Description


We are using the search model Blogging as a Social Activity∞, Nardi, Schiano, and Gumbrechet. pdf.
We are going to focus on how the object-oriented activity in blogging. It appears that David has multiple objects for posting. David's blog does not necessarily fall under one category when it comes to his reason to write. In the posts that I have looked at, I saw all five of the following objects:

1. Update others on activities and whereabouts
2. Express opinions to influence others
3. Seek others’ opinions and feedback
4. “Think by writing”
5. Release emotional tension

Layout

The blog David's musings contains three columns set against a blue background. The left and right columns are white and green and the center column is white.

The headet is light blue in color, with white lettering. In the header is the description of the blog. The final thing in this column is another link to a previously linked blog, as well as links to that blogs recent posts.

The left column contains the about section of the blog,as well as links to David's complete profile and email. There is also a picture of David under the About Me title. Following the about me section there are several links which are to other blogs, as well as a site that offers help in increasing the readers blog traffic. The second left column contains David's Traffic rank, page rank, comment box, and an add.

The right column provides a drop box that can translate the blog into a number of different languages. This is followed by David's Musings copyright and licensing information. This columns also provides the subscription box, and the number of current subscribers. There are many more links to different sites including more sites that promise the key to blog traffic. In the second right column there are more links, followed by the Blog Archive. The archive is organized by month and year. Clicking on the month will drop down individual posting for that month

The center column contains the blog posts in chronological order. They are organized by date, title, and content. The date is in green lettering, and the title and the rest of the post are in black lettering.

Content

I will be examining the following posts:

The Rest of the Story talks about the life and passing of radio newscaster Paul Harvey. The blogger discussing his feelings on Paul's death, and how it has impacted him.

The $27,000 Phone Bill is about a news story involving an overcharged phone bill. David summarizes the story is the first paragraph, and then discussing his thoughts on the situation in the second paragraph. Both paragraphs are fairly long in a length.

When is a Lie Not a Lie is about the news story involving Herman Rosenblat. In the first paragraph, David discussed Herman's book deal and the lies he told in order to get it. David also shares some of his opinions in this paragraph. The second paragraph is devoted to the opinions of David. David criticizes both Oprah and Herman. These paragraphs are both long and embedded with links.

Cats, Dogs, and Kids contains a video of funny moments involving animals and kids. The first paragraph is long, and describes David's old cat. David goes into detail how he loved the cat, and how his ex-wife gave the cat away. The second paragraph is shorter than the first. It introduces the reader to the video that follows.

The Recession talks about the recession that has occurred in the U.S. economy and how it is affecting society. The first paragraph talks about the delay of a stainless steel operation in David's hometown of Mobile, Alabama. Davids talks about how this will hurt many people. In the second paragraph David talks about how local restaurants in his town are suffering from the recession. He states that business has been declining, and prices have been dropping in order to keep customers coming. David predicts that some restaurants will go out of business, and expresses anxiety for the future.

Commonalities in these posting are seen through the use of pictures, embedded links, and paragraph length and numbers. The posts are usually about news stories and David's opinions on them. The first paragraphs are usually summaries. The second paragraphs usually contain more opinions and interpretations on the stories and situations that David is discussing.


Characterization


David's Musings is a personal blog. There is a broad target audience in which David is writing for. The blog is not meant to be used for professional purposes, although it does touch on a variety of topics from current events, to politics, to his personal happenings in his own life.

Analysis


David's Musings is a blog that serves as a social activity for the blogger. David uses all of the object oriented activities in the article by Nardi, Schiano, and Gumbrechet. In the blogs that I have described, I will focus on three of the activities that David is doing through his writing. David is:

Expressing opinions to influence others


In the five posts that I have described, all five of them contained a great deal of David's personal opinion on the subject matter. Three of these blogs contained opinion for the purpose of influencing others.

In The Rest of the Story, the David expressed his opinions on the life and impact of Paul Harvey. In this post, David is setting out to persuade the reader that Paul Harvey was one of the greatest radio voices of his time.

The next post that sets out to influence others is When is a Lie not a Lie. David expresses his disgust for the situation, giving reasons for what this is morally wrong. He also points out that Herman was not reprimanded enough for his action. Herman expresses distaste for Oprah's actions for putting his fraudulent story on her "Love Lessons" list. By calling out Oprah, David is trying to persuade the public that Herman got off to easy for what he did.

The third post that uses David's opinions to influence others is "The Recession." In this post David is using local examples of the impacts of recession to persuade others of his opinion of the recession. By calling up specific examples, David is able to make a better case for the severeness of the recession. By making a case, he is working towards persuading his readers to think that same way he is thinking.

Seek Others Opinions and Feedback


There are many ways that David is seeking the opinions and feedback of others. There is a comment box feature, so not only can the reader leave a comment of on particular blog, but they can also leave one on the main page. David chose specifically to have this feature included in his blog. David regularly responds to comments in this comment box.

People also leave their comments on the actual postings themselves. In the five posts that I have looked at, four of them had comments. David responded to comments on all four of these posts.

Releasing Emotional Tension


In many of his posts David seems to be writing to release some sort of emotional tension. In the five that I looked at, two of them seemed to be sprung from emotional tension in the first place.

Cat's Dogs and Kids is the best example of David's release of his emotional tension. This post, although containing a light hearted video, talks about a sad event in David's life; his divorce, and his having to part ways from his dog. The post seems to be confessional in a way. Talking about his painful experience and relating it to the video about animals is a way to relieve the emotional tension that David is dealing with.

Patterns of Blog Elements


Patterns of Repetition

-David uses photos in just about everyone of his posts. The photos are usually on the right side of the post. For posts with multiple photos, David rotates photo placement form right to left.

-There doesn't appear to be any pattern in the post lengths. When David is being the most serious/organized the post is roughyl three paragraphs. However, David tends to ramble in some of his posts, leading to a variety of post lengths.

-Posts with videos tend to have the least amount of text. The video themselves are the main purpose of the post.

-David posts the most in the early morning hours between 3 and 6 AM

-David labels (or tags) each post with multiple labels, usually around three or four.

- David uses embedded links in his posts. The only posts that don't have embedded links have videos.

- David posts a lot. On average he does 25 posts a month

Patterns of Sequencing

David starts out a lot of his posts with facts and finishes with opinions. For example, in writing about current events, David starts the post with a summary of the event, before later going into his personal opinions.

Patterns of Omission

-David doesn't address where it is exactly that he is writing from.

-David doesn't address why he is writing so early in the morning.

Anomalies to Patterns

-There is at least one post that he posted at 1 AM.
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