That's what I'm talking about...

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From Jeff's talk on the Networked Academic:

And my blog MAY be the site of personal anecdotes, professional work, rantings, misgivings, connections. It may be viewed as an individual identity. But I don’t view it that way nor experience it that way. The blog puts me into a network: with other bloggers (academic or non) with other ideas (academic or non) with other experiences.

And why does this matter? Because this network is a becoming process and it is a transformative process. I change. I change each time I am helping extend and shrink this network of social relationships. The relationships are not just personal, they are conceptual, material, ideological, and compositional.

Blogs are by no means the only places that this kind of net-work takes place--a big part of the point of a residential graduate program is precisely this kind of networking.

One of the big differences, though, is an important one. I am a part of various taxonomic networks: I teach at Syracuse, I received my PhD from Texas-Arlington, I do most of my work in computers and writing. In blogspace, the net is a lot more folksonomic--it's not based on a static place, but on an aggregation of connections, each one personal, but many of them overlapping. Jeff reads (I'm guessing) more Detroit bloggers than I do, and I'm sure that all the various design and comics blogs that I follow don't show up in his aggregator. We each define our network according to our interests, building them up and pruning them down over time. But we share work with each other, and with dozens of others as well, and cite each other, and read each other with interest. And it spills over into our physical and disciplinary spaces as well.

I don't think blogging's for everyone, but I would argue that it is for anyone. And it involves a lot more than simply typing on a daily basis, even if that's all that most people think they see.


The idea there is blog as concept - not as thing. When we see various media as only things, we reduce the conversations to "that's not for me" or "that's just a diary."

I am curious, though, regarding the listserv. Which one was it?

Well put. Max Roach could not have done a better job.

My father, who has worked in computer based training for the past twenty odd years, now works for himself. He recently started a blog (I believe he has been following some particular bloggers in his field for some time.) to help him network, identify new trends and methods in his field, and establish a sense of community (since he mostly works at home alone or on-site among strangers). This is a man who used some of the very first listservs and online bulletin boards. He has seen the internet become a necessary tool in business and education, and in my opinion, he embodies the idea blogging is for anyone.

He also exemplifies the different possiblities for and functions of blogging. My dad currently maintains three sites: one more personal, job-related blog, one blog that tracks and records the long and colorful oral history of his extended family, and one site that amounts to nothing more than a daily journal -- gasp, the horror! -- where he, my brother, my sister, and myself can post notes for my grandparents. (They have a hard time navigating their email, so we use this blog instead.) To me that seems like a good deal of productivity, but I guess some people would think Dad's just wasting his time.

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This page contains a single entry by cgbrooke published on February 24, 2007 11:07 PM.

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