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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.


December 16, 2005

Viva la Mess! - a Friday morning rant

I think I am about to become a vocal member of the anti-structured blogging movement. Why on earth would we want to create a "structured" blogging format to make it more machine readable? Personally I only minimally care if a machine can read prolurker. As long as the softwares communicate among themselves I don't need no machine reading. Living is messy folks and blogging should mirror living. LOL Personally I don't want my blog to look like a formal technical communication.

Structured blogging addresses more of a use of CMS issue for knowledge management much like the debate about "are bloggers journalists" - well some are and some aren't...and some can be structured bloggers if that suits their needs. We don't need a "movement" though.

Reading:

About Structured Blogging

Structured Blogging and the Pull-and-Pay Dilemma

Posted by prolurkr at December 16, 2005 11:54 AM

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Comments

Have to disagree with you here, I'm all about the semantic web and findability. One of the purposes of having a blog is to network and collaborate with people you might not have run across elsewhere. (Like me, for example!). The more findable your blog, the better this works. Ok, so you don't do movie reviews very much. You do review books... more importantly, it would be great to have a format for CFP -- then we could search across blogs for events of interest to bloggers happening in may in Europe, etc. A heavy duty searcher can get around this by using fancy strings but... we want everyone to have this access.
Anyway, I respectfully disagree.

Posted by: Christina Pikas at December 16, 2005 04:01 PM

Well you can disagree with me Christina, just don't do it often. *raising one eyebrow while making a note*

I can say that while I agree a consistent format for CFP announcement on prolurker would make them easier to search. I can also say that I copy them from a variety of sources for reprint here. If I had to reformat each of them I'm fairly sure I would simply stop posting most of them. I put more time in the blog now than I probably should, but I enjoy it so I will keep posting. But anything that would take more time would force me to reanalyze that decision.

Posted by: Lois at December 16, 2005 05:42 PM

Lois, you wrote: "I copy [announcements] from a variety of sources for reprint here. If I had to reformat each of them I'm fairly sure I would simply stop posting most of them."

Structured Blogging could make the "reformating" much easier for you. If you had a CSS template for announcments then you could copy announcements from other sources and have them automatically re-formatted and presented in the style that you prefer. Similarly, if you decided to change the format later, then you would just change your template code (CSS or whatever) and all your announcements would assume the new style. This is the benefit that comes from providing more metadata and structure in the things we publish.

Your argument against Structured Blogging sounds to me like an argument for it... One of the many reasons we want to "to make it more machine readable" is so that it is easier for publishers like yourself to offload mechanical work unto the machines. As an author, your real contribution and value is in the selection of content you publish, the unique ideas and perspectives you provide, and the aesthetic choices you make concerning content presentation. The actual mechanics of making things appear the way you want them to is something that is, in most cases, better handled by the machines. We should let the mechanics of publishing be handled by the machines and liberate people to focus on the concepts, ideas, and selections for which we value people.

bob wyman

Posted by: Bob Wyman at December 17, 2005 02:51 PM

A Saturday afternoon rant continued from the Friday post:

Bob as much as I love computers, I will never be for anything that makes people conform to machines. Figure out how to make the machines deal with the individuality of people and their artifacts and then we can talk. It's basic HCI principles if I have to learn to do it in a specific way to make it easier for the machine than the idea is wrong headed.

Further the "structured" blog entries I have seen so far are about the most boring thing I can imagine visually doing to a blog post. All of the entires I have seen look like old style memos...headers, body (with limits and rules) and footer of sorts. While this may work for a subset of blogging genres it only works then by sucking the life out of any style that might exist in the blog. I'm back to my recommendation that some smart programmers need to figure out how to parse what is there rather than expecting a human to further conform to the limitations of the machine.

Posted by: Lois at December 17, 2005 03:18 PM

Well, think of it then like you think about getting stuff into your bibliographic manager. (procite, endnote, connotea, whatever). At first, and still occasionally, you had to cut and paste a lot. Now you know how it works and you just shoot stuff in directly from the database/journal/webpage, tag it, put it in a folder, and then reuse it liberally. I think if this manages to become widespread, you'd get that effect.

Posted by: Christina Pikas at December 18, 2005 12:38 AM

Well I think there are some major differences between my bibliographic software and my blog. First my bibliographic software database exists only to move data from one point to another...usually from one software system, the libraries database, to another, my word processing program. No one besides me accesses it in it's native form, where as people actually read prolurker on the website not just with RSS readers.

Second my use of a bibliographic software program is to help myself...I don't have to use it at all. Where as the push for structured blogging is being lead by blog search companies. It is not a grassroots movement.

Finally my bibliographic software was designed and implemented to use database structures. If I didn't have to use them trust me I wouldn't...the formality of the process slows down hand entry and retrieval but as you said I've never done it any other way. Of course this is not true with blogging as the original blog software systems are much more freeform than structured blogging.

I think this initiative will fail, except maybe with business/professional blogs where an employer can mandate a style. It will fail because much of the information that is present in structured blogs, at least based on my current experience with them, falls into the "why should I care about that" range. Why do I care that you started your post on Monday, finished it on Tuesday and then didn't post it until Wednesday....what does that really tell me? Why should I care that you wrote your post while sitting in your local Starbucks? Could a double-mocha latte have fogged your reasoning? More information isn't necessarily a good thing...sometimes it is just more.

Posted by: Lois at December 18, 2005 03:48 PM