This week Lankshear and Knobel highlighted the use of wikis and blogs in chapter 5. Towards the beginning of the chapter it was stated that blogs are being shared more through social media L&K 2011). I found this to be a confusing idea because I don’t know where else you would share blogs. The only other medium I could think would be publishing a book, but I am not sure what the exact definition of a blog is then.
According to L&K we need to see “blogs as both a medium and product of practices (2011, p. 144).” I would have to disagree with the clarification that blogs are more like the physical paper for expressing ideas not a journal or diary. From what I have seen with most blogs there is usually a personal tie in stories that individuals publish. While a blogger is not usually talking about every aspect of their life in the blog, I do think there is usually a great deal of reflection and mention of activities from their everyday life. When reading this I would say there is a clear point about diaries not just being for a teenage girl to vent her adolescent frustrations.
The second part of the statement above, I am in agreeance with. A blog is the end result of the total effort of all the posts (or “medium”). It is difficult to categorize blogs as there is such a great deal of diversity, but understanding the overarching idea of a blog still remains somewhat of a mystery to be especially after reading this chapter.
The lengthy explanation of one particular blogging website dedicated to Project Runway really surprised me. I am not sure how I feel about people’s passion for a TV show that really does not have a great impact on their lives. Everyone has a favorite TV show, movie book etc. But the amount of time that people spend diving deep into the intricacies of others’ lives is worry some to me. People would stop watching a show all together if they did not agree with the judge’s decision on who to vote off. To have an opinion different than a panel of judges is one thing but to vent in the chatrooms about kicking judges off the show seems like a waste of time. There has to be a line where people’s hobbies don’t become their obsessions. If your whole day or week is ruined because someone you don’t know personally got kicked off a show, you might need to reevaluate your reasoning.
None the less, I explored the blog. The latest post was actually today, it introduced the characters that are going to be on the show this season.
This blog is not at all what I thought it would be. I clicked on one random “recap” of an episode to further dig into this blog. Apparently I clicked on the episodes where they were paying respected to a famous designer called Oscar de la Renta. I thought it was a nice gesture to show 2 judges’ comments about it death directly on the post. I am convinced now the Project Runway blog is much more calculated and considerate than I had previous thought. I have moved on from thinking it is a cynical pit of woeful teenagers.
In collaborative websites such as Project Runway or even Wikipedia, openness is encouraged. This provides a collaborative process that is a continuous loop. Open idea’s link together and are edited openly with continuous revisions as time goes on. This whole process immediately made me think of the class I am in now. There is an almost open-ended structure that builds upon it’s self every week. There is a certain level of engagement from every member of the class that encourages self-discovery and class participation.
Now that I am reading about the positive results of such an open network it becomes clearer on why this class is structured in such an open fashion. The continuous push to “generate emergent knowledge from ‘collective intelligence’ and the wisdom of crowds (L&K 2011, p.165)” is what I am realizing is happening in this class. For example, when I did not know how to edit a document I clicked around on my classmate’s blogs and found a walkthrough. Maybe exposing yourself on the internet is not as horrifying as I thought before enrolling in this class. (I am not fully won over yet)
New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning Ed by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel. McGraw-Hill Education 2008.