MS 190: Authorship is the course website for the Fall 2006 Media Studies senior seminar at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
now i shall reflect on my time as a blogger here.
first off, to respond to ghostwriter's post. i originally wanted my name to be MoFoSnakes but when I signed up for the name, it totally slipped my mind (much to my dismay). Why I chose neurotica is that i feel really neurotic every minute of the day.
again, like many others, this blogging thing has grown on me. i'm interested in reading what other people say, and it's cool to write about something new I've found out, or something that's been on my mind lately. it was an interesting way to get to know the class. when we were presenting on our thesis topics, that's when i was able to associate the screen name to the actual person.
Since I have nothing of value to blog about and I don't think I could form an academic thought if I wanted to right now, I am going to write a farewell blog instead; a commemorative tribute if you will to my final blog of the semester and perhaps the rest of my life.
On that note I would like to take a moment to reflect on my short career as a blogger. While I have enjoyed the blog a lot more than I had originally anticipated, I hesitate to think that I would ever blog of my own volition. In terms of class discussion, I would so much rather blog than be writing reading response papers all the time like some classes require. There is just something about the blogging format that is more inviting than staring a blank word document.
soooo, it looks like the blogging adventure of ms 190 is winding down. i have really enjoyed this. i was in the ms149 theory class last fall and did this there too, but it really frustrated me for a while. i did not understand if it was formal or not, how serious we were supposed to be and such. i approached it like i approached the written reading responses we had to do in intro media studies (also with prof. fitzpatrick). those written ones were intense. we were graded very toughly on a scale of 1-10. i remember working sooo hard to get that 10, and it only happened once or twice. i don't think that i'm such a grade-grubber, but i really felt like high quality writing was expected of me. and i wanted to become very articulate in that class, especially because media studies was so new and different for me (as a frosh, coming from a high school with limited elective classes).
this is sort of related to carter's last article on "why blogging is important." the fact that blogging randomly helped some old high school sweethearts unite after 47 years is awesome-and serendipitously random.
i had my own serendipity the other day, also thanks to technology. i usually delete the digester, but i decided to read this particular one. there was a message from an alum who works at procter and gamble (the company that deals with a zillion different products from pringles to fabreze) and she was saying she was available to help any pomona person looking for an internship or job at her place.
In keeping with drawing my inspiration from the Internet, I have finally discovered why blogging is important:
I thought, since it's rather pertinent to what we're all doing here, that this would be interesting to share...
As I mentioned in my earlier post, being home is one of those glorious times that I get to catch up on the magazine reading I missed. Now that I'm here, I've decided to start with the most recent issue of Time Magazine (as opposed to, say, Budget Travel, Sunset or, the guiltiest pleasure of them all, Coastal Living--Lord how I love reading about sea-side homes and the accessories that accompany them!) to maintain at least some semblance of intellectual integrity...
One of my favorite Time features is the Numbers bar, where two figures on one issue are presented side-by-side in such a way as to lead one to a certain realization of said subject. Take this one on energy: "53%: Estimated increase in global demand for energy--mostly fossil fuels--by 2003. Developing nations, primarily China and India, are responsible for that growth. 2010: Year China is projected to overtake hte US as the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide."
This morning I read an interesting article in the NYTimes that encompasses a number of things we have addressed in class, namely blogging, new media authorship etc. etc.
I am sure being the tuned-in, media-oriented students that so many of you are, you probably are already familiar with the blog TVNewser. If not, this is an interesting article about the kid who started it and the growing influence of the blog with in the television industry.
My favorite line from the article:
"Perhaps this is what the techno-geeks had in mind when they invented the Internet -- a device to squash not only time and space, but also social class and professional hierarchies, putting an unprepossessing Maryland college student with several term papers due in a position to command the attention and grudging respect of some of society's most famous and powerful personalities."
So, since the blog is so significant to our class, I thought this might be of interest to some of you in the class. I was listening to NPR yesterday and the topic of military blogs was discussed. Basically, a lot of members of the military post blogs as a way to keep in touch with family and friends, as well as using the blog as a way of speaking out about their experiences, kind of like keeping a journal. Many people see this as a positive way for the general public to stay connected with our military and the war in general. Well, the government is of course, worried about security. The potential risk of bloggers leaking information about the military strategies has made the military begin to restrict the blogging rights of the troops to prevent potential leaking on blogs. So, basically we trust our troops with guns and defending democracy, but not with a computer and a mouse. I thought this was interesting. The military is censoring the blogs because they feel the troops could let out information that could harm them or the goals of the U.S. in general. Is the military simply trying to protect the troops? Should the military officers be allowed to control what is on the internet for the safety of our military strategies and troops? Should blogs in general be censored??
I wonder if the way people build blog identities doesn't shed light on the way we build our real-life identities that we project to others. I know some blogs seeminly bear no relation to their authors -- people create fake blogs all the time - but I think that the authors of even these blogs come through in some way in the online "person" they have created so I will not distinguish between fake blogs and blogs that are just a version of the real person they are created by. That said, when a blog-identity is developed, the author can almost fully hide certain aspects of themselves. They can manipulate how others see them to a much greater degree than we can in our real lives. In this manner, it seems the idea that we cultivate others' perceptions of our identities (and we do it in line with how we want others to see us) is similar in both real life and on the internet. The difference is that it is more extreme on the internet.
I went to the fuzzysquid.com/LJ.com site someone posted about earlier and, I'm very sorry, but not one of the images compelled me to actually look at the person's blog. Fuzzysquid.com/LJ is a compilation of the 40 most recently posted images on livejournal. Most of the pictures looked like things people would post on their myspace site. Maybe I just stumbled upon the site at an extraordinarily boring time, but my guess is that these forty images were representative of livejournal as a whole. If forty images are being posted, and there are thousands of interesting blogs and only a few bad ones, chances are that not all forty images would happen to come from the bad ones.