Rettberg Blogging Chapters 1 & 2 Notes

BLOGGING - RETTBERG - CHAPTER 1 and CHAPTER 2

-part of the hx of communication and literacy
-emblematic of a shift from uni-directional mass media to participatory media
-viewers and readers become creators of media.
-part of hx of literature and writing
-path traced from early autobio writing thru diary writing and memoirs up to confessional and personal diary-style blogs of today.
-part of current changes in journalism and marketing.

-part of growth of social networks (FBook) - these have their roots in social network theory from sociologists in 60's and 70's. AAA
-roots in network structure of Inet designed at same time.

-blogs founded upon the link
-building connections between related issues
-related to many diff contexts and disciplines:
-media studies
-hx of technology
-sociology
-ethnology
-literary studies
-marketing
-journalism
-lens w/ which to see how all fields have developed up until today,

CHAPTER ONE - WHAT IS A BLOG?
-to understand, gotta read them. - wonderful.
-analogy - watching TV series
-cumulative process - most posts pressupose some knowledge of hx of blog and fit into larger story.

-diff between print publishing and blogs:
-w/ print, author not in charge of way text looks or layout or anything.
-then submitted to editor w/ staff of designers to do layout.
-bloggers…choose template and often spend considerable time adjusting way blogs look and work
-blog can't be read simply for its writing - will always be seen as sum of writing, layout, connections and links and tempo.

-look at examples.
-these three:
1-personal, diary-style blog
2-political blog
3-expertise w/ personal twist

diff kinds of blogs:
1-personal blogs
2-filter blogs
3-topic-driven blogs.

-HOW TO BLOG-
-lotsa online services - set up blog for free and host on their server
-blogger.com was first major one

-create user account
-choose name for blog and a URL
-free sites will have fixed domain for all hosted blogs but allow you to choose the first part of URL.
-blogger.com hosts at blogspot.com
-if already have own domain <ex> mydomain.com - can set blog up to publish to that instead.
-then select template or theme for blog - can edit to make how want it.
-more completx edits mean gotta know HTML and CSS
-hypertext markup language
-CSS - cascading style sheets - way of specifying how web browser should 'style' or present pages marked up in HTML.
-might specifiy all paragraphs have first line indented. (over-rides default of most browsers)
-lotsa tutorials on how to tweak HTML and CSS code for blog templates.

-so..have chosen template and created blog - now fill with content.
-small box for title
-big box for body
-type all in and hit publish
-CAN SEE TUTORIAL NOTES FROM YOUTUBE VID-
-templates chosen show elements expected to be included in blog.
-title of whole blog at top of page (graphic banner across top section)
-many have taglines - subtitles or brief descriptions of blog
-some info about blogger in an upper corner w/ photo
-hosting sites encourage user profiles, w/ photo, bio info, links to blogs.
-MAIN CONTENT OF BLOG - posts, ea w/ own title, in wide central column.
-side columns w/ auto generated links to older blog posts/archives, to other blogs author reads, to comments left.
-incorporated RSS as way of publishing
-Really Simple Syndication - version of Web site encoded in way that allows computers to easily manipulate content.
-<ex>-RSS feed of blog uses codes like <title> and </title> (OPENING AND CLOSING HTML TAGS!!) to mark title of individ post.
-reader can also choose RSS feed of blog to read - can subscribe to number of blogs and reader alerts re: new posts.
-another advantage - RSS feeds can be embedded into other Web pages.
-if have 2 blogs, can use RSS feed from one blog in other blog and show titles of latest posts in sidebar.
-other RSS uses - newspapers, discussion forums, photo sharing sites.
-<ex>-RSS feed of recent activity on FBook profile.

-WEB 2.0 -Tim O'Reilly and associates (2005) - characterize a 2nd generation of Web sites.
-1st wave Web developers focused mostly publishing content.
-Web 2.0 - develops services that allow users to share own content and use Web as platform.
-<EX>-Wikipedia, YouTube, Flickr, FBook. -blogs are Web 2.0
-NOTE
GUY WHO CONCEPTUALIZED WEB NOT LIKING THIS CONCEPT OF WEB 2.0!!!!!!

