Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Instructions:

We've included these throughout the entire hypertext, but you won't really be able to see them unless you know how to get there, now will you?

How to look at this:

Start either at the beginning or the end. One is more objective, and the other more personal. Our history begins at the end, and our ideas begin at the front. Since, in reading Blogs, people do both, either is OK. In either case, make an effort to get the feel of the medium. Take the links on the side when you get tired of things. See what Blogs look like. Get into it. Use the comments and tell us what you think. View the links in the text, if possible. We may summarize the ideas, but the articles are interesting. You won't really understand the paper unless you have a feel for what we're dealing with, so look at this stuff. Good luck. :-)
What is a Blog?

A Blog is a completely new sort of medium, short for “weblog,” invented around 1999, that functions as anything from an online diary to an online soapbox. It is a website, generally hosted by a domain that hosts many more and forms a “blogging community,” but often just left alone. The two largest companies that promote this form of communication are LiveJournal and Blogger, though many other such things exist. Blogger coined the term “Blog,” and runs by far the largest community. I would describe them in depth, but why do that, when I can link?

LiveJournal
Blogger

It’s easy to find sample blogs or livejournals on the pages. Just search around. Take a minute or two.

In this hypertext, we will be discussing primarily Blogger, since LiveJournal hosts livejournals, not blogs. And LiveJournal has some different features that slightly change the nature of the community (instead of linking to other blogs on the side, one adds in other Livejournal “friends,” so only other LJ users are linked to).

Connection in the Blogosphere

After reading a bunch of articles on these things, I’ve noticed that no one has really talked about the Blogging community so much. I wanted to talk a little about my personal experience, discuss what it means, and touch upon why blogging is so different from keeping a journal. I think, from here, I’ll be able to talk about some other things, from flaming, to blogging names, to templates. All will be explained. Ultimately, I hope to show the purpose of a Blog, and what it tells us about our community.


I link to several people on my blog.

Listed by posting name – web address – title – link name:

1. N/A – www.evilgrin.blogspot.com - Our Collective Loss of… Something – Loss of WHAT, DAMMIT?
2. Carter McKendry – www.carterama.blogspot.com - Kimochi Warui – Carter’s Blog
3. matt bernier – www.theholycucumber.blogspot.com - The holy Cucumber – Matt’s Blog
4. go hang a salami I’m a lasagna hog – www.pristinechristine.blogspot.com - Pristine Christine’s Machine – Christy’s Blog
5. Maria Mrowicki – www.celtic~fey.blogspot.com - Late Night Circles and Swirls… - Maria’s Blog
6. Greg Colby – www.sevenseas.blogspot.com - Seven Seas of Wheat Alternative Grain – Greg’s Blog
7. N/A – www.whocaresnews.blogspot.com - Who Cares? – Ben and Nick’s Stuff
8. Squyntz – www.livejournal.com/users/squyntz - Jess’s LiveJournal - Jess’s LJ
9. S – www.onthedrag.blogspot.com - On The Drag- Sid’s Blog

Any of these people or groups who carry links on their sites (4/9) link back to me, and all of those link back to the first seven in the list, and numbers two through seven participate in the Group Blog at the top of the list. This rings substantially of a very closed community. In fact, I check everyone’s Blog on the list daily, we comment on each other’s Blogs regularly. What does this say about why I’m using Blogger? To me, it says that all of us have a kind of dialogue running between us. When we post, we are distinctly aware of the presence of friends in the Blog Ether. No one’s speaking for themselves. We are updating each other, as though we were writing a long, self-involved e-mail without bothering to ask about the well-being of the receiver. The advantage of a Blog, in this respect, is that everyone reads it optionally.

Blogs as Diaries

Collin mentioned a blog being like a diary in one of his past entries, and I started responding to it, but now I will address it completely, since I’ve already begun. Above, I said that Blogs are written with the presence of others in mind. This is one distinct difference. When people Blog, they expect to be judged , and they are not writing primarily for themselves. They tend to want others to visit their site, and they often know the readers, and so are careful about the content. That said, it doesn’t mean that a Blog writer is decent by most standards in the process. Blogs can be about anything, from sex to crime. Nothing is untouchable.

