging is a topic that needs someone to have interest on voicing or sharing out his/her opinion on the wide-world of cyberspace. People may find it cumbersome to read some online postings but naturally blogging is kind of a hobby that one should like, not one is oblige to do. Blogging caters to different needs and interest of a person, these sites specialize on certain things of interest, from very common to the bizarre. As Tama Leaver sited on his conclusion from Lessig (Free Culture p. 44) that a blog space gives amateurs a way to enter the debate–“amateur” not in the sense of inexperienced, but in the sense of an Olympic athlete, meaning not paid by anyone to give their reports.

    On the personal account blogging is a platform to voice out my opinions and sentiments on particular sites of interest that i bump into while surfing the net. The blogs that i come across almost everyday as a participant are youtube. http://www.missosology.org/forum, Philippine political and current affairs sites plus friendster.

    Reading other’s opinions through blogs sometimes create hatred, grief, empathy, joy, happiness and inspiration.

  2. Hi guys, I am so appreciate for you guys’ encouragement to me before and after seminar. Also, thank you for your active discussion in the class and thanks for Tama’s help all the time. We have discussed some specific issues about the blogs, as I feel, may be the topic is too broad to discuss ,like Ramfel said, it may better for the person who have the personal experience about using blogs. Anyway, welcome to show any ideas or opinions about this topic!

  3. Hi guys,

    it is hot topics , isn’t is? yes ,Indeed, blog brings us a platform to show own personal ideas and life writing.

    as we know, blog can be seen as a medium, and it should have so many different genres. but for us ,all of us alwalys thalk about the personal webblog, because it is close to our daily life and sometimes it is a good way to help us kill the spare time. however do you guys think about that personal blog will produce some social function ?

    Emerson said, ” the individual has been shown to be essential to the
    development and articulation of the construct of national identity, turning of Transcendenalism into the most far-reaching intellectual movement of the nineteen century”. it shows that the online diaries also have a huge power to build up some identity. there is no doubt about that. anyway, the on line diaries precisely merge public and private spaces in creative ways; on line diaries also represent a way
    of turning oneself into the hero of one’s own life, seen as a work of art and on ongoing creation.

  4. Hi guys,
    let me talk about the business blog again. does anyone who think about that the business blog before, I think it is a creative way to get an commercial usage.
    fristly, the blogs help sell products and to be a medium between producers and customers, which can get actual feedback from customers. eg. The Coudal (www.coudal.com) and Simplebits(www.simplebis.com) blogs are good examples of blogs websites that focus on sell the space for ad. or products.

    Secondly , the blogs can help company build up their company own brands and good reputations and which increase internal communication.

    so in my opinion, blog for business use is a good way to develop for comany.

  5. Yes, Siyang I agree that blogs are a good way to increase internal communication. But this type of communication is different from a personal face to face kind of communication. As Ramfel had pointed out that she sometimes experienced negative feelings of hatred and grief other than happier ones while blogging. This may due to how those blogs are being expressed. Therefore there should be a balance in the different modes of communication to ensure better channels.

    Also I like to add that blogging is a good way of creating awareness for various issues and topics. For example I have friends who post their wedding photos or images of marine lives while diving in their blogs. It may not be a big deal to those who are not interested. But for those with a similar interest, it then creates a community on the web for sharing and exchange of ideas.

  6. I can see how blogs are a useful media when it comes to citizen journalism for instance. Also I understand how it must be a great space for someone with a specific interest like Ramfel for example.

    What Alvin said today in class about the generations which have been brought up with internet and how it affect their social skills made me think though. Im not saying that Rafel will become social handicapped from using the internet and writting blogs;) But where would she go and practice her passion if the internet was not an option?

    On one hand I see how great it must be to be able to pursue an interest regardless of geographical location etc. But on the other hand I can imagine how poor a local society would be on social gatherings if blogs become the dominating forum for various hobbys and subjects of interest.

    Do we use blogs in lack of real life forums?
    Or does the internet simply offer a “better deal”?
    And does it make us anti-social and withdrawn?

    what do you guys think?

  7. Siyang – it’s ironic that you used Emmerson to talk about national identity and blogs because, as Benedikte pointed out, blogs are an effective way of destabilising or even disregarding geographical boundaries. But I take your point that the individual contributes to the national identity (and frankly, it has to; you can’t have one without the other!)

  8. Hi guys,we have discussed lots and lots of benifits which blogs have provided for people nowadays.However, “Every coin has two sides”, if we think critically, we may find some problems that because of blogs, we can not ignor the problems anyway, shall we try to think about that ? As Benetikte mentioned.

  9. As Gerry McGovern said that ” Instead of body language and endless conversations, communication has shifted towards endless words on a screen.” Yes, we could feel fantastic when we began our “blogging life”, we may proudly ask someone else ,”Do you have your own blog ?” ” Oh, come on , you don’t have ???” ” You are out of date!!”……
    However , begin a blog is great, but how can we maintain it fresh ? The one problem come out , blog is eating up time!!! Writing can be a cruel torture for me, i may spend one hour but write down 100 words, it may rubbish anyway! Sometimes, we never calculate how long each day we spend in front of the screen .If the blog is a so time consuming task for me to undertake, i probablly can not update regularly and my poor writing can not contribute to my blog community , and even damaging reputation of the blogosphere!

