SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript"> < We Blog: January 2006

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

In the open ocean

Cutting me loose??? I guess it's kind of a baptism by fire, but I hope I can keep up. I still haven't found my direction completely in this class, but I'm thinking I can manage. I really just don't get it though. I've been reading other students' blogs, (I think Look to the Sky is a great one) and some other blogs on the web. It doesn't seem like anybody else has this problem. Which in a way, has kind of helped me. My blog is kind of turning into a sort of "One guy's journey to discover what blogging is all about." (Wow, that sounds like a description of the most boring movie ever.) But seriously, my blog is actually a kind of experiment. Will I ever see more in blogging, or will I forever stay lost in the open ocean, without a clue where to go? The thing is, I really don't know what the outcome will be. The only way to find out is to just put in the time and start typing. If anyone has any helpful information, please post a comment. I need all the help I can get.

New Blog URL...

I mentioned this during my presentation, but I thought I would put it up in a place where everyone could find it. My blog address has changed to the following:

Megan Klasner

Cutting you loose

This week begins your first week of official blogging for the class. Starting this week, you'll need to post at least three substantial (defined as no fewer than 200 words) entries to your individual blog, and you'll need to post at least one entry to the class blog. You'll also need to comment on blogs: see the syllabus for details.

As you blog ahead with full steam, ethical issues may arise. What are the ethics (and legal ramifications) of mentioning someone by name on your blog? What if a future employer finds your blog? What if you have strong political opinions on your blog? And on and on. To think through some of these thorny issues that may arise, or that you may want to consider before they arise, I've assigned readings on blogging ethics and blogging legalities. I'm especially curious to know how you would respond to Rebecca Blood's guidelines, and also if (before reading these texts) you brought any particular ethical, professional, or legal concerns with you. If so, what are they?

Nice cover

Blog mastheads as cover art. (Along with an article about the political potential of blogs.)

via Clancy at CultureCat

Comment on reading

Thursday's assignment was to post a response to something from the day's readings. As I was looking over the material, much of it seemed like familiar ground we had already covered in class. However, one line from the reading "What we're doing when we blog," stuck out to me. The author writes, "...a blog post is often an opening to a discussion, rather than a full-fledged argument already arrived at. " I began to think about this idea. It is the very essence of this topic of commenting and conversation. I really think that the blog's commenting capability is one of the best things about it. They provide an avenue for users to post information, thoughts and feelings and to receive sometimes instant feedback. I thought about this in relation to term papers or essays students often submit for classes. You put so much time, effort and consideration into formulating ideas or theories, and oftentimes the most response you get back in return is a simple question or comment scrawled in the margin. Far from an open discussion. Blogs have changed that. They challenge both the writer and the reader and brings the idea of 'critical thinking' to a new level. I think that is tremendously beneficial to everyone involved, and a great step toward creating an atmosphere of interactive learning rather than keeping education a one-way street.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

blog reflections

Frankly, I didn't have a positive view of blogs before coming in to this class. I had always thought blogging was nothing more than online journaling that often just served as a soapbox for anyone, no matter educated or uneducated, to spout off about their likes or dislikes. I think much of this sentiment stemmed from reading my friends' LiveJournals in high school - sure I liked my friends, but I honestly didn't care to read an account of their daily activities or what song they were currently listening to.

Since class has started, however, my definition of blogging (and thus my opinion of blogging) has changed. I never knew, for example, that blogs are generally centered on a specific topic such as politics, music or celebrity gossip. Sure, a personal journal could be considered a specific topic, but I'm starting to feel that online diaries are separate style of blogging. Realizing the true definition has opened my mind; I have more respect for the blogosphere and take it more seriously.

My flawed definition of blogging is also why I never kept my own. Since I didn't really care to read about my friends' lives, I couldn't imagine why any one would want to read about my own. Plus, as a sometimes shy person, I'm not so sure I would want others to have that opportunity. As I read topic-focused blogs, however, I can see that a blogger's personality is what makes his or her blog great. Good writing often contains a voice specific to the author, and I admire all bloggers for being able to put themselves out there like that. I want to write with personality and voice, so I'm going to have to put my shy impulses aside.

