29 March 2008
18 March 2008
14 March 2008
Memes are habits, skills, songs, stories, or any other kind of information that is copied from person to person.
Henry Jenkins and his colleagues have been doing the 1,2,3 challenge, a sort of literary meme:
- Look up page 123 in the nearest book
- Look for the fifth sentence
- Then post the three sentences that follow that fifth sentence on page 123.
- "But when the private individual and private life entered literature (in the Hellenistic era) these problems inevitably were bound to arise. A contradiction developed between the public nature of the literary form and the private nature of its content. The process of working out private genres began. (M.M. Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination)
- "However, such interpenetration does not necessarily mean that the two are combined. The transparency of blogging, especially when the authors are identified by name, leads to an unusual collapsing of the public and private sphere, a regression to rural life and concentric social circles. The very elements of blogging that make it most valuable - a networked audience, open conversation, low barriers to entry, and transparency - are also most threatening to established strictures of academic behavior." (Alexander Halavais, Scholarly Blogging: Moving toward the visible college, in Uses of Blogs)
There seems to be a theme here...
- "Why can't we just hide?"
"You have an answer for everything."
(Robert Crais, The Watchman)
13 March 2008
Nothing about the money, or AOL on the Bebo front page. What's hot today on Bebo is the All-for-Nots ("The band that will conquer the world wide web...unless they run out of gas.") It's all about music, and videos, and your Bebo skins , but a press release is to be found in the press section:
"Bebo is the perfect complement to AOL's personal communications network and puts us in a leading position in social media," said Randy Falco, Chairman and CEO, AOL. "What drew us to Bebo was its substantial and fast-growing worldwide user-base, its vision of a truly social web, and the monetization opportunities that leverage Platform-A across our combined global audience. This positions us to offer advertisers even greater reach and marketers significant insights into the desires and needs of consumers."
Today, surprisingly enough, the advertiser on the front page was the University of Liverpool, for their online masters course.
Back to the marketplace...
11 March 2008
The Little one was sick. I got a call from the school, Madam, your Little One is not feeling well, please come and collect him. And so it goes. First of all, a pale face and downturned mouth ... "I have a sore throat and a sore head and a sore tummy and I don't feel well and I don't want anything to eat." WHAT? You don't want anything to eat? Come here, my little one, the best thermometer in the world, a kiss against a forehead, does not lie. Tis a virus, a nasty one, a sore throaty one, a fevery one, one where you get up every two hours during the night to inform your mother of your plight. So we administer Calpol (although not every two hours, having read both the leaflet and the very scary blog post on paracetamol overdoses) , hot drinks and honey, and cuddles galore.
And in the morning, you are still poorly, but well enough to force down some hot chocolate and toast with honey while you watch National Geographic's endless documentaries on tigers, pigs, dogs, crocodiles, lions... and your poor mother tries to keep her eyes open and her brain on lofty matters to cram in her thesis.
The said chapter, chapter 3, the bane of my life, now proudly owns 4000 words!!! I know, we are still far from the required 9000 before next Thursday, but hey, a few more sleepless nights and I'll be able to type drivel like noone before.
Onwards to the kitchen and a cup of coffee, and hopefully inspiration thereafter. Or a documentary on wild hogs. Whatever.
09 March 2008
Daithí's post today reminded me once again of the bi-annual mental block that grips me when we have to change time. Every year, twice a year, my brain freezes as I try to comprehend whether we lose or gain time as the clock goes backwards or forwards. This year, I won't even try, because time is all in your mind, or so says the New York Times:
the time we experience bears little relation to time as read on a clock. The brain creates its own time, and it is this inner time, not clock time, that guides our actions. In the space of an hour, we can accomplish a great deal — or very little.
The time related to my thesis seems to expand and shrink at a furious rate. Thursday and Friday, time had shrunk, and the output was great. Today, time is slow slow slow, and the output - nonexistent. I could calculate a word to hour ratio and correlate it with the internal clock that speeds or slows down time. If I could add or multiply, or divide, or whatever it is that has to be done for calculating ratios. Or if I had time to learn basic maths and then progress to genius level maths, and then I could also study the time expansion technique that is procrastination. Or I could go back to writing.
05 March 2008
03 March 2008
I also got a lesson in time management from Grandad, who blogs for 30 minutes (or was it an hour and 30 minutes?) in the morning, then writes (he got a book deal, you see...) and then works at his other job. And makes time for a 2 hours nap in the afternoon. It got me to wonder if this was not the answer to my writing problem. Maybe if I start the day with a blog post, and time myself for this (30 minutes would have to do), then the words might flow on the thesis front...
He also mistook me for Kathy Foley, whose name is so similar to mine, but she has a K and no W; she also has a different take on blogs and blogging. Reading this column, once more I am startled at the different meanings for the word blog, and its constant linking to conventional media. As Haydn points out, it seems that "influential" bloggers are journalists. Other bloggers who make the transition into print media are those with the fabled "book deal". However, this book deal often sees the death of the blog in its glorious vitality, one must presume in order to keep some material for the publishers. This has not happened to Twenty Major, the recipient of the Best Blog award, whose blog is still vibrant and funny and ... a blog (I must confess that I have not read his book, and thus cannot compare it to the posts).
The conventional media tend to overlook the vast majority of blogs, which are personal blogs. However, academics and academic bloggers tend to concentrate on those, rather than on journalistic blogs, except maybe in the field of media studies. What fascinates me in blogs and blogging is the emergence of a new form of communication rather than a new form of publishing, and the blogs I prefer to read are snippets of life.
01 March 2008
This is how he defines it:
A web-essay is a way of thinking by playing with images and making networked connections. Mostly those connections are made by the way images are placed on the screen and then glued together with some words.(...)
Writing from the top to the bottom of writing tablets fits with a linear line of argumentation. Where people don't write they don't often do that; they tell stories in a chronological storyline to achieve suspense in their listeners; or they try to persuade their listeners by getting them excited and worked up.The whole essay deserves much more time than I could give it this morning, it is a fascinating read to which I will come back again and again.