THREE BLOGS THREE BLOGS THREE BLOGS THREE BLOGS THREE BLOGS THREE BLOGS THREE BLOGS
THREE BLOGS THREE BLOGS THREE BLOGS THREE BLOGS THREE BLOGS THREE BLOGS THREE BLOGS
-REPRESENT 3 MAIN STYLES OF BLOGGING:
1-personal or diary-style blogging
2-filterblogging
3-topic-driven blogging

1-PERSONAL BLOGS: DOOCE.COM - Dooce one of most pop personal blogs.
-Technorati.com - ranks blogs according to how many other blogs link to them - Dooce on list of Tech's 100 most popular for years.
-Dooce is title of blog and pseudonym for author, Heather B. Armstrong
-Dooce - notoriety as one of first bloggers fired cuz what wrote in blog.
-"dooced" - UrbanDictionary.com - 'to be fired from job cuz contents of your weblog.'
-contains droll/satirical stories of her life.
-most blogs have small section in upper corner that explains who blogger is or what blog about
-maybe photo and link to 'About' page - purpose and hx of blog - describes self.
-blog templates have features built in and will plug info in.
-Dooce wrote stores that included people from work.
-makes reasonable income from ads on her blog!
-path towards commercialization - or MONETIZATION. -Dooce introduced text ads in 04 and large/graphical ads in 05 - by 06, earning middle to upper-middle class income.
-posts written w/ care and wit - not secret diary - clearly edited b4 published.

-most bloggers who use blogs as personal diaries do it less publicly than Dooce
-often belong to Web rings linking diaries together
-or write on social sites like LiveJournal - set up friendlists, share sections of diaries w/ specific friends or groups.
-in these cases, blog is meant as way to communicate w/ close friends (pg 11-12) -?? - then why not just communicate/call/visit w/ close friends?!?!
-VEIL OF THE SCREEN - as per Viviane Serfaty - blog gives slices of life to give readers strong feeling of knowing blogger, but blogger still has secrets.
-says online diarists and bloggers use writing as mirror to see self more clearly and "construct themselves as subjects in digital society," but also as a veil that will always conceal much of life from reader.
-MY THOTS: what the hell is "construct themselves as subjects in a digital society??"
-why do this online??? -just keep friggin' journal! -or see therapist??

2-FILTER BLOGS: KOTTKE.ORG
-filter blogs don't log offline life - record bloggers experiences/finds on Web
-Robot Wisdom - Jorn Barger - one of first examples of filter blog
-simply list of links w/ no commentary.
-most do have commentary w/ the linking.
-Boing Boing - news on bizarre Web finds
-Metafilter - group blog w/members posting links to interesting Web sites
-Rebecca's Pocket - personal site of Rebecca Blood
-Kottke.org - personal site of Jason Kottke

-FILTER BLOGS -"filter blogs filter the Web from blogger's pt. of view."
-may have dominant topics - but can shift as blogger's interests shift.
-<EX>-
-kottke.org - Jason Kottke - Web designer - blog since 1998.
-'witty commentary', 'expert opinions re: cultural sides of Web development, design, new tech.
-Web news w/ personal tone and occas personal story….when new dad, compares son's reflexes to iPhone and Wii game.
-NOTE - HE LINKS TO INFO RE: TOPICS HE WRITES ABOUT - LINKS TO WII, ETC….
-integrates widgets into blog.
-WIDGET - pieces of code pasted into blog template to auto display ur activity on another site.
-doesn't permit comments on posts - too many - too much work to reply
-so, readers created KottkeKomments website - pulls in posts from blog's RSS feed and displays.
-comments are open on posts - no links from blog to website.
-Kottke has conversations between blogs by linking to blogs in some posts - remarks on interesting stuff by linking like this….blah, blah, blah 'via Matt' where Matt is the link to Matt's post.