That said, I think my greatest challenge for my blog will be finding a focus topic for it. I've always thought its best to write what you know, and what else do I know better besides my own life? I realize that question completely contradicts what I said above, but I'm not sure I know enough about anything else substantial to write a meaningful commentary. Hopefully reading more blogs regularly will give me some ideas.

my thoughts on blogging

week 2;1(2)

1. What I found interesting in the first reading, "Blogging 101" is the idea of the "watchblog." I never would have thought of blogging as a way to "keep the media honest." According to this principle, the blog serves as a form of checks and balances for today's media.
2.In the second article, "There is a Blog in Your Future," I liked the idea of the author considering the blog as a hobby or interest. Twenty years ago who would've thought that maintaining a webpage is as much a hobby as playing a sport? However, the way the author poses her argument opens up a new argument of persuasion for me; Can the blog be considered a concrete form of literature?
3. What I like best in the last assigned article, "The Art of Blogging," are the definitions and "truths about blogging" outlined. The author begins by stating the defintion of blogging as hard to define because it is so new. Much like the internet when it first came about, blogging is just in its beginning stages and eventually will reach into a whole new realm of development and use.

crossposted on
posted by discovery @ 12:44 PM 0 comments

Blogging as good conversation

I say something. You say something back. I reply to your reply. Someone else joins in.

Yep, that's conversation. And that's what much good blogging is like. It isn't rocket science. And it's hard to appreciate if you get just a snippet. (Did you hear what she said? Why did she say that?) Really good conversations are things you have to invest some time in. You have to be willing to listen to the person talking, and then you have to be willing to add to the conversation. Not just a nod of the head, but real words and ideas. Adding on. Linking to. Starting your own conversation in another space, but a conversation that bears the marks of the last one.

Although this metaphor of conversation isn't quite what Will Richardson says, I was thinking of him as I wrote it. Here's a piece of what he said in one of the readings for today:

Blogging requires effort in ways that make it a valuable use of my time. I need to read and think and write, all the while testing my assumptions and editing what comes in and what goes out. In the three-plus years that I've been keeping this blog, I've read tens of thousands pieces of writing from thousands of other bloggers, and with each one I'm mining it for something to use in my practice or to write about. Ironically, it's one of the biggest changes in my process since I started blogging, this reading for ideas that I do. I never used to read to write. Now that's almost all I do. And the writing identifies and clarifies the learning. That's really what the good blogging is here, a learning log.

I do nod my head, often, when I read Will's blog. I'm really attracted to this idea of blogging as a space where I allow myself to be challenged. I read other's blogs, looking for ideas that might spark something. I take that spark, I go to my blog, and I see where it might take me. Might not take me far. Or it might take me farther than I imagined. But there's something really fun--joyful! even--about that process of generating new ideas. And putting them out there for a potential audience. And sometimes I get a response, and it makes me think even more.

So I'd like you to try it today. Take a chunk of text that you like from one of today's readings. Or, if you prefer, from something you've read in a blog in the past day or so. See where you go with it.

And don't forget to read and comment on each other's blog entries here and on the individual blogs.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Most blogs are annoyingly predictable.

Traditionally, I've always thought of blogs as a kind of sob story outlet venue. Site after site is filled with detail-laden versions of the same basic story: "Life is terrible, and all I can do is write about it, so that everyone can see how terrible it is for me, personally." Or worse, the "There is nothing in my life to do, so I'll write about how unfulfilled I am" theme.

My cynical point of view has only been reinforced, since I found out about tools like Technorati and Bloglines. What I saw then was a third, more chilling alternative sub-message: "I'm right, you're wrong, and here are 40,000 web sites to make you see that." is maybe a less than stellar example of this, but I just want to cite this guy to raise awareness that this idiot actually has a following. Something like 6,000 links to his site. Honestly, I'm not having a bad day. This is just part of what I see on the Interweb these days, although I know I only see a fraction of all that is posted out there.

To be fair, there are other blogs, which number far less than they should, but are actually useful. How To's and niche-oriented blogs are clever references to validate hobbies and exotic interests and to unite distinctly isolated groups of people. There are over 1,000 posts about Star Wars action figures. There is a blog devoted to a cooking show by Rachel Ray, where devout watchers post recipes for 30-minute meals and then comment on how well they worked out or how they changed the recipes.

Even better are the news sites. These pages function as mega-connections between worthy news outlets. The other day I found an article which cited different pieces of information broadcast from the BBC, NPR, the Associated Press, and Fox News. So I can't stand Fox News, but still, this capacity to draw a line between competing sources and to offer immediate comparisons is an amazingly helpful use of Web space.