Seabrook, Flaming, and Blogs

People write for the viewing of other people. These are people are not limited to friends. Anyone can read, especially if a Blog is “public” (listed). In fact, they are encouraged to by the numerous links to “recently published blogs” listed on the sides of Blogger. So if these things are so fabulously accessible, why aren’t they constantly flamed like the newsgroups and listservs of yore? Seabrook writes an entire chapter in Deeper about the seriousness of flaming in these settings, but Blogs, even though they have public access, comments and all, are generally left alone.
In my humble opinion, Blogs are untouched because they are the domain of the Blog user. Blogs begin to boarder on a kind of personal mass medium, because they come across as somewhat broadcast. Comments are available, but the website is not the visitors. It is the Blog user’s. This is very important. Blogs take away the sense of public domain that allows for flaming and alters it. Unlike e-mail, where one can send a flame from oneself to another, a flame here must be posted on the Blog, which is not the territory of the flamer.
Blogs, in this way, represent a more the perception of the Internet in 2002. When Seabrook wrote, the perception of the Internet was, in fact, as he describes it: “in” his head. Now, the Internet exists in everyone else’s head. It is easy to see the transition over the past few years from forums to blogs; the discourse has altered to accommodate the need for order. Though people are not necessarily polite, there is at least a personal area.

Audience and Journalism

Please refer to the most recent link from Collin: Go Tell It on the Blog. It’s back a few entries.
This article discusses an aspect of Blogging we have not yet covered: journalism. Tom Tomorrow (see link on sidebar) is an excellent example of this. He is a political cartoonist, who is extremely… well… political. This Modern World, the online version, is his digital zine, and it works. It is obvious why this article worries vaguely about the possibility of Blogs replacing traditional media. The digital noetic is inherently personal and informal, as Blogs are, and Blogs are an appropriate manifestation of this, though there are some important advantages to print publications, like containment and mobility, that, I believe, will keep them from being pushed under. The real issue is that Blogs permit things like News and Political Opinion to not necessarily have textual authority.

Blogging and Identity

Blogs perform several services to the user in establishing an online identity. Part of this is on the surface, in everything from the Blog’s title to the template used. All of these say something about the user to the public. Beyond that, though, is the idea that the Blog is the Blogger, just as much as a screen name on Instant Messenger is the user. More than that, though, the Blog is also an online home for ideas and identity that is difficult to attack. This is why the Blogging community is so cohesive, while remaining distinct. Everyone believes they are speaking to themselves, when instead they are having a conversation with the rest of the world.
The work below is Collin's. I'm only posting it because I edited the links and he edited the grammar. You've already seen it, but this one's a better read.


Here is another interesting article I found about blogs:
Go Tell It on the Blog

Today I and molly met at 4 in the Crossley lounge. We discussed a few different things. One of them was flaming in the blog world; we both agreed that while it is most likely that people do get flamed for what they share with the world in their blogs. However, it would be kind of difficult to find a piece of evidence of this because it is not a wide spread thing. Using an NMH libraries search I found this article titled Red- Batting in a World Without Reds. In the first second paragraph he talks about a flame attach in a blog. Like John Seabrook said in his book Deeper, the worlds although seemingly meaningless and petty had a profound effect upon him. flaming in a culture such as blog is much more personal because the author of the page has their life out in the open for everyone to see. To see the site with the article go to On Being Called A Commie

.

another cross section of the blog world Molly and I discussed was technical ability. Some have the ability and/or means to create a "better blog". People with technological abilities greater than the norm can create blogs with better appearance in general. Colors, fonts, and things of that nature can be made better by people with either money and/or know how of computers. For example molly knows her way with computers far better than me and she can change this site. She can change links and even change the whole format of our blog, while I can’t even begin to dream. Her knowledge of computers opens door to her that other may not have. The same goes with those with blog on independent servers opposed to a blog on a server such as blog spot. To have an independent server costs money and the extras which it provides are generally not available the rest of us.

