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"The Twitterization of Blogs"?...

--Another one that I couldn't post it here due to another problem to do with a 'mod_security' module on the Apache sever (apparently, I don't understand what it was) - I will blog about that in the Geekzone at some point--

From what I can work out, Twitter is basically like a forwarding service that can send your messages to multiple receivers. The key innovation being the ability to send directly from your personal communication device (email, IM, phone, web connection) to a number of preset recipients (other people's phones, your blog).

As with many of these services, the recipients also need to be signed up to receive the messages (e.g. on their phone). The messages can be private (one-to-one, one to selected people) or public - i.e. onto blog, or even the main Twitter home page apparently. FYI: Twitter FAQ section

You may ask, what's the point of having an extra way to send a text to a friend? Well I think the advantage here is that you can send one text and it then goes to all your group of friends - this is easier, and maybe saves money too? Also, the message stays in one place online, so people can see what you have been up to even if they check later on or something (i.e. asynchronous communication).

I took some screenshots of the Twitter home page today at c. 13.00 (Malaysia time):

Twitter screenshot June 2007

Q: Why bother telling the world that you're about to go to bed (Mewzii, Chernobyl)?
A: As pointed out by Holahan, the intended audience is more likely to be a small group of friends rather than the world. Still, I can’t imagine texting any of my friends to tell them I'm about to go to bed, only my significant other would get a goodnight message. Continue reading ""The Twitterization of Blogs"?..."

Faking it?

--This is an old post that didn't travel over into this blog: originally posted 1 Dec. 2006--
--And then I couldn't post it here due to another problem to do with a 'mod_security' module on the Apache sever (apparently, I don't understand what it was) - I will blog about that in the Geekzone at some point--

I have had a blog under a pseudonym for a few years, but now I am starting this one. Why? Because I want to use this as a basis for the research I’m doing into blogs and the internet in general, and I am worried that the previous blog may have some opinions that may not be appreciated by some…

I have been faced few interesting dilemmas because of this:
• I feel a sense of loss, I like my old nick and it’s been my online identity for a long time. This relates to the sense of identity, how I have invested something of ‘myself’ into my blog (e.g. Reed “My Blog is Me”)
• There’s an ethical dilemma: am I being duplicitous? I may engage in research (e.g. interviews) with bloggers who have interacted with my other identity.
• Another ethical issue: should I keep my other one going at the same time that I keep this one going? A related question, that is an important one, is what moral standards am I to keep to? ‘Online’ or ‘offline’ ones? Or is there a difference?
• I could also just delete a whole bunch of posts from the other one, and then ‘come out’ on that one – but is that also going against some moral code of some kind?
• I am engaging in self-censorship by taking this course of action. What moral duties do I have to avoid that?

In essence, the issues seem to go to the core of the discussion around online identities, and the meaning of blogs to bloggers. In the offline world we do not usually have the option to pretend to be other people, though some do – e.g. cross-dressers: and even then they usually claim to be doing so in order to be able to physically represent their ‘true self’ (see Butler for discussions of this). Online we can, and many people do: purely by the need to take a nick, and the impossibility of taking the same one as someone else (due to database reasons), the internet initiate is given a chance to recreate themselves. Offline, we may have the same name as someone else – but our bodies provide the guarantee of our uniqueness.

OK that’s it for today – I can feel many more thoughts. But I’m not to use this as an excuse to procrastinate either.

By the way: many interesting articles on blogs in this issue of Reconstruction.


Works mentioned:
Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble. Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge, 1999.
Reed, Adam. “‘My Blog Is Me’: Texts and Persons in UK Online Journal Culture (and Anthropology)”. Ethnos. 70.2 (June 2005): 220-242.

BUM 2007 - the online event...

Well I have spent the last day-and-a-half compiling some statistics regarding the online aspect of the BUM 2007 meeting - I went there offline, and had that experience, so I'm thinking that one way to proceed is to compare the on and offline experiences. Here are some thoughts.

One thing that differs is that offline the meeting was (obviously) dominated by the speakers, but these speakers did not all post online as well, and those that did, did not post a lot: specifically Jeff Ooi and Rocky's Bru. None of the other speakers appear to have posted anything online. Four of the organisers posted something: Howsy, Desiderata-ylchong, Lucia Lai, and Politikus. Only Desiderata-ylchong seemed to engage in any significant sense with the issues raised at the meeting.

Here are the posts categorised by type of post - the categories are rough and subjective, and one post may be included in more than one category.

Explanation of the categories:
Engage: The post discusses some of the specific issues raised by the speakers.
In the flesh: The post mentions something about meeting other bloggers 'in the flesh' (online meeting offline).
List of others:The post lists other bloggers who were there, with little extra information except perhaps a short description or one-liner.
Social: The post discusses the event as a social event: the food, the atmosphere, etc.
Pictures: The post has pictures/videos
Criticise: The post criticises the meeting

Continue reading "BUM 2007 - the online event..."