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Links to my published articles online
List of Publications with Full Citations

2006
Adolescent Diary Weblogs and the Unseen Audience

2005
Conversations in the Blogosphere: An Analysis "from the Bottom Up". Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-38) Best Paper Nominee.

Weblogs as a bridging genre

2004
Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs. Winner of the 2004 EduBlog Awards as best paper.

Common Visual Design Elements of Weblogs

Women and Children Last: The Discursive Construction of Weblogs

Time until my next publication submission deadline
27 March 2006 23:59:59 UTC-0500


Links to my conference papers online
2005
The Performativity of Naming: Adolescent Weblog Names as Metaphor

2004
Buxom Girls and Boys in Baseball Hats: Adolescent Avatars in Graphical Chat Spaces

Time until my next conference submission deadline
31 March 2006 23:59:59 UTC-0500


Bibliographies
Adolescents and Teens Online Bibiliography
Last updated July 8, 2005.

Weblog and Blog Bibliography
Last Updated November 22, 2005.

My CiteULike Page

My Book2
New books are added but reading status is rarely accurate.


November 01, 2005

A weblog is a weblog is a weblog...and that includes diaries and journals

Weblog-ed today has a commentary on a USA Today article that I simply can't let slide by. I am completely taken aback by the limited definition of weblogs that he is applying here. I've very clear that under this definition nothing posted can be presonal, then it would be *collective gasp* a diary not a weblog. Interestingly he seems to be using diary and journal as interchangable terms, but in such as way that neither of them is a weblog. I am totally unclear on what he is defining as a weblog and on why he draws such a hard distinction, when very few others have found such a distinction to be practical.

USA Today says "Teens wear their hearts on their blog." Isn't that special. Just 'cause I don't think it can hurt anything to make the point again, what follows are not descriptions of blogging:

"...mostly they simply relay the details of their daily lives." Not blogging.

"Girls, who dominate blogging, use it especially to talk about personal feelings." Not blogging.

"Rypkema uses her blog to communicate with friends and as 'a way to pour out my emotions.'" Not blogging.

And some ironies in the descriptions:

"'I feel like family and close friends shouldn't be reading my diary in secret,' she says." Ah-HA! Not blogging. Diary-ing.

"While famous political bloggers have thousands of readers..." So, are they simply relaying the details of their daily lives?

"Experts are divided about whether and how parents should treat the journals -- especially when it comes to teens over 13." Double Ah-HA! JOURNALS! A different genre.

I know, I know. Let it go. Lost cause. Never win the battle. Etc...

But this portrayal is exactly why schools start banning them (even though they know they're journals) and more importantly, why they don't think of them as potential learning tools.

Of course I totally disagree with the point made above. All of the statements are examples of blogging. Rather than diaries and journals being a different genre than a weblogs, in fact all a weblog is is a posting venue, a venue that then has genres of which diaries/journals are one. Somehow we miss that books are a technology and fiction, romance, etc....are genre's of books.

< 11/1/05 06:32 p.m. > The debate is continuing on Weblog-ed, come join us and express your opinions after you read the comments to this post. I should add that you will need to register on his site to post comments there.

Posted by prolurkr at November 1, 2005 01:14 PM

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Comments

The blogger apparently has Humpty Dumpty syndrome: What "blog" means is what s/he says it means.

Not unusual; I've seen Big Names assert that *only* diary-style blogs are really blogs. Or that if there's not an outbound link in every post, it's not really a blog. Or that if posts are longer than (say) 200 words, it's not really a blog.

I hadn't thought about it that way, but calling them all "genres" isn't bad. Thanks. Too late for my latest essay on the topic ("Life trumps blogging," in a special Mid-Fall issue of Cites & Insights, probably out later today), but worth thinking about for the future.

Posted by: walt at November 1, 2005 01:59 PM

It's straightforward status games. Teen chatting is low status but we want blogging to be taken seriously as a learning tool so blogging can't be chatting or we'll never be able to get it adopted in the classroom. Never mind that if you introduce the tools for learning they will inevitably get used for socialising or that the socialising can itself be a (very different) form of learning.

Posted by: David Brake at November 1, 2005 03:21 PM

Hi, and thanks for reading. I just want to make a small attempt to clarify what I'm saying since I'm obviously not being very clear. I'm not applying any definition to weblogs. I am applying a definition to the writing we do in weblogs. Weblogs can be absolutely fantastic for any number of uses, diaries, journals, class portals among them. The distinction I'm trying to make is that the writing that you are doing here in your blog, that I do in my blog, is necessarily different from those who are using blogs as journals and diaries.

Look, we've always been able to journal. The use of a blog to do that just means that our audience expands, but it's still journaling. What we haven't been able to do (unless we had some html skills) before blogs is do the reading, thinking, linking and writing process that you are doing right here. That's something very different from journaling, and since it's unique to this tool, I call it blogging.

Does that make sense? The discussion on the post is open...I'd invite you to take part.

Thanks,

Will Richardson

Posted by: Will Richardson at November 1, 2005 05:40 PM

my blog is more diary-esque than anything else, yet my personal journaling / diary-ing looks quite different given that no one else should see it.

what I really want to know is why certain types of blogging need to position themselves as more worthy than others? if your writing class was about writing memoirs, diary blogging would be encouraged, so it's all about pedagogical purpose when it comes to having students blog, I'd say.

Posted by: bright star (B*) at November 1, 2005 06:30 PM