Week 2: Blogs:

September 12, 2006

funny that i’m doing a post on blogs on my blog… 😛

first off,I must apologize for my lack of capital letters. for some reason i tend to not capitalize things… i think it is part of being of the spell-check generation.

secondly, i’d like to apologize for missing week one’s posting. i am going to do a posting right after this one. i am having a hard time sussing out precisely what is required of me for this course… i thought we were waiting for WEBCT… but i think i have this all sussed out… it had nothing to do with you Amanda. it is very clear in the blog what we are required to do. but i think just setting up blogs, subscribing to everyone’s and finding where the syllabus is was all a bit daunting (and i am pretty techy… or so i thought)… but anyways, enough whining.

———-

now for some week 2 posting fun:

1) i was always told that BLOG was short for WEB LOG…. and after some preliminary searching, it appears those who told me that were right:

http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/blog

although, in the first article, the author says: “Peter Merholz announced in early 1999 that he was going to pronounce it ‘wee-blog’and inevitably this was shortened to ‘blog’ ” WEE BLOG? if it is WEB BLOG, why would you decide to pronounce it WEE BLOG… perhaps an issue of POE TAY TOE, POE TAH TOE…. but web log and weeee blog sound pretty different. i think i am just being picky.

——

The main points of blogs:

1) anyone can do it; no HTML coding required.

2) Dated entries, like a journal.

3) comments and opinions welcome

4) Link to other sites that are similar to their own and offer commentary to these sites.

I guess i am left wondering what the intended PURPOSE of a blog is? is it intended for a ‘niche’ market where members share similar interests? an online ‘public’ debate? or was the initial blog meant to be a sort of ‘journal’, a way of ‘bookmarking’ those sites of particular interest to themselves, so that they had one location to head back to when they wanted to review their notes an research on a given subject? if the latter is the case, then it seems odd that SEARCHABILITY is a relatively new addition to blogs (see TECHNORATI)… but then maybe the ‘categorization’ inherent in blogs is a way of transcending the need for searches… just think, if you created the classification scheme for how your CD’s are arranged (suppose you want to arrange them by the last letter of the lead singer’s LAST name…ok… i know… bizarre…. but just suppose) then the only person who needs to know that classification scheme is you…. no one else needs to understand the classification system but you, and since you know the system, is there really a need to have ‘searchability’? because if you were looking for ERIC CLAPTON, you know to look under N…. 😀

 Also, the fact that all blog entries are dated might further assist the blogger in classifying and categorizing their postings… date lends them a reference point with which they can refer… “I wrote on the intricacies of pizza making BEFORE i wrote on my love of mexican food…”, again, reinforcing the ‘internal’ categorization/classification schema for BLogs…

 so i wonder if Blogs were meant for others… i suppose that the fact that they are UP on the web, and the fact that there is cheeky commentary could be used to argue for the fact that the blog posts are meant to be read by others… but then couldn’t one make the same argument for JOURNAL posts? remember journals? when you used to right them as a child (or perhaps you still do…)… were you righting them for others? i would think not… but you would still offer your commentary on the day’s events, and tell your life story to no one… the intended audience was YOU. it was meant for later review, and also as a cathartic process… but it was not intended for other readers.

just some food for thought.

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3 Responses to “Week 2: Blogs:”

  1. amanda said

    Hi Randy – my apologies if I wasn’t clear on the requirements (and yes, it is my fault!). The confusion over WebCT is understandable – while I was not planning on using WebCT for any of the course content, I did mention in my original email to the class that we’d be using it for course “logistics” (like handing in assignments, delivering grades, etc.). I’ve since revised that decision and decided to drop WebCT altogether and I should have made this clear sooner. Will post about it to the course blog right away.

    Now, on to the more interesting stuff! I found your “food for thought” fascinating. You’re quite right, blogs tread that grey area between the private and the public, with the blog “audience” occupying a bizarre space. What happens to these questions when you throw institutional blogs (e.g.: library blogs) into the mix? I’m eager to hear your thoughts on this as we proceed into week 3, when institutional blogs really come into focus.

  2. Susan said

    Hi Randy!
    I’m also intrigued by your discussion about the audience for blogs. Talking with others, I’ve learned that not everyone reads or relates to blogs in the same way that I do. For instance, I love reading the posts of others, connecting them with other thoughts on the blog, and just generally keeping tabs on what the blogger is saying. Maybe it’s a bit creepy, but I don’t like leaving comments! I suppose it could be argued that I’m not creating social networks, but I do think it’s important to realize that just because people might not be actively commenting on blogs or “joining up” doesn’t mean that the technology is not worthwhile. Perhaps we just need to look at a wide-range of ways to assess these tools if we implement them in libraries.

  3. Randy said

    I totally agree with you susan.

    In my opinion, Blogs are still worthwhile even if you don’t post comments on them… for example, think of a case where a library uses a blog to report their building hours… it is unlikely that the library will open this blog up for comments, but it is not to say that the usefullness of this blog is less because of the lack ‘social community’ created… i think anyone wanting to study late in the library would be QUITE thankful for the library hours blog… 😀

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