Rachael's Kick Ass Blog!

The irony is....DUN DUN DUNNNNN, my research is actually ABOUT blogging. Crazy. So this blogging may prove to be most useful to my research. Let's all wait with bated breath...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I Found A Fellow Blogging Enthusiast: Meet Tim

Hey there Kids!
I write tonight with some potential good news, only I'm hoping that maybe you good people wouldn't mind double checking my enthusiasm b/c I don't that I can be TOO sure that this is good news. But, I'd like to think it is b/c that would be encouraging for my research and thus my paper.

I found a couple of articles on Kairos about Place Blogging, or also, Blogging Place.(http://english.ttu.edu/kairos/10.1/coverweb/lindgren/audience.htm). Ever heard of it?
....
Me neither, only it turns out to be actually a cool thing that people can and actually do in regards to blogging. I somehow ran across it when I ran a search in Kairos looking for "Blogging" and "audience." Apparently, these particular bloggers keep weblogs about Place, the place they live, the place their visiting, the place that keeps them occupied.

Now what that has to do with audience is something that Tim Lindren goes into at length, but just to pull out a couple of interesting quotes for starters:

"Both Lorianne's posts and her blog as a whole offer essayistic qualities that have been remediated in this new genre. In "Saving a Place for Essayistic Literacy," Doug Hesse argues for the ongoing relevance of the essay tradition in the midst of the increasing prevalence of networked, digital literacies. Writing before the emergence of blogging as a genre, Hesse identifies similar cultural kairos to what Miller and Shepard describe as the "flux of subjectivity" created by online communication..."

"One might increase one's knowledge of another place, but insight into other ways to engage a place--heuristics and ways of thinking that one can bring back to blogging about one's own place...The role of the distanced audience in place blogging may be to remind us that the local and the global are intimately related in a globalized economy."

So my enthusiasm begins when I hear Lindgren not only acknowledge blogging as its own genre, but that there are also subgenres within blogging, and that underneath all of that, there is a foundation of the "essay" that binds these subgroups together...or at least, the potential for that kind of writing is highly recognizable....
I think that the further I go in my research and in my reflection, I can't help but be more and more convinced that blogging is its own genre. Of course, it has its antecedents such as journaling, logging, memoirs, journalism, media monitoring service, etc...(e.g. Lindgren), but that fact alone supports this idea that blogging does fit into that category of genre b/c it DOES have antecedent writing genres. It's as Lindgren explains, "....blogging [is] a rare chance to witness a process akin to what evolutionary biologists call 'speciation,' the development of a new species, or in this case, a new genre."

If this is true, what does that mean for students to whom we assign blogging? What kind of impact will they have in shaping this new genre? What does this recognition do for us as comp instructors? Who do we account for this in our pedagogical approach in the classroom? And how could we possibly avoid personal narrative if we assign blogging when one of of blogging's ancestral parents is personal essays?

Friday, April 14, 2006

More questions by which to crush your brain...

It's late in the day on friday, and I have yet to post to my blog.
I think b/c everytime I think about writing something, this time around, I am worried about falling short of this particular goal I had in mind. See this week, I've been kicking around this question of audience in regards to blogs. Mind you, it's not a fully articulated question, and so there's no real answer or answerS that I could offer, but for some reason, I felt like I should have more to "report" than just some vague questioning about that connection.
But I don't.
All I got are these meandering thoughts:
So here it goes--
In the discussion we had during my oral rough draft, way back when, we tabled the idea about whether or not blogging could be considered its own writing genre. Not everyone seemed completely comfortable with that. But in the article by Miller (who I am beginning to think is becoming most influential in my research), she didn't seem to hesistate with assigning blogging that kind of status.
I wonder about this range of opinion, and I wonder about the various routes of logic people took to gain those opinions. Someone mentioned blogging as a merely a tool for composition; indeed, technology itself could be seen that way in the composition classroom. However, in many readings in our class, there is this collective and urgent message that technology means so much more to composition. My question is: why shouldn't blogging?
I think this boiled down to various definitions of the term "genre."
I can see that as being a kind of prism that splits the issue/question into a continuum of responses.
But I also wonder if the reason why we would hesitate to assign this genre status to blogging has anything to do with the same kind of hesitation that some compositionists feel in regards to personal narrative. I mean, it's no secret that in regards to that subject there is also quite the polarization of opinion. And the fact that blogging and personal writing are connected in everyone's mind is undeniable.
Could it be possiblel that we hesitate to give blogging that kind of space and import b/c we see blogging as mostly "personal" writing rather than actual academic writing? How does this binary of "personal" and "academic" writing infiltrate the blogosphere?