3-TOPIC-DRIVEN BLOGS: DAILYKOS.COM
-<EXAMPLES>-
-Brooklyn Tweed - knitting
-Get Rich Slowly - personal finances
-Style Bytes - fashion
-GrandTextAuto - digital art and electronic literature
-techPresident - politicians' use of web
-The Quantum Pontiff - quantum theory
-LifeHack - personal productivity
-SHARE NEWLY DISCOVERED IDEAS/INFO - PROVIDE LINKS TO MORE INFO.
-FILTER TO LARGE AMT NEWS, INFO, WEB CONVERSATIONS
-many run by individuals
-AND - many run by group of contributors. -OFTEN PRIORITIZE DEBATE between posters and posters vs commentators.

-large group topic-driven is political blogs….CAN YOU SAY BLECH -aka bitch session.
-11% blogs are political
-Daily Kos - liberal blog - Markos Moulitsas - '02

-DEFINING BLOGS-
-blog - contraction of Web and log
-1st used word in '97.
-basic sense of blog being some kind of log.

-log - nautical navigation roots
-'chronological record of events during sea journey, tracking speed, course, etc'
-name originates - how measured speed - throw log w/ rope overboard and count how many knots pass thru sailor's hands in 30-seconds.
-readings from the log then entered into logbook - now, other info entered in log book.
-too funny.
-weblogs - chronological organization remains
-content less oredered/systematic
-havigation metaphor fits - in 90's, talked of "navigating web" - today, we're still SURFING it.

-things in common:
-basic layout similar w/ 2-3 columns w/ largest for main content/posts - narrower for links, info about blog/blogger, links, ads
-2 types written by individ - subjective, personal style
-other written by group - journalistic

-GENRE - –noun
1.
a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, technique, or the like: the genre of epic poetry; the genre of symphonic music.
2.
Fine Arts .
a.
paintings in which scenes of everyday life form the subject matter.
b.
a realistic style of painting using such subject matter.
3.
genus; kind; sort; style.
–adjective
4.
Fine Arts . of or pertaining to genre.
5.
of or pertaining to a distinctive literary type.

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

-GENRE-defined by form or by content.
-<ex>-comedies - largely defined by content and theme. - work in which materials selected and managed primarily in order to interest, involve and amuse - characters and struggles get pleasurable attention instead concr. -makes feel confident that no great disaster will occur during , and action turns out happy for lead characters.
-<ex>-sonnet - genre defined by form ONLY.
-lyric poem consisting of single stanza of 14 iambic pentameter lines linked by intricate rhyme scheme.
-sexual love most common prior to Donne who introduced religious themes.
-main defining quality of sonnet is that is constrained formally.

-BLOGS AS GENRE - lots more diverse in subject matter than either of above.
-easy to define formally - share similarities in layout and contain many of same elements.
^^^
ORALITY AND LITERACY-
-2 MAJOR SHIFTS in commun before broadcast media and i.net.
1. intro of print and mass produce copies of work
2. intro of writing itself.

-WRITING INTRO--
-scepticism
-Ong - SECONDARY ORALITY - culture more like Greeks than of post printing press….
-due to electronic media - meaning radio and TV.

-Plato's dialogues - deal w/ transition from speech to writing as privileged form discourse.
-written renditions of oral conversations between Soc and students.
-arguments he makes are presented as Soc's arguments.
-Phaedrus - writing itself as main topoic.
-writing destroys memory. -if people can access info, won't memorize.
-written word doesn't respond - if hear someone, can question them.
-can't question a page of writing.
-if person wrong, MIGHT change what is said.
-if written is wrong, will still be there and not changed.

-with i.net, no longer true of writing - blogs edited and re-edited.

-can post comments/questions to author.

-Plato - writing allows words distributed where or when no writer there.
-should be like seeds planted in mind that is ready
-serious scholar wouldn't do this.
-up to medieval - witnesses more reliable than documents.
-can be challenged to defend statements.
-Plato likes dialogue and not dissemintion.
-web is dialogue.
-Plato model dialogue/Jesus model dissemination.
-dissem - spread lots of it and all over and lots is wasted, but when not wasted get big yiled.
-this how TV works - advertising works - telemarketers work
-if get 1% return, are happy.
-Plato - dissem is wasteful.
-idealization of dial - in pedagogy - is dialogue made by learner.
-blogs combine both. -on web so many can see/read. (maybe a bit, but not 50/50 like dialogue).
-and, can leave questions, etc.
-Eisenstein - six features print that cause changes in culture:
1. dissemination
2. standardization
3. reorganization
4. data collection
5. preservation
6. amplification and reinforcement.

