More Blogging Panels I Wish I’d Attended

As promised, more detailed comments on the reports from Liz at AOIR: Alex Halavais gave a paper drawing comparisons between cities and blogospheres, drawing heavily from Robert Park’s argument that cities should be studies as “institutions.”

In the same panel, a question I’ve been trying to address: to what extent cn hyperlinks (within blogs) be understood as disruptive? Do trackbacks change linking in any fundamental way? The panel/discussion doesn’t really come to a clear answer, and I’m not sure there is a simple answer. I think it depends in part on the nature of the “encounter:” Are we talking about the author of the blog making the link? The author of the linked blog? The reader of the blog? What exactly is being disrupted by the link? The individual entry? The reader’s experience of a given blog? In my own experience, I certainly feel a much greater sense of control over my online experiences now that I blog. My blog is a means for me to organize my fleeting, often disorganized thoughts as I have them, feeding into a certain experience of immediacy.

Another important question, especially for my own work:

Question: perhaps content is too ephemeral on blogs; are weblogs more like newspapers in their balance of ephemerality (of individual pieces of content) and persistence (of the vehicle for that information)?

I’ve actually found this metaphor enticing. I think it’s why there are so many blogging journalists and pundits who can focus on the immediate, disseminating information in an overwhelming maelstrom that can be difficult to navigate (or at least escape). I think TV works as a metaphor, too, especially given that both TV and blogs thrive on immediacy (although their definitions of this term might be slightly different).

I’d also agree with Liz that the general discussion of blogs as neighborhoods could certainly be informed by Steven Johnson’s Emergence (especially his discussion of Joanne Jacobs).

I also need to find a way to sift through Pierre Lévy’s incredibly dense keynote address (as blogged by KF), especially the question of cybersapce as a “memory repository.” Still sorting.

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