Readings: Blog as Diary and Common Place Book

The Topic for the Week is The Blog as Diary and Common Place Book. Blogs started (c. 1999) as logs - like a ship's log - with the writers recording their voyages across the then-limited web. When pedestrian blog software was first introduced (c. 2001-2), blogging became popular and the popular culture started to characterize them as diaries. Both genres still are around, but have also developed into ideas of the commonplace book and cabinets of curiosity. Blogs, seen this way, are used for personal and academic development of ideas, places for personal collection and consideration. Personal, not private.

Read and post on a few of the readings below. Select what you find interesting. Set aside those you don't. You're bound to find two or more. And if you don't google for other readings on the topic and work with those instead.

Pro Tip: Use Google Scholar to find readings that are more substantive than typically found in a google search.

Make two posts during the week - one by the end of the day on Thursday, and another by end of the day on Sunday. Between those times, have a look at what others in class are posting and leave a comment or question where one comes up.

As you read the posts of others, watch for patterns and common ideas emerging. Those patterns and common ideas can be the basis for your post.

How to develop a post

The idea in blogging is to connect what you're looking at to other materials - readings, videos, images, ideas, bloggers - out there on the web.

Rather than summarize what you read, use what you read as a jumping off point of your own thinking. Consider how you can respond to the ideas presented.

Take your time. No need to rush a post. Study your post as you work. Revise it. Save it as a draft and return to it. Have another look at Lorelle's Checklist.

Try posting from Elsewhere: places that are not your typical working spaces.

Length: 500 - 1000 words or so, for each post

No padding, no slither. It's not really about length so much as the insight and depth you want too explore and present - how detailed and closely observed are you going to make the post.

Length measured in engagement

Set aside the typical nonsense on attention spans as guide to length. The idea is to write in such a way that reading the post is worth the reader's time. That means the writer has to commit to engagement. That means it's up to the writer to make the connections, the insights, the links worth it. People pay attention to what they are interested in - It's your position to find an interesting way into the ideas of these readings. Not everyone who starts to read will stay with the post. That's fine. But see what you can do to make engagement worth the effort.

You have the entire web as content to work with. The entire history of humankind to draw on.


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