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Possible blog break

I'll be at CCCC until Saturday, so I might not post again until then, unless there's any way possible that I can get internet access.

Blogging for Learning

A summary of an informal discussion in which I participated.

Arete and Me

People seemed to like it on her blog, so I thought I'd show off the pic here too. Enjoy.

Computers and Composition Blog

The journal Computers and Composition now has a blog! They're even using Drupal, which is now in its third year. I don't intend for this post to be so cheerleader-y; I'm not simply saying, "They have a blog! Yay!" I'm serious here: If this blog is updated often, linked to, and posted to by all the other rhetoricians and compositionists who blog or have more static web sites, that might take us closer to a new model of scholarly publishing--a true knowledge community, without the considerable lag time involved in most scholarly publishing. Peer review will still take place, of course, but it won't be blind (we'll see more accountability, and the notion of ethos will become more significant, I think), it will be more interactive, and we'll see ideas as they form and are refined by communal criticism.

In addition...I can't be the only one who's amused by the irony that C&C is published by Elsevier, yet they went open-source for their blog. A harbinger if I ever saw one--but I don't want to jinx it. :-)

Blog Redesign

Okay, let's hear it. What do you think of the redesign? I've been meaning to do it for a while. My friend Adam made me three images, and when I was first trying to decide which one to use as the banner, most people I asked picked this one I have now. I decided to go with the other one with the red and black polka dots and the retro font, with the intention to do a redesign later. Let me know how it strikes you. I can always go back to the previous design, but I will keep this one for a couple of months regardless of what folks think. :-P

By the way...please tell me if the favicon you see is red or blue. I changed it to blue and FTP'ed it, and on my roommate's browser, it is blue (she uses Safari). On mine (Mozilla), it's still red, gah.

Update: Favicon is finally blue. I had to go in and rename the file, but at last I can rest.

Merlin's Lists of Five Things

Oh! I am laughing so hard my sides are hurting, I'm crying, snorting, and afraid I'm going to wake up my roommate. Some guy has a blog with lists of five things, and it is the funniest thing I've read in quite a while--right up there with Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. My favorite lists are, in no particular order:

Via Household Opera.

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.

Spotted online

Just a few things I've seen online...this hasn't been the greatest past few days for me. Right now, I have a mouth ulcer that is so intensely painful I can barely think straight. It's under my tongue, on the right side, and it feels like someone has taken a knife with a serrated blade and cut half of my tongue off, leaving the rest of it there to hang on. And I'm reeling from a recent rejection from a journal, gah. I guess mouth ulcers and rejections happen to everyone, though, right? Anyway, to the links:

Some do Cat Blogging, but have you ever seen a blog kept by a cat? No? Well, that's about to change. Liat owns and is owned by the creative and brilliant Jasperboi.

Is this a joke? The article is written by a professor who has extremely severe penalties for tardiness, talking during class, and ringing cell phones. Quite lockstep, if he's for real, that is. Via La Di Da.

I want to see Super Size Me, a documentary about a man who eats McDonald's food three times a day for 30 days. He ends up gaining about 25 pounds, feeling nauseous all the time, and getting some rather disturbing results from cholesterol and liver toxicity tests. Via Feministe.

Earth Wide Moth is making me want to read some Gertrude Stein. I pulled my Norton Anthology of Literature by Women off the shelf and will soon be reading "The Gentle Lena," "Picasso," and "Ada."

It's time for a new baby blanket...all I can say about that is that it is not I who will be having said baby. Off to Jo-Ann for soft baby yarn and Walgreen's for Anbesol.

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