Yup, once again we will be discussing Blogs in class. I will be handing out and article on Weblog (Blog) History and we will be going over some of the points in class.
Here’s a sweet quote from the article:
Media is a corporate possession…You cannot participate in the media. Bringing that into the foreground is the first step. The second step is to define the difference between public and audience. An audience is passive; a public is participatory. We need a definition of media that is public in its orientation.
Something else to note:
The original weblogs were link-driven sites. Each was a mixture in unique proportions of links, commentary, and personal thoughts and essays. Weblogs could only be created by people who already knew how to make a website. A weblog editor had either taught herself to code HTML for fun, or, after working all day creating commercial websites, spent several off-work hours every day surfing the web and posting to her site. These were web enthusiasts.
By highlighting articles that may easily be passed over by the typical web user too busy to do more than scan corporate news sites, by searching out articles from lesser-known sources, and by providing additional facts, alternative views, and thoughtful commentary, weblog editors participate in the dissemination and interpretation of the news that is fed to us every day. Their sarcasm and fearless commentary reminds us to question the vested interests of our sources of information and the expertise of individual reporters as they file news stories about subjects they may not fully understand.
The blogger, by virtue of simply writing down whatever is on his mind, will be confronted with his own thoughts and opinions. Blogging every day, he will become a more confident writer. A community of 100 or 20 or 3 people may spring up around the public record of his thoughts. Being met with friendly voices, he may gain more confidence in his view of the world; he may begin to experiment with longer forms of writing, to play with haiku, or to begin a creative project–one that he would have dismissed as being inconsequential or doubted he could complete only a few months before.
Another article that I would urge you to read (or simply skim) is: Educational Blogging
The quote I like from this is:
“The blogs give us a chance to communicate between us and motivate us to write more. When we publish on our blog, people from the entire world can respond by using the comments link. This way, they can ask questions or simply tell us what they like. We can then know if people like what we write and this indicate[s to] us what to do better. By reading these comments, we can know our weaknesses and our talents. Blogging is an opportunity to exchange our point of view with the rest of the world not just people in our immediate environment.”
Many writers assert that blogs came into their own only after the events of September 11, 2001. As Charles Cooper writes, “If you were scouring the Internet for news and context during those first terrible hours, you could have done a lot worse than eavesdropping on the free-wheeling mini-universe of Web logs chockablock with first-hand info and spirited commentary about what was going on. . . . For my money, some of the best stuff was being served up in this most unlikely venue.”
Whether you’re a warblogger who works by day as a professional journalist or you’re a teenage high school student worried about your final exams, you do the same thing: you use your blog to link to your friends and rivals and comment on what they’re doing. Blog posts are short, informal, sometimes controversial, and sometimes deeply personal, no matter what topic they approach.
So what are blogs?
I want you to answer this more in depth on your blogs before next class. We’ll be looking them over on Monday. Dig deep. Don’t just tell me “its a place to post stuff on the web.” Put some thought and feeling into your answer. What are blogs? What do you think they mean to you? To other people? How are they changing the media? What kind of impact are they having on everyday life? That kind of thing.
So…assignments for the weekend:
- Prepare for Monday’s Quiz!
- Do the blog entry I mentioned above.
- Start thinking about what you will be posting throughout the week.
- Next week we will be talking about e-mail, mailing lists, search engines, encryption, online shopping, phishing, netiquette, spyware, cookies, etc. Head on over to http://www.learnthenet.com/english/animate/animate.htm and read bullets 1-9.