Yet, the thread I see running through privately operated sites is the (somewhat desperate) hope that someone will care about what we have to say. Obviously, we all have our own opinions about things, but it seems hard to pull off a blog in which you share your views, without sounding self-important. I'm by no means saying that my own blog will succeed where others have failed. God knows, I have a lot of things to say that I've never gotten out. I'm the youngest of four very opinioniated and well-educated daughters, so I've done a lot of listening in my time.

But I think the difference between the sob sites and the salutary sites, is just the author's level of expectation that people will want to read what they post. Those really great sites are the ones written for the sake of writing, not for the sake of telling, and in the process can drown out the blaring violins playing behind those ill-conceived online diaries.

[Cross-posted from Post-december]

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Just heard it: blogging in the news

I just heard a bit about blogs on the PBS Newshour. Seems that the Washington Post shut down comments on their blog. Here's the Newshour story (you'll need to scroll down to find Tuesday and then the headline "Online Feedback Goes Offline"). To find out more, try searching on Technorati.

Any comments on this story? As up-and-coming bloggers, does it give you pause at all?

Beyond blogging assumptions

Blogging seems to be one of those highly-technical, new-wave modes of self expression and communication that has always been slightly beyond my grasp in terms of time and technical savvy. Bloggers seem to take many different forms, most simply divided into the more professional bloggers (concerned with commentary and the dissemination of information) and those that "blog" as means of self expression, using blogging as an online diary or journal. Blogging seems to be an interesting way to increase the marketplace of ideas, to learn, and to express oneself. The limitlessness of the space on the web allowed for such expression, however, seems to make it difficult to even know where to begin reading and understanding blogs or participating in the discussion that occurs on the web via bloggers. For me, reading and keeping abreast of blogs and the new ideas and perspectives within them has always seemed overwhelming. There are innumerable connections between blogs, comments on blogs that stemmed from posts on another so numerous that the origin of the conversation seems impossible to locate. Often times I find a post on a blog interesting. But, it is difficult to follow the conversation in the reverse order that it occured. And, yet, how do you find where it began?

As I begin this endeavor to read blogs, understand them, and to create my own blog, I still feel as though the whole task is overwhelming. However, I feel that in the confined setting of this class I will be able to understand blogging through small steps. The class readings have not yet challenged my feeling of being overwhelmed. The numerous blogging site options for a new blogger are numurous in themselves. I have set up a blog through guidance, but am still lost as to what to begin writing about. It seems rare to have an opportunity to freely choose what to write about rather than to be told by a professor or boss what your specific assigned task is. That freedom of choice can be overwhelming. The readings thus far have not yet helped guide me as to what to write. Although, admittedly, I have not yet done extensive reading outside the assigned class readings. I imagine though, at this point, that my blog will be as random as I am. I have diverse interests and ever-changing thoughts that will most likely be reflected in my blog posts. I am not sure if I would, on my own accord, limit myself to single area (politics, weather, butterflies, basketball). But, isn't blogging about the freedom to write whatever you want, the freedom to comment and discuss whatever is of interest to you at whatever moment you choose? I think so. So far I haven't found anything that challenges that assumption. Although, there are blogs that are largely confined to the same topic, I think that occurs because the writer is primarily concerned with that topic.

The essence, I suppose, is that my feelings, my perceptions of blogging are still as much in flux as is blogging (the practice) itself.

[Cross posted from: Look to the Sky]

Blogs Blogs Blogs

At the start of this class, I have a lot of jumbled thought about blogs, and the Internet in general. In a geeky way... I think 'virtual life' is fascinating. It's bizarre (but bizarre can be a good thing, depending on your viewpoint) that a person can have a whole life existing on the Internet. I don't mean to sound disconcerted with the real world, but I think that the Internet needs to be explored and studied as a medium that has a great impact on 'real life.' (And I know, it has been, and continues to be studied- with proof being the existence of this class.)

With that said- even if it was more complicated that I anticipated- I see blogs as a new medium for social interaction- or maybe new is not the world, maybe increasingly important medium is better said. This idea begins at what falls under the definition of a "blog." I see blogs as a medium for interaction between a person and what interests them. Different things interest different people and this stems from what a person interacts with every day. But there is always the underlying question of what subject matter merits the term blog, and when to draw the line between blog and journal. This is why I think blogs are so interesting, because there is no all-powerful force that monitors and categorizes. I like how the world of blogs is left to personal interpretation, and does not exclude.

