Silence of the Blogs

This article in Salon helps to remind me why I study blogs. I tend to get asked a lot of questions about blogs and blogging; usually people want a list of good resources on blogging, or they want to know what a blog is, or they have questions about software tools or how they can use blogs in their teaching. It's not that I'm not happy to answer these questions--really! In fact, I'm flattered that those who ask consider me to be a resource. But...sometimes it feels like when I worked as a hostess at Logan's, and I had to repeat the same sentences over and over, all day long:

Taking guests by case of raw, red meat because I had to do this for everyone who came in:

"Did you know that our meat is cut by hand every single day by our own meat cutters? Then it is seasoned and aged three days for tenderness!"

When we got to the table:

"Our soup of the day is chicken noodle, and our catch of the day is halibut."

But this article in Salon reminds me of what the right questions are. Of course you have to know something about blogs before you can ask such questions, and I have nothing but love for newbies. I think that in the future, I will throw in with my informational responses a little taste of why blogging is so important to me. The article describes a pro-democracy protest in Iraq that at least one Iraqi blogger wrote about, which didn't get picked up by The New York Times:

"Here is one young man in Baghdad equipped with nothing but a camera and a keyboard who reported on news better than established media worldwide," says blogger Jeff Jarvis. "This shows what citizens media can accomplish." (It was Jarvis who put the digital camera in Zeyad's hand, sending it to him via Federal Express to Baghdad at a shipping cost half as much as the $200 camera.)

"My guess is that it would take years for Westerners to understand Iraq and Iraqis," Zeyad tells me, "but we're working on it and that's what my blog is mostly about." As it turns out, the first step may be convincing Westerners that their own press isn't always (or even usually) the best authority on the subject.

That's what I'm talking about: Blogging brings up issues of hegemony, disenfranchisement, and marginalization. It presents implications for understanding social structures and maybe even effecting social change. I wish I had more specific claims to make, but I'm learning. Those more specific questions and claims are what I'll be working on for the next few years. I know the instrumental questions are necessary, but I'm more interested in the effects of blogging.

Thanks to Jen for emailing me the link.

Off the subject, but...Jeff Jarvis has quite an irksome copyright notice. I would interpret it as sarcasm if he had a Creative Commons license, but there is none:

It's mine, I tell you, mine! All mine! You can't have it because it's mine! You can read it (please); you can quote it (thanks); but I still own it because it's mine! I own it and you don't. Nya-nya-nya. So there.
COPYRIGHT 2001-2003-20?? by Jeff Jarvis

No need for the territorial pissing, dude; your intellectual property is safe.


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lisa marie coppoletta

"Blogging brings up issues of hegemony, disenfranchisement, and marginalization"

i have been doing web development for six years and into pomo for much much longer and a retired academic debate coach

for me, the process of creating arguments for multimedia changes the academic theorizing processes of relating to one's work - it brings up a whole new set of organizational pattern issues, usage of proof, adaptation to audience - that traditional academic writing and conference presentations do not necessarily utilize

and yet, blogs are even separate from this category . . .

i just struck on blogs this week and think that they are distinctly different from websites and dvd presentations
blogs are a form of creating a template for one's personal theorizing and application through both the posting process and the way that they blog is set up - there is no target audience, there is rather a process

it is a multimedia personal narration - and i am grounding my understanding of this term from the works of bell hooks and research of Friere and Giroux

like i said, this is my first exposure to blogs so i am really interested in their implications for rhetorical theory and criticism and flipped when i found blogs such as this - wow !! blogs exploring the rhetorical implication on blogs . go figure - =0

lisa marie coppoletta

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