Morgan's Notes on Rettberg Chaps 1 and 2

Blogging, 2nd ed

Chap 1

Blogging evolved. To understand it now, look at its history.

Blogging begins as an edited record of sites visited and recommended to others - with commentary. It started with links. Hence the log idea, like ships log.
So and so writes this, and Y replies with this.

Regularly posted, reverse chronological, and topic and interest driven. Idiosyncratic, so readers followed others whose interests interested them.

Look at the early bloggers: Justin, winer, blood, barger

At time when nerds were linking, others were beginning to anonymously post diaries. Weren't considered blogs at the time.

Both threads seemed to come together. Then Twitter, FB, other sites that fostered collecting images, vid, audio, or creating personally tailored web pages for shelve to use a home pages. Blogging fits into this kind of customization of a web hub space.

Huge growth. Lots of commercial interests started up blogs, less as personal space and more as another channel to broadcast the same stuff, occasionally from a slightly more personal angle, but still under sponsorship, and still as a commercial venture.

Ditto when companies and execs started using blogs, riding on the purported authenticity of the voice of the blogger.

Blogs quickly gained an ethos of authenticity. Of a voice speaking her mind, honestly and individually. Corporations rode that ethos. Still do.

Locate 3 illustrative blogs for each With some consideration of each, as examplified by Rettberg, chap 1. 300 - 400 words based on 20-30 mins of reading and exploring each. Description of th blog. Representative quote. Link. The idea is to discover and discuss more models of each type to better see the range of blogging styles or genres.


Some bloggers sidestep it because the blog is their own space, like soulemamma,s living room. Controversy may be against an unwritten rule of etiquette.

But they might also avoid it because they have commercialized their blog.

Blogosphere or blogipelico

p 28-9 networks of blogs, or, more like it, little archipelagos of networked islands, link by weak links.

Which means coverage of audience is not like a blanket or like a broadcast or a ray fanning out. Each reader enters by a link: they come to the blogger. They have to find the blogger. Relation with reader is not being welcomed into reader's home but of them coming to writer. Will consider this more in later chapter.

Defining : media and genres

This will occur again. Blog is a media, individual blogs can be grouped into genres, as above.

Listed here not as a final definition but features to watch for and consider.

Chap 2

Blogs exemplify a fundamental shift in how we communicate. They have been presented in media as diaries and bad journalism rather than in their own terms. They change the order of distribution, w a mass media broadcasting one way to a mass public.

This chapter is about getting past the mass media way of looking at blogs as bad diaries and bad journalism. Rettberg looks to history, literacy, social and cultural contexts. There are a number of topics in this chapter to consider and develop further.

Dialogue and dissemination
This is how R outlines the matter: blogs engage in both the mass comm model of broadcast and the dialogic model of one to one exchange. But unlike print, blogs can talk back.

The means we have to tend blogs. Discussions can be ongoing if they are answered. 38-41. They can be extended by others who quote and comment on a post. Where the ideas go is not entirely up to you. Your ideas can get out and roll around.

We also have read blogs differently than reading mass distributed print. Dissemination defines the listener as passive receiver of a given meaning, just waiting for delivered wisdom. Dialogue rests on the co-construction of meaning - active, and the listener has to be enabled to do her part. 41

Six features of print that changed culture
42 Rettberg uses these six so we can see the same features in blogs changing culture. We can see analogues in blogs.

New kinds of literacy
44 That we are more or less schooled and studied in.

Print precedents of blogs
46 pamphlets and polemics. Newsletters and fanzines. But big potential audience. Uniting across physical boundaries by topic and interests.

Gutenberg parenthesis
47. 500 years between print and web. Established characteristics of print and publishing. Book as unit, fixed by being printed. Author as artist or original genius. Ownership. Respected medium in part because there are hurdles. Created focused reading attention that is now seen a part of literacy. 48- 9. Privileged.

The public sphere
50. Idea is that a public sphere would be perfect exchange of information. But our culture makes news and other info a private commodity to be bought and sold, not shared freely. In this environ, open public, reasoned debate is not possible or wanted. Info comes pre-debated. Passivity is the logic of mass comm 51. That changes now. Mass comm outlets are even making public exchange possible w open comments on news sites. And they are commoditizing the exchange when possible.

Downside: the indiscriminate exchange of words lets in a lot of unwanted ideas. Dissemination means lack of control, and those who seek control are outed by blogs.

53. As a way of organizing knowledge. We see this played out on blogs in links, which a thoughtful blogger will use to organize other material that her post connects with. Links also place the post in a larger context of thought.

57. As set against co-construction. Leads to a social consideration of uni-directional mass media. 59 using radio to illustrate how tech and social elements are co-constructed.

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