1-dissem - most obvious feature of print.
-now scholars don't go to books - books sent out.
-now can have books side-by-side to compare - leads to standardization.
2-standardization - mistakes corrected - done in more systematic way.
-wicked Bible 1631.
-pubish errata - lists of known errors - willingess to try find and minimize errors.
3-reorganization of texts - table of contents, indices and alphabetical organization
-w/ first dictionaries, adults had to learn abc's.
4-data collection - big improvements in it
-Theatrum atlas project - people give feedback from all Europe - had 28 republished editions
-large scale conversation of all europe.
5-preservation - most handwriting and handwritten docs not last forever
-if handwritten copied, there is textual drift cuz small mistakes
-if have printed, don't go forever, but have lots more of them so some last.
6-amplification and reinforcement of ideas - if have access to passages written earlier, reuse and republish and comment on them, etc.

-print also increased literacy -
-now, new kinds of literacy developing - cuz navigate web
-publish own words, images, videos, blogs, etc
-called network literacy, multi-literacies, digital literacy and seondary literacy.

-early 17th cent - 20-30% of pop are literate
-end of 18th cent - 70-90% literate

-up to 15th cent, reading meant do out loud
-intro of print -at same time, more people learning to read and do silently - reading changes HUGE - is now personal and not communal.
-new solitary relationship between person and text was sig reason for development of notion of separation between private and public.
-solitude of reading/writing -maybe changing w/ blogs cuz more explicitly social forms of writing.
-movement away from speeches - speech drew people togeth as listen -and movement TO printed reports - people draw apart as read - major changes in community structures.
-flipside - people who don't know one another could now read same text - new kind of impersonal connection - niche communities online are maybe version of this.


PRINTED PRECEDENTS OF BLOGS -
print media dominated by mass publishing -dissem instead of dialogue
-small scale and personal print publication
-17th cent - pamphlets - popular and widespread cuz of printing press - higher literacy and lift of censorship
-also periodicals - lift of gov censorship in Britain
-these lead to more print cuz best way to counteract print was thru more print that argued opposite.

-19th century - authors we today know as novelists also edited and published own personal newspapers
-Dumas - directed and/or wrote for 11.
-his own newspaper - sounds like a blog and inteded to write daily chronical of events.

-20th century - print publicaion outside large mass media helped by technology of photocopying.
-school newsletters, fanzines and photocopied annual family letters. -small-scale distrib and intended that commun be 2-way.
-'zine's' - amateur, independently produced mags are direct ancestor of blogs.

-biggest diff between blog and photocopied shit is:
-potential audience bigger w/ blog
-potential for direct communic between audience members.
-most blogs read by small group of people
-some audience random
-may gain popularity - w/ photocopy, would take LOTS more work to gain momentum and become fad than what happens on web now.
-print makes everyone reader - Xerox makes everyone publisher.
-but doesn't change authorship a lot.
-bloggers aware that audience may be greater than imagine - cannot control who reads
-changes the way we write??? -of course, lameass Rettberg doesn't expound on the one interesting thing she has to say.


Late Age of Print - may well be on way out of Age of Print
-Gutenberg Parenthesis - cultural period between intro of print and intro of Web
-dominated by print culture -mindset connected to print is temporary
-from broad historical perspective, only affected relatively brief period
-before print, lit and art were seen as malleable, flexible and changing.
-story performed again and again and changed
-song or tune has no owner, but played lotsa diff ways by diff people.
-intro of print, now think of literature as something fixed - book becomes autonomous unit -an original object that belonged to someone
-this leads to Romantic idea of author or artists as original genius.

-print still holds strong as culturally most respected medium.
-dominant medium in schools
-reading print lit - only consumption of media seen as so culturally important that governments fund programmes to increase it.