Mirroring real world social interactions, it seems that virtual interactions would classify and categorize all on their own. This may be reading in too far... but I think this leaves potential for "virtual clicks." Or maybe a better term would be communities. It seems that blogs lead to the development of virtual communities that may mirror real world communities- like our class, and our blog- but what is fascinating about the Internet, is that these connections do not have to mirror the real world, they can exist only on a virtual level.

Upon entering this class, I had a lot of interaction reading blogs, but not a lot on making blogs. As I am sure you have gathered from the above rambling, I am excited to study blogs as a form of social interaction.

A note: This post was written with my English 4040 class in mind for an audience. On the slim chance that a stranger wanders onto my blog- they should note that I am taking a course on blogs, which has resulted in the creation of this blog.

Note- you can also read this fascinating ramble on my blog.

Bob Loblaw's Law Blog **

What's a blog? There are blogs about blogs and blogging that will answer this question. The more appropriate question to begin this musing is what is a blog to me? Being in a blogging class this semester (yes, they really do offer those) has given me a lot of food for thought on the subject. I will probably be creating an ancillary blog for that class only, just so that I can gain focus (and hopefully an endless stream of things to write about). But that begs the question, what is so important to me that I would want to (or be able to) write about it at least three times a week?

I've really been thinking about how my perception of blogs has changed since I started this one in October 2004. After 95 posts I have certainly seen a lot of changes in the way I approach this project. Initially I began the blog as a simple and less exhausting way to keep in touch with my extended family. Around the time I started the blog I was having some health issues that everyone constantly wanted updates about, the blog, therefore, was a quick way to let everyone who wanted the info get it. I quickly found my stride with that aspect and began to take a more writerly approach to my updates (the best example can be found here, where I recount my surgical experience). At the same time that I started the blog, there were also the 2004 Presidential elections, which found their way onto my blog, simply because it was the best place for me to vent my frustrations. That was my first divergence away from simply chronicling things that happen to me (which is quite frankly kinda boring because quite frankly I'm kinda boring) and actually using my blog as a forum for me to rant.

Then one day in August of last year I got an itch I had to scratch. I have been interested in Photoshop for a long time (virtually my entire college career) and have learned all the ins and outs of the program, but I have always lacked the creative inspiration to create art of my own using the program. For some weird reason, though, I all of a sudden had an idea and I actually translated it from brain to paper (that doesn't usually happen). I remember the panic I felt as I posted it up on my blog (it's so exposed and anyone can see it!) because I had never intended my blog to be a showcase of my more secret side. I'm the kind of person who doesn't like to turn in assignments because I have an deep seated fear of being wrong. But I took a risk, a huge one (it still makes my heart flutter). At first I didn't make a big deal about it, but it was a huge rush to have something like that out there in the world. My rush was intensified when a total stranger (don't ask me how she found my blog) commented. From then on I was hooked.

I quickly revamped my approach to my blog, adding a much more interesting title than Megan's Blog, and realized that I finally had a place where I could indulge myself and my passing (and sometimes not so passing) interests virtually anonymously. I have always been a would be artist, or a would be writer, but I've never had the courage to actually put pen to paper, much less put it out where people can see it. But I have the firm belief that the internet inspires courage and breaks down people's inhibitions, otherwise we wouldn't the bazillion niches out there on the world wide web. So my blog became the place where (as I say in my description) I could become an ideal verison of myself, even if that simply means trying something new and it has remained that to this day.

I've heard other blogs comment or post about how blogging has becomes such an intrinsic part of their lives, how it's akin to breathing. I don't think I'm quite that involved in it (sorry again for the recent two month gap, but what are you gonna do?), but I there have been many surprising personal benefits to the habit. For example, that fear I mentioned about turning in papers for school has almost completely vanished (except when I know I'm turning in subpar work) if anything it's exhilirating to know sometimes that what I'm submitting is both 100% valid (because in English interpretations can't be wrong - now why didn't I figure that out sooner?) and not a slightly different version of someone else's paper (no I don't plagirize, you know what I mean). This blog has inspired me to take more risks and the wonderful (and extroadinarily surprising) reception I have recieved to my work, in particular my illustrations, has given me a lot more confidence in everything I do.

**If you don't get the reference, you're not cool. This can be remedied by subscribing to my newsletter for the bargain price of $24.50 per month and watching Arrested Development.