And how does this relate to the issue of audience?

I think that one of my major emerging contentions about this entire matter is that what shoots blogging straight to the center of our attention as compositionists and student-community members of the composition and computers field centers on the issue of audience. I think that the element of audience in blogging is particularly revolutionary and unprecedented in the academy...the internet/cyber world made that possible, and in turn, blogging made it a material reality. But it is difficult to reach that point in the discussion if we have yet to resolve the split between those who promote personal writing and those who don't.
And just to make it that much more complicated, could there be a similar parallel about personal writing itself? What about personal narrative and the element of audience? How do those two relate? As present and future comp instructors, is there something about the way personal narrative addresses its audience that goes against the grain of the academic discourse to which we are committed to teach?
And are we resistant to this style of audience address b/c we kind of agree with the split b/tween "personal" writing and "academic" writing, even if pedagogically we know better? i.e. we know that writing is far more complicated than some oversimplified division between "genres" of writing......

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Meet my inner Exhibitionist and her little friend, The Voyeur.

I am seriously digging on this multi-colored ink option. I hope that doesn't get annoying.
And all that is seriously beside the point b/c I have promised you a little exhibitionism...but I lied. I am not really going to exhibit myself. At least nor more than I already do in class. I was trying to come up that Catchy title. Did I catch you? Mwahahahaha.

However, (new color, new discussion topic) I am going to dig a little deeper into that discussion we began in class about exhibitionism and voyeurism. But only b/c I am still tripping on that idea in connection to blogging. The article I had brought into class, Into the Blogoshere, Blogging as Social Action: A Genre Analysis of the Weblog, by Carolyn R. Miller, (http://blog.lib.umn.edu/blogosphere/) really got me thinking about not only the issue of blogging as a genre of writing, but also why it could be argued so. I think that it has something to do with this idea of exhibitionism and voyeurism, which perhaps isn't that surprising. I mean the blogosphere kind of elicits those behavioral instincts both/either as writers and/or readers. And just as a side note, I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing. I think it might just be a human thing (a more analytical and academic argument to support that claim still pending). The layer of this discussion that I am most interested in is why does blogging do that? And how does that relate to the composition classroom? Here is my little, and as-of-yet unverified, theory. I think that it does all center around the issue of audience. As someone stated so eloquently in class the other day, the element of audience for blogging is potentially infinite (although not likely) and that changes a lot of dynamics for any writer. And because of that, the experience of writing extends beyond whatever present moment a writer may be in, including the classroom. I think this is one reason to support the relationship of blogging and the composition class, but I also wonder about the flip side. Or maybe I mean dark side. I suspect that in the same way I may use that aspect of blogging to justify blogging in the classroom, it is also possible to argue that it's a bad idea for the same exact reason. We kind of went over this in class the other day, but I am still going round and round in my head about that discussion. I think b/c that fascinates me. That duality to the issue of blogging and the composition classroom seems like a particularly pertinent parallel (I totally didn't mean to alliterate myself like that) to the way people seem to both love and loath blogging in general.

New color. And a tangent: I wonder if that circles back to this issue of exhibitionism and voyeurism. If you think about those two aspects of human behavior, it seems to be something that we both love and hate about ourselves as human beings. What I mean is, we love the whole interplay between exhibitionism and voyeurism b/c it is vastly entertaining, but we also dislike it because it seems to go against certain set cultural values. And yet, (watch me go) I have another little unverfiable theory: it seems to me that most human behavior begins and ends with some aspect of either exhibitionism or voyeurism. Talking to Shana the other day about that very thing in relation to reading, I mean what else IS reading but voyeurism? There's a lot of guilty pleasure that goes with that, especially if it's reading that you enjoy...a book that you just "can't put down." And for that writer, how scandalous does it feel to write something that has the potential to absorb and attract a lot of people?

How does this relate to blogging and composition? I know it does somehow, so now I must go hunting in my head and through my sources....