PUBLIC SPHERE-concept by Habermas - describes ideal democratic space for rational debate among informed and engaged citizens
-would be arena mediating between state and society
-lotsa criticism, but concept is still used lots and lots
-relevance to web and blogging
-connection between creation of modern idea of private and public to creation of liberal, capitalist society where news is commodity sold.
-18-19th century culture of open debate in newspapers of Europe
-open debates that occur in public sphere are seen necessary to true democracy.
-decline public sphere regularly lamented.
-tied to electronic media - TV and radio
-one way - dissem of news shows made reasoning and debate between individs almost impossible.
-idea of public life put to end - increased knowledge have about social groups, but now no contact with that group is nec in order to know.
-this not all fault of electronic media - just fulfils cultural impulses that form over 1.5 centuries -
-WITHDRAW FROM SOCIAL INTERACTION
-CUZ THEN FEEL MORE AS A PERSON.
-19 century concert halls and theaters began having crowd silence as the norm.
-passivity begins and is same for elect media.

-now audiences not passive - on web, on TV
-newspapers expand traditional letters to editor column - allow readers comment on individ articles in online edition
-builds infrastructure for discussion boards and blogs.
-now have TV where phone in is more - is SMS's displayed or used as votes

-concern over internet - shift from printed to TV and net - unimagined broadening of media sphere.
-public sphere were in public sphere - now is more inclusive and flooded w/ exchange of ideas - intellectuals now suffocate from excess.

-THIS: USE OF INTERNET BOTH BROADENED AND FRAGMENTED CONTEXTS OF COMMUNICATION.
-contributions by intellecturals lose their power to create focus.
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-re: blogs - authority of them not just who can write them, but who can read them - soooooooooooo many - too many writers/readers, suffocate from excess
-same criticism of British coffee houses - too much of 'public sphere' and debate - free dissem means lack of authority - ultimately is lack of control.


HYPERTEXT and COMPUTER LIB
Bush - advisor to Roosevelt during WWII - wrote 'As We May Think' - science helped humanity advance in many fields - but not used to help us THINK more efficiently.
-difficult access new info efficiently.
-too much published(?)
-devised memex - individ use - mechanized private file and library - store all books, records and communications - mechanized so consult w/ speed and flexibility - enlarged intimate supplement to one's memory.
-microfilm copies of books, etc.
-2 screens - each prjects page.
-CONTROLS ALLOW USER TO MAKE CONNECTIONS OR LINKS BETWEEN DOCUMENTS AND TO ADD NOTES.
-PROFESSION OF TRAILBLAZERS - people who built trails of links thru documents - if interested in topic, could purchase trail linking several diff documents about topic.
-parallels to web and web encyclopedias

-Ted Nelson - '65 - HYPERTEXT - body of written or pictorial material interconnected in such complex way that it could not conveniently be presented on paper.
-later said - one kind of hypermedia - forms of writing which branch or perform on request - best presented on computer display screens
-discrete hypertexts - separate pieces of text connected by links.
-blogs are discrete hypertext.
-Engelbart - invents mouse and GUI in '60's
-before this, all computing was command-line based where user types in command and computer prints response to screen or paper.
-75 - first pc's available - sold in kits to be put together - no monitor - just blinking lights.
-82 - first pc w/ GUI and mouse - Apple - Lisa
-84 - more popular Mac.
- Nelson foresee's world where everyone publish and author hypertexts - named network 'Xanadu' after Kubla Khan poem - 'docuverse'

-TECHNOLOGICAL DETERMINISM - technology determines social and cultural trends and patterns.
-tech doesn't happen in void and is influenced by culture. -CO-CONSTRUCTION - mutually dependent.
-examines radio as one-way vs two-way communication - wasn't ever developed to point where was major form of two-way commun.
-cell phones instead.
-why uni-directional instead two-way??
-COST.
-LEGISLATION -limited broadcasting rights - need skills and equipment AND license from government.
-total no. frequencies for TV and radio limited.
-'arial anarchy' - FCC since '34 -
-pirate radio stations - broadcast from ships outside country's waters.