[To Read Original Post from Chronicle of A Book Retold... click here]

Beyond Blogging Assumptions

Coming into this class I don't believe I necessarily had any "assumptions" about blogs or blogging, but like many of the other students much of the experience and exposure I had was with personal, journal-style blogs. I was aware of the other forms of blogging such as news, music, or political opinion blogs, but they were not something I spent much time or effort looking into. Now that I am in this class and have taken the time to explore the many different possibilities of blogging content I have started to consider a suitable topic for my own blog. One of the ideas I had was to start my blog as a documentation of my experience going through a marathon training class that I recently signed up for. I thought this topic would provide a good way for me to not only track my personal progress in this endeavor, but it could also be used as a vehicle to present news on health and fitness, and links to other sites about marathon training or events, or to blogs of people going through a similar experience. My hope would be to shape it after some of the blogs mentioned in the reading for the first class, "Final Version of Weblog Definiton." The author writes, "...weblogs connect frequent but dissimilar entries by making a larger narrative explicit: Flight Risk is about an heiress’s escape from her family, The Date Project documents a young man’s search for a girlfriend, and Julie Powell narrates her life as she works her way through Julia Child’s cookbook." So, essentially my blog would be a narrative of my day to day experiences--the struggles and the accomplishments--as I navigate through my classes and training. This is a preliminary idea, so I would appreciate any comments or suggestions (boring topic? focus too narrow?) as I consider it further.

My Blogging Assumptions

As I begin to establish and think about what my blog will look like, I find that my ideas change everyday. Before my first readings in this class, my assumptions were that blogs essentially fell into two categories. The first of those categories was legitimate blogs that were often linked to major newspapers websites -- the Washington Post seems to be particularly good at this.

The second category, in my estimation, was comprised of the ramblings of people who had much more time than myself. I think this still holds somewhat true. However, my opinion has changed in that I have found several very interesting blogs with no affiliation.

The difficulty of blogs are that they are spawned by and on the Internet, which still has no established filter to help a user wade through the overwhelming amount of information in order to find a place in cyberspace that might catch ones interest. So far I have been able to find several blogs that I am interested in and this is helping me to develop the framework of what I would like to have in my blog.

While my experience with blogs was limited before last Tuesday, I did have some experience with Internet message boards. I have decided that in many respects they are very similar. Finding a good message board is hard to do, due to the overwhelming numbers available on the Web. Once in a while you can find a good board or blog that really comes together as a community. They are brought together by some common trait or idea, and they will fight bitterly over that common bond. However, at the same time, they are also supportive. A good example of this that I have found over the past few years is The Smirkin Chicken. This is a fan board of the Atlanta Thrashers of the NHL. Blogs are far more formated, as the ideas usually come from one person and commented on by the community, instead of the free for all that may occur on message boards.

My ideas on blogs have changed since the beginning, as I no longer think a blogs legitimacy is based on its content or traditional media backing. In fact, its just a place on the Web for a community and the free flow of information. Hopefully my blog will resemble that as well.

[cross-posted from My First Attempt]

Bloggers Anonymous...

I'm totally new to blogging. I knew it was a big internet thing, but I didn't know how big. Last class opened my eyes to this whole world of blogging. And after trying it out for myself, I see why. This thing is addictive. I've made one post and already I'm ready to post another. It's not that I feel like I have to inform everyone else about my life, or that I even think others will read much if any of it, but I love venting on my blog. It's a drug, man, once you get your fingers going and the thoughts are on a continuous flow from your mind to your computer, it's hard to stop. I just typed a couple hundred words in ten minutes! And here I am again, making a new post immediately after I finished my last one. Darn you, Donna! You've got me blogging and I can't stop! But seriously, I'm learning that blogs aren't just an online journal. They can be valuable tools in the real world. I thought it was interesting in Anton Zuiker's post about the early pioneers of blogging. It still blows my mind when I think about how one can communicate with anyone on the world in a fraction of a second. I'm sure it was even more amazing to these early pioneers of the web. I don't think I'll ever be an expert on blogs, for that I recommend Rebecca Blood's blog. This lady knows blogs. I was intrigued by her three reasons people blog. It's taken us so far that now, according to Georege Siemens, blogging is an art form. I couldn't agree more. I mean for now, my blog is still pretty primitive, just text and a link here or there, but I hope to harness my skills and really create something I can be proud of. Through practice and patience, as in real artisitc masterpieces, I hope to achieve my goal.

