Friday, December 4, 2015

writing and blogging

Word count:
Thurs, Dec 3: 554 words
Fri, Dec 4: 574 words
How do you describe a blog? This is almost the entire post - something I am uncomfortable pasting - but the author did ask for input, so I guess or hope that gives me the leeway to share the content.  For crying out loud, answer the question with me, so it is clear I am sharing and not taking!

But there is more too it [a blog and blogging] than that. A blog is not just about a place for the author to broadcast, it is also a place for conversation. To be a blogger is to be a part of a community of the bloggers. Different types of blogs have different cultures. The blog-o-sphere isn’t one thing. It is not something that can simply be identified.
We could think of a blog as a living thing. Something that is fed – primarily by the blog author – but also by those who choose to comment. Those who engage in conversation also feed the blog, encouraging the author to continue.
I have a challenge ahead of me. I want to blog as dissertation. I want to blog as data collection. But before I can do that, I need to define what a blog is. I need to define it for the lay person who is note familiar with technology. I also need to define it for my community. I need to define it for an external examiner. I need to someone make static the dynamic and living thing that is a blog.
And so, I ask my readers, how do you define a blog? What are the ‘things’ that make a blog a blog, rather than a website or a personal public journal? What makes a blog a unique digital media?
I don't think a blog can fully be described as " a journal or log that is online" even if that is the origin of the name - weB  + LOG = 'blog'.  It is used as a journal but for so much more.  I personally have six or seven currently in use and I use most simply as a simple form of content storage online.

"Six or seven blogs!", you say incredulously.  "What the heck?"

Well, three of them contain content for classes I teach.  I am uncertain how easy it would be for you to find them as I originally set them as private.  Privacy settings change all the time.  Anyway, I am not offering links. The blogs are filled with Powerpoint and Google Slides that I can use in class with the link but without signing in.  I don't like to use my password on university computers for fear of keyloggers or other password gathering malware.

So those three were in roughly chronological order but exist now only as storage.

I infrequently post content on my evolution proponent page where I argue against creationist talking points. I focus on easily rebutted creationist claims in the hope that creationists would see my simple responses and move on to new or less outdated arguments.  That's a lot to expect from a fourth rate blog by a third rate biologist. Still, I enjoy writing there.  It is not topical in the way I expect a 'proper blog' to be.

My blog Gangwon Notes was my original blog and it was my signature effort.  I was one of only a few English speakers in the rural province of Gangwondo, South Korea, so I had the niche to myself.  It was a mix of wildlife and nature posts, ESL discussion and local news and events.

This blog is focused on my efforts to be creative and also be a place for me to store research and inspiration from other creative people.

So, I have now described my blogs as places for: storage, PPT and educational resources, daily events, news, a space for argument and persuasion, and as a scrapbook.  I feel a 'real blog' should consist only of daily events and news, scrap-booking and persuasion.  It shouldn't primarily be a place for online storage.  Why I feel this way, I cannot fully say, but it feels to me like using a screwdriver as a bottle opener -it works but isn't designed for it.

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