Here is my abstract for the Into the Blogosphere CFP:
Writing to the Moment: Blogging and the Everyday
One of the primary features of weblogs is that they allow the writer to instantly publish his or her thoughts. This sense of immediacy is, to my mind, the crucial characteristic of blogging, with this instantaneity often resulting in a focus on the contemporary, the ephemeral, although the archives allow this everyday content to be placed into a larger narrative. Blogs are also characterized by their privileging of the most recent post, usually placing it at the front or top of the page, creating a medium characterized by linear, sequential organization. Finally, blogs frequently contain multiple links, both within blogrolls of blogs that the writer regularly visits, and within the posts themselves. Each of these qualities contributes to the ways in which blogs organize our thinking while also providing insight into the way our thinking about time might inform the tools that we create. Linearity and discrete posts may produce a segmentation of thinking that is rather artificial; however, they also provide a means for working through everyday experience, specifically through the heavy linking associated with the weblog medium.
This paper will discuss the temporal dynamics of blogging, specifically the role of the medium’s chronological organization and frequent updates, in order to consider how the medium organizes thought. I will consider how weblogs function as a means for organizing and assimilating experience. In this sense, my argument will draw from Walter Benjamin’s concept of experience, specifically as Peter Osborne has reworked it in The Politics of Time. Blogs provide their writers a key means for sifting through the detritus of everyday life, and by extension, offer digital studies a crucial means for thinking about how we define the everyday. In this context, I find it useful to draw from a variety of blogs that engage with the everyday in different, often contradictory ways, in order to understand how writers approach and seek to understand their everyday experience.
I found it very difficult to limit myself to 250 words, and I’m not sure that I gave myself enough space to explain how I’ll be engaging with Benjamin (especially his two distinct concepts of experience, Erlebnis and Erfahrung) in terms of blogging. Hopefully what I’ve submitted will be evocative (provocative?) enough. Other cool proposals: Anne Galloway’s discussion of blogs as liminal spaces and Grumpygirl’s Web Studio Abstract.