Assumptions about blogs

Alright, so this semester has opened my eyes to the hundreds of thousands of people who are blogging all over the world. Maybe I didn't notice this before, or maybe I didn't want to notice this because I somehow thought that these people were just people with strong opinions. Throughout this class so far I've found people that not only take blogging very seriously, but in fact treat it like a job. So, although I haven't completely seen blogs as a valid use of journalism I am taking them much more seriously than I have before. Maybe they will someday reach real journalism for me, but nothing really beats sitting down and reading the USA Today or some other stodgy old paper for information. It is possible that I think newspapers are better because people get paid for the work they put in, or maybe just because it has been done this way for hundreds of years. Whatever the case may be, I am skewed the way of papers and their production and will be for quite some time to come. No offense to those with an attraction to blogging and other people's blogs, but i just see opinions, not crafted stories. I guess this just serves the old-timer in me.

Moving beyond blogging assumptions

I'd like to start class today by asking you to post an entry to your individual blog. Here's what I'd like you to write about:

What kinds of assumptions about blogs do you bring to the class? What did you think of blogs before you arrived here? Are these assumptions being challenged in any way? Has your reading (whether the assigned reading or your own reading around in blogs) given you any insight into how you might want to focus and/or shape your blog?

I would then ask you to create a second post, a post of links, like you read about in some of the material for today. The links should be to the readings for today, and you will add a little text to remind yourself (and to tell any readers) what you found most useful at each site.

Finally, please choose one of these posts to cross-post to the class blog. (Copying and pasting works well for this.) You might indicate in both posts where the cross-posted entry can be found.


As you can see on the schedule, individual presentations to the class start next week.

Tuesdays will be reserved for technical presentations (how-to, hands-on demonstrations of how to alter your blog). As you're reading blogs (onsite rather than through bloglines), you may notice a feature that you would like to emulate. (For example, I added a site meter to this blog today. That's pretty easy, however. But you get the idea: notice cool things that you would like to see on your blog.) Try to find out how to do it. The idea here is, in the geek spirit, to teach yourself how to do something. And, then, in the geek network spirit, to share that "hack." Luckily, Blogger is already in the spirit, and they offer a nice menu of "hacks" that can get you started. Feel free to use one of their hacks as the template for your presentation. (My only request is that you don't repeat a hack that we've already learned.)

Thursdays will be reserved for presentations about blogs in the news, in the world, in discussion. The idea is to find a recent article about blogs, something that might stir up discussion or that might be otherwise generative. Tell the class about it (you're also welcome to blog it), and then add your commentary. Ask questions to get the class talking. You might even ask them to blog about it.

Right now, we obviously need two good people to volunteer to be the first: one person for Tuesday and one for Thursday. After that, I'll just fill in the blanks. Please let me know right away if there's a day when you can't present.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Oops: note on links

I just noticed that if you try to click on the links for tomorrow's readings you'll be directed to an error page. Try cutting and pasting the links instead, but get rid of the closing parenthesis: )

That should do it. And please be ready to write about what you've read.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Finding blogs, reading blogs

In order to write in any genre, you need to read widely in that genre so that its defining features become second nature. With blogging, reading blogs is itself a defining feature: bloggers regularly read, respond to, and refer to other blogs.

To get you started with wide reading of blogs, we'll explore two tools:
(1) blog-specific search engines, especially technorati
(2) rss readers/news aggregators, especially bloglines

After finding several blogs that interest you with technorati, you can set up a bloglines account that will allow you to read all the blogs you want in one space, and you can use a script from bloglines to create a blogroll.

As you read blogs today and in the coming days, notice what does and doesn't appeal to you. Keep a record of the features of blogs that seem unique to and/or characteristic of blogs: use your blog as a placeholder for these notes.

Monday, January 16, 2006


Welcome to English 4040: Blogging in Theory and Practice. This blog will serve as the "mother blog" for the class. Whereas your individual blogs will be on topics of your choosing, the mother blog is a place to blog about blogging. You'll often have a chance to blog here during class time, but you're also welcome (and, indeed, encouraged) to add information about blogging here as you find it.

Here's what I have planned for our first class meeting:

(1) The obvious: go over the syllabus, see who's here, etc.
(2) Hear from each of you about why you're here, what (if any) experience you've had with blogging, etc.
(3) Begin talking about blogs, especially their technical features
(4) View blogging software options
(5) Set up a starter blog

Update: Other texts to take a look at:
David Weinberger, "The New Is"
"Blogging as Breathing" via mathemagenic