15 October 2009

A technological sense of humour

Some relents of Hal today in my RSS reader. DCU's president wrote a blog entry on celebrities'  "autobiographies", fame and popular culture. The entry was filed under "culture" and "society". It was tagged with "autobiography", "popular culture" and the names of two of the celebrities in question, Jordan and Britney Spears. Only a wicked sense of humour on the part of some blogging technology imp could explain the automatically generated links: nothing about culture, be it popular or not, nothing on autobiography or life writing. No, the blogging imp created links to Jordan's family photographs and "naughty hottie photos"! And then, as an afterthought, although a puzzling one, a link to Obama's back to school speech. Are the imp and the president(s) suggesting Jordan should go back to school?

01 October 2009

Blogging teens

Tommy has created a secondary school blog directory, as a way of highlighting blogs written in Ireland by young people.  He has already listed a few of them.  From my research, it certainly seems to be true that blogging starts later, in university. However, there are also quite a number of young people blogging on platforms like LiveJournal, and who may prefer to stay outside the blogging mainstream, using their blogs or journals as a means of communicating with online or offline friends, either about the minutiae of their lives or about some special interests, like gaming or fan fiction.

Irish young people did not join in the big blogging craze which spread amongst their european counterparts, notably in France where the Skyblog platform became an oblogatory rite of passage for teenagers.  Its format however was very similar to that of social network sites to come, and young people eventually migrated to Facebook in France, MySpace or Bebo in the UK, and Bebo in Ireland. And interestingly, the blogging facility on social network sites like Bebo was rarely if ever used, or solely for quizzes and memes. At the same time however, a small yet consistant number of young people in Ireland started blogs initially on Diaryland, and then increasingly on LiveJournal, which has a dual role of blogging platform , but includes social network site facilities, like lists of friends and interests.  It is also home to some very active communities of interest, notably for fan fiction writers and readers.

Yet I must say that, like Tommy, I would love to see more young Irish people create blogs within the mainstream blogging community, and make their voices heard on issues which concern them, or simply tell their stories. I would also love to read more blogs from older people, and hear their stories as well. We need more voices, more stories which will create a patchwork of narratives, making for a more inclusive blogging community.