November 5, 2004

Overviewing Girl Meets World and SHU blogging

After reading Dr. Jerz's blog on An Emerging Academic Weblog Community, I kept questioning whether my blog is academic, or diary-like teenage musings that the Perseus blog survey implies.

I mean, I am Girl Meets World. What does that name imply? When I named my blog, I had many content concepts in mind: my professional life, personal life, and finally, my academic life (which is categorized with professional life for now, being a college student)--a plethora of Amanda-ness that I think I have remained true to in the past year.

Though over the summer I did focus on more personal matters because my blogging pals were far, far away, I was still catering to my audience, just as I cater to my professors when I blog, and I am letting the kitty out of the bag when I say this, the requirements for my portfolio. Though my blog is mine, I still cater to that audience--whoever you all are. :-)

However, I will agree with this statement:

Blogging is many things, yet the typical blog is written by a teenage girl who uses it twice a month to update her friends and classmates on happenings in her life. It will be written very informally (often in "unicase": long stretches of lowercase with ALL CAPS used for emphasis) with slang spellings, yet will not be as informal as instant messaging conversations (which are riddled with typos and abbreviations). Underneath the iceberg, blogging is a social phenomenon: persistent messaging for young adults.

I have been "out there" so to speak in the blogging world, and I have noticed that many of the blogs are for exclusive friend circles, and are focused around people that I do not know, nor, in most cases, care to. Because I know the people on the SHU blogs, I am interested in their content, but "outside" bloggers may not.

However, the Perseus blog survey is putting the teenage blogger in a negative light. She is doing the same thing that intellectuals do, communicating information. Though it is unfortunate that the academic blogging world must be subjected to this type of blog when searching for "good content," one shouldn't forget that this hypothetical teenage girl is having an influence on her readers, which should not be degraded just because of style choice. The academic bloggers, after all are the ones that have the say in this matter, at least in the classroom. But is this a type of blogging (excuse hyperbole here) discrimination? Possibly.

Our blogs have gotten attention in the past year. The administration, faculty and students at SHU have an impression of what blogging is from what we have written personal, academic, professional or "the other" that we cannot even describe. Though some brush it off as something the English majors do, others actually become interested in what we do and eventually pick up the habit, regardless of being in the English field.

What has attracted them? Perhaps the sense of community, the possibility of getting their ideas online for others to consider. I cannot read their minds, but I know mine, and those were some of the reasons I picked up blogging with the fervor that I did last fall. Regardless, the blogging community at SHU, as imagined as it may be, is there and still working, as stressed out as its bloggers may be.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at November 5, 2004 11:52 AM

Glad to hear that someone else sees it my way :) Since blogs are generally free (at least ours are for now), anyone that wants one can have one. Therefore, content--academic, teenage-angst ridden, or otherwise--should make no difference. If you'd rather not read about Suzie's prom-drama, then don't. Stick to your "usuals," and browse a friend's link list to get new reads. Checking each other's links is a great way to surf--but it's like wearing those inflatable floaties because you hope you can trust it to be okay. Let the teenagers rant. It doesn't bother me, but the academics have lives, too; I don't mind mixed content because it reminds me that there is a person behind the blog and it's not just text I'm responding to. It's a person :)

Posted by: Karissa at November 5, 2004 10:54 PM
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