Identity on the net is shown by a few different things. Screen names are an example. In the world of blogs the name which you write under may tell some about you as well as the links from and to your page, and of course, the content in your blog. Identity can be created on the net, but I have a feeling that with blogs this doesn’t happen very often. Who looks at your blog and if you care are also parts of identity on the net. If someone knows or even cares about what people see of them says something.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Collin: edited your link. It should work now.
Also... our links didn't work. I'll have to redo this stuff.
Note in the metatext:

No offense meant to Collin, but the grammar here isn't great. I've been thinking about it for a while, and I'm not going to ask him to edit it, or edit my own. Instead, we are going to link to other pages that have slightly more formal texts on them.

We've been having a good deal of trouble getting things done. Working formally around this medium is nearly impossible, and I feel like it's impossible to get much help from Joshua when he's always helping other groups and he hasn't checked our blog when I asked him to. But then again, maybe I'm just not trying nearly hard enough. I've spent way too much time on the technical aspect of this (trying to get comments up, etc.), and not enough time on the actual text. That's what I'm doing now, though, and last night. We'll see how it goes.
Here is another interesting article i found about blogs : Go Tell It on the Blog
today me and molly met at 4 in the crossley lounge. we discussed a few differant things. one of them was flaming in the blog world, we both agreed that while it is most likely that people do get flamed for what they share with the world in their blogs. however, it would be kind of difficult to find a peice of evidence of this because it is not a wide spread thing. using an nmh libraires search i found this ariticle titled Red- Batting in a World Without Reds. in the first second paragraph he talks about a flame attach in a blog. like John Seabrook said in his book Deeper, the worlds although seminly meanigless and petty had a profound effect upon him. flaming in a culture such as blog is much more personal because the authour of the page has their life out in the open for everyone to see. to see the site with the article go to

http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?Did=000000152726461&Fmt=4&Deli=1&Mtd=1&Idx=7&Sid=1&RQT=309

also here is a link to John Seabrooks home page: www.levity.com/seabrook

another cross section of the blog world me and molly discussed was technical ability. some have the ability and/or means to create a "better blog". people with technological abilitys greater than the norm can create blogs with better apperence in general. colors, fonts, and things of that nature can be made better by people with either monry and/or know how of computers. for example molly knows her way with computers far better than me and she can change this site. she can change links and even change the whole format of our blog, while i cant even begin to dream.her knowledge of computers opens door to her that other may not have. the same goes with those with blog on independent servers opposed to a blog on a server such as blog spot. to have an independent server costs money and the extras which it provides are generaly not availible the the rest of us.

identity on the net is shown by a few differant things. screen names are an example. in the world of blogs the name which you write under may tell some about you as well as the links from and to your page, and of course, the content in your blog. identity can be created on the net, but i have a feeling that with blogs this doesnt happen very often. who looks at your blog and if you care are also parts of identity on the net. if someone knows or even cares about what people see of them says something.

Monday, November 11, 2002

Living in the Blog-osphere

Source Number One.

That's an article from Newsweek about blogging. The most interesting thing about it is its brief discussion of the history of blogging. I hadn't been aware that Blogger (the very software we so humbly use) was the first Weblog service. Fascinating. It put everything in perspective a bit for me, so that I understand what this looks like to everyone who doesn't have a little community of friends who read each other's blogs. More on that soon.

Blogging seems, to me, to exist on many levels. There's the one I see when I read Tom Tomorrow, with this large scale, 10,000-some hits a day amazingness where the blogging medium becomes... intense. One person. Personal. Everyone's connected. They don't have to be famous. They just have to be interesting. They have to say something new.

Part of me views this with the eye of an idealist. I look at these and say, "Wow, isn't it amazing that these people are judged only for the power of their words? This is the one-to-many medium that the world needs." It's optional, not forced. And, as of yet, it seems to be relatively uncorrupted. People do this for themselves. I think it's, in a way, very beautiful. Trendy, artistic, and cool, at the very least.