  10. When we see how our communication pattern through online media, I think this is the best example to what Marshal McLuhan described that we live in the “global village”. And when we participate through this media, we became part of global community where national and geographical boundaries are not something that can limit our possibility to communication to other people.

    Maybe my approach little bit different (or maybe more optimistic) from Benedik’s toward this feature. I think online community is one of the ways we can expand our communication experience beyond our local and physical society. Think about how discussion with other person in another part of the world will also can enrich our discussion with our friend in uni or our peers in our neighbourhood. Yes, this condition somehow will alter our communication and social interaction in the physical environment, but it also can enhance it in the same time. I see both our local interaction and global communication can be managed fitting to each other. So, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will make us became anti social and withdrawn from our local community. It can open the possibility for more engaging local community as well.
    How do you think?

  11. I tend to agree with rouli that engaging in active online social activities may expand our communication experience. But does it complement actual physical interaction or does it operate independantly? (i.e one can be super duper active in online circles but in the real world, an introvert) While blogs can be an alternative avenue to ‘aid’ such situations, I feel that it should not become a ”preferred” mode for interaction (over physical interaction) just because it can technically be more ‘efficient’. Having said that, I do find that it is easier to find ‘like-minded’ circles online (instead of going around asking each and every friend whether they like something). For example, instead of going into class and ask each student whether they’ve watched ‘The Dark Knight’ and whether they like it, I could just post it on my blog (provided my blog actually has such levels of viewership) or some other blogs and seek comments. Easy!

    However, we should keep in mind the ‘constraints’ that online communities also face. Some countries do have rather strict laws regarding online discussions about certain topics – particularly politics, etc. Also, internet usage in the world is not evenly distributed (see: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm). Some countries are rather ‘backward’ in the internet penetration rate. Is the hype over online use side-lining them?

    P.S. I think the phrase “blogs start out as primarily textual but now it is trivial to include images, audio and video within a blog” is taken from one of the readings for this week. Need to reference?

  12. I just want to add that blogging is indeed a very technologically suvy thing to participate in these days. And as many of you had pointed out, it is what the youngsters do to occupy their time with. But I still have this nagging feeling that it has taken too much piority in our lives if we let it be.

  13. (Sorry I got logout of my session)
    Anyway, I agree with Alvin that blogs allow us to carry out online discussions about movies, topics and issues in the comfort of our individual homes or location. But there is still the missing element of the human touch such as a smile, laughter or other emotions which may be displayed. We have to verbalise everything in words which will not be the issue if we are having a face to face conversation.

    There is also the aspect of the identity of the person who is doing the posting. It could be someone else who is not the original account id who is having the online conversation. How could we be sure unless we suspect some discrepency in the conversation. Even then, the party may not admit that he or she is someone else other than the owner of the account.

  14. I guess Rhiengold hit the nail on the head when he decribed how virtual communities are created when people for connections online with ‘sufficient human feeling’. Using the term ‘sufficient’ is neatly ambigious, and quite appropriate given that defining ‘human feeling’ in an inherently subjective and nebulous task.

  15. Alvin, how can you argue that communicating online is better than face to face communication just because it is easier….that is dangerous man..;)

    I see your point that blogs are a great media for people with a special interest who might not be able to find anyone with the same interest in their local community but to choose blogging over face to face communication just because it is easier and does not involve much effort…that seems a bit lazy to me…

  16. I think, in some sense, communicating online it is easier than face to face communication. But talking about if it better or worse than face to face communication, it’s totally depend to the person or in another words, highly subjective. And I think online communication also involve so much effort, i.e. reading a lot of text (especially for non English speaking person, since most of the text in internet is English). This opinion just want to say the other perspective to Benedikte comment 🙂

  17. well, well, well! though i am a non-stop internet surfer, surfing the net for 4-6 hours nonstop sometimes it doesn’t mean that I am anti social in fact i still prefer to have a face-to-face communication because emotions, personality and physicality is still an important factor to know someone and a society. Most people act differently online and in person example is people on blogs they are very outspoken with their opinions and words but in person they are exactly the opposite ‘coz blogs are where we can actually loose ourselves whether we want to be recognized or anonymous.

  18. Benedikte, I think i said “I feel that it should NOT become a ”preferred” mode for interaction (over physical interaction) just because it can technically be more ‘efficient’”. So…yeah…

    Anyway, news agencies / journalists these days do have their own blogs (albeit sanctioned by their companies). It could be an effective way of communication – particularly to gather information on places or activities far away.

    I’m probably gonna start a ”flame war” here…but I feel that text just seem to lack emotions (regardless of the emoticons, etc). Maybe some people just prefer it that way.

Leave a Reply