Wednesday, March 16, 2005
A Little Bit of This and That
A couple of little titbits from the blogging world. Firstly, in a link you may need to subscribe to in order to read, The Daily Free Press discusses how:
the Federal Elections Commission will take a stab at defining the blog and whether it is free speech, political speech or a new form of the press.
The idea seems to be the discussion of regulating blogs like other forms of media. The authors warn that regulation should apply to some more than others, but regardless, regulating the internet has so far proved incredibly hard. It's an interesting piece.

In a much more light hearted piece it seems that Nostradamus predicted white male bloggers (from The Blog Herald.)
But yonder on the horizon lurks the peoples of myriad pigmentation and genital presentation, ready to start blohing. Blohing the truth and the lies far and wide.

Thursday, March 10, 2005
Do Re Me
Hard as it is to believe in this period of link-providing blogosphere-discussing frenzy, I have actually been doing some work on my own. I spent most of last month catching up with other things, and so had nothing to say. Now I'm on top of that, I can just do it at the rate I was before Christmas.

So I've been finishing up some writing, re-drafting some work I did while I was away. It's impressive just how much you can change by reading over your work. I never used to do that, I think I was just too lazy, leaving everything to the last minute, but I've learnt it really helps. Not least because it saves other people time having to point out all the very basic mistakes. I mean, I'm not the worlds greatest writer, and I have an annoying tendency of making really long sentences, with far to many commas, in inappropriate, places.

So I have a nicer section describing my methodology, and I expanded my discussion on weblogs. Mainly, I was adding blurb on academic work on blogs. Turns out, there's a lot more than I thought there was. Mostly people are looking at blogs as a network, social or for knowledge dissemination, but there is some work closer to mine.

I found a couple of really nice resources for academic discussion of weblogs. One is basically an online collection of essays, Into the Blogosphere, and it has some very interesting pieces. Then there's BROG, weblog research on genre, gender, audience, and social networks. They also list papers written by their contributors.

There really is some very interesting stuff out there, and as I sift through it all, taking it in, I shall endeavour to discuss it here.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Librarian Dooced
So one of the links I found while googling dooced was to a librarian from New Zealand, bizgirl. You can read her full story, following various links here but to cut a long story short, she posted about the fact that she had taken CD's home and copied them. Read more and you'll see that she had received a series of warning regarding her blog.

People didn't like what was being said about them, and even though it was anonymised, they could still tell it was them. Her colleagues also felt she had pulled a sickie, because she blogged how she had been drinking at a party on the afternoon of the day in question.

It does seem silly to keep blogging things that can get you into trouble when people you work with know about your blog. I guess the feeling is that if you calm down at first, they'll forget about it. But it seems that once people know that you are writing about them, vanity assures they will constantly check. People want to know what you are saying about them. one of those art/life imitation scenarios, it seems that friend of hers is producing a small play based on her blog. Interesting. She's also up for a bloggie.

I saw something on CNN's TV text service talking once more about bloggers losing their jobs. This prompted me to check out their website for more of the story. It's once more about companies and employees needing to work out some sort of policy on blogging.

What was interesting though, was that the article talks about companies that actively encourage blogging, like Sun Microsystems. Also, from the TV but not the website, I learnt that apparently there is a term for getting fired for blogging - dooced. This comes from the name of the website of one of the early blogging sackees, Heather B. Armstrong. I personally have never come across the term before, but maybe that's because I've only been reading news storys, and not actual blogs. Turns out google it, and there's 16,000 + uses. Wow...lot of bloggers getting themselves into trouble.

Also on CNN, the first blogger has been admitted to the news briefing at the White House.

Monday, March 07, 2005
Blogs All Over Again
No blogs aren't over, finished, kaput. Blogs are all over the place for us to read about and watch. Firstly, thanks, bizarrely enough, to the media gossip sheet Gawker I've found yet more on blogs from the Daily Show. Follow the links on Gawker and you'll find the video.

Also, it turns out that blogs are good for your health. It's from two blogging Doctors with an interest in things neurological. As you might expect then, blogs won't make you rich, or help you get fit, it's all about mental stimulation. For the readers and the writers. And not all blogs. It really has to be a good thought provoking mentally challenging blog that really get's you thinking.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005
The Good, The Bad and The Humourous Satire

So once again there has been a round of blog discussion in the media, and I must thank my darling wife greatly for sending me many of the links herein.

First of we have the increasingly common blog causes job loss scenario. It's mainly of interest to me because not only is he apparently the first in the UK to lose his job, but he is a Local Blogger and he got fired from the very Waterstones store I have frequented often. I didn't notice how long ago this happened (January) but in a link that may require subscription it turns out that he was headhunted by Forbidden Planet, which is nice.

As has been discussed many times, this is increasing a a danger of blogging. It is one of the bad side's of blogging. There is a worry that people might have to start policing blogs in some way, companies monitoring their employees personal webspace, in case they say anything bad. There are now also some pieces discussing bloggers' rights.

On the good side, the is the power that bloggers can yield over the mainstream media. There have been many occasions were reports on television or in newspaper have been questioned, and ultimately shown to be inaccurate by the due diligence of the worlds blogging community.

Some people consider however that that may also be a bad thing. Power corrupts, and power in the wrong hands can be a dangerous force. Can bloggers be too reactionary, to quick to condemn, and jump on a misguided bandwagon. By the time the wagon is halfway down the hill, it may be going to fast to stop. Try these articles for more on this.

On a personal basis, you just have to know who to trust. I actually saw blogs discussed on television over the weekend. ABC News anchor Peter Jennings was on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, mainly discussing his new special on UFOs. At one point, he made a casual reference to blogs, but they later discussed them in more detail. He admitted that he reads blogs. He said that it takes time to find ones you can trust and believe in, but they can be a very good thing. Vis a vis, they can also be bad.

In fact, looking around the daily show website (in the UK, CNN show a once weekly Daily Show Global Edition, so we don't see all the reports), I found a piece by their very funny correspondent, Stephen Colbert, on "fact" obsessed bloggers. As with much on The Daily Show, it was a satirical piece mock-mocking bloggers for their accurate reporting of facts, and refusal to tow party lines.

So it seems weblogs are still growing in importance, but whether or not they will revolutionise media and politics, or be just a tool of the moment, remains to be seen.

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