The biggest mistake one can make about a blog is the idea that it is like a diary, actually, I think. It's interesting that it was Collin's first impression, because it seems to me that treating a blog like a diary is what drives the readers away (if readers are the goal). It's almost lights out, and the internet is about to shut down, so I'll finish writing my little piece tomorrow. I've got something important here. I've been taking notes all day. Collin and I are going to meet at 3 tomorrow, so I hope something fruitful comes of that.

-Molly
Comments from Josh:

- Grammar? Hmmmm... maybe.
- Make more metatext-like.
- Sources
Several articles, Collin. I don't know what to use, yet, but I got to them by typing "blog" in the search of the ProQuest database on the library's site.
today in class we talked about how our projects relate the book we are currently reading, Deeper, from John Seabrook. in the last chaper we read about cyber sex and we discussed why this act that in the real world would be a very provate and sacred act is now a shared experoence between two people who dont even know eachother. i think that like the internet has affected the way people share their identity the blog, like cyber sex, makes it so people can talk about the forbidden with people who they doint have to deal with in real life. i find it very interesting how the internet makes it so that we as people can share our most private experience with total and complete strangers, the net makes it so that we can be things other than ourselves yet at the same time involve our lives into our character we create on the net.
This is a blog. A blog is an online diary, where a person can put entries into a diary in which they design. These entries are public and can be read by everyone. Like the traditional the things people put on the blogs are very personal and yet what is said on blogs is sometimes things you would never say to a stranger, and in general that’s who reads them.

The general setup of a blog is very simple. The recent entries are on the top of a list and if you scroll down the entries from previous days are there as well. These entries range from topic to topic much like a traditional diary. There are links to things on the side of the pages. Where these links lead is the authors choice. Navigating the blog is very simple, just scroll down. If you wish there are links to other blogs on the side of the page. Although there is no way to get back to this site from the linked sites the back button in the server window will bring you back to this home page.
we are now in class, monday, November 11. molly has left for the library, she is getting some articles about blogs. while she is gone i am making some final touches to the introduction and setting up what i can.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

i am new the the whole blog thing and it is very differant from things i have seen on the internet. i am amazed at the things people put into their blogs. some of the most personal things to happen in ones life is expressed, by some, in the very public fashion. there are very few differances between the tradional diary, and a blog. blogs are very linear, but they have links and ways to navigate to other sites and the like while diarys are books and are not hypertexts. blogs are very personal much like diarys are.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

It's the middle of class, by the way, and Collin and I are sitting at different computers, figuring out how to work this thing. Comments almost ready.
computers are such a pain....problems, problems problems. everytime we try to do something technology messes it up.
we have a long way to go but we will get it. we have to first figure out the way we are going to do everything. we know what our options are but before we begin, we need to decide which one is better for the purpose of the project. molly what are your ideas

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

And anyhow, it don't seem right. It's easier when you're on the outside...

Oh yay! There you are Collin! Did you SWIS me?

So, I'm still not exactly sure what to do with this. Collin and I were talking about starting a bunch of blogs, dealing with different aspects of the thing. I don't know whether that's a good idea or not. I'd imagine talking to Joshua tomorrow about this would be a Good Thing.

Ahhhh... tons of ideas. Nothing to do with them. The deadline approacheth. I haven't seen Collin for a few days, and maybe my SWISes aren't going through or something. We were going to get together yesterday, but I had an FCD. I AIMed him, but I don't know if he got it. Hope he did. Hmmm... sorry about that.

I'll add comments now, if I have a spare moment. That way we'll have a true blog.

-Molly
finaly got the invite and now we can begin....ive been trying to get in touvh with molly but its like when ever i am free she has an activity and when ever she is free i have an activity. atleast now we can work more even if just through this!

Monday, November 04, 2002

Collin hasn't received the invite yet, so he can't post anything, and there's really nothing else we can do yet. It's very frustrating. Meanwhile, I added a counter and I'm working on adding comments.
NOOOOO!!! I just did this really, really long post on everything, and I accidentally lost it!!

Oh God. So frustrated. Want to smash something.

I suppose this is an important aspect... of... blog... stuff...

Grrr.

-Molly
Here it is. Blog.