“Imagining The Blogosphere” Reflection

I found the reading, “Imagining The Blogosphere’” to bring up some fairly interesting points about a subject we’ve learned a lot about lately. Modern day mainstream media can skew people’s attention and interpretations on current events and spread misinformation indirectly. I felt like this text did contain some unnecessary information for whatever reason, although it wasn’t as bad in this aspect as last week’s assigned reading. 

I have come to notice that a lot of reading assigned in classes contains at least some of this “fluff” material whether it’s to extend the length, present a seemingly more intelligent perspective, or whatever other reason people may do this. I think a concise, “short, sweet, and to-the-point” style of writing is superior to articles, essays, and other texts that are filled with irrelevant sentences or even paragraphs. 

I think the main thing hurting the success of new in the blogosphere is lack of convenient availability when compared to more common forms of news and media. It’s much easier to flip on the TV or grab a 50¢ newspaper while you’re at the store than search out blogs reporting on current events. So while it is arguable that blogs can be a more effective means of providing information, the inability to do it as easily holds back the popularity of people reading blogs commonly. 

I personally am not a fan of most sources of standard news media. I think that most sources work too hard promoting their own values and opinions to reliably provide the most relevant information. News sources like FOX and CNN are especially obnoxious in this area. While blogs in a way provide more freedom to what information is put forward, every view point receives representation and all the most prevalent events are mentioned. 

I think it is important to recognize the importance of more of the less popular bloggers in the blogosphere, since they can offer viewpoints that may not be available from larger sources. Promoting growth in the blogging community is an integral part of keeping people interested and the more prevalent sources available, the more ground is covered through this online form of news. 

In conclusion, I think that it’s important to increase awareness of blogs as a news source as they provide many benefits that standard media like news shows and newspapers do not. Mainstream media can often be biased and deceitful in the way they present information about current events and there is a limited number of common sources, but in the blogosphere people of all kinds of different backgrounds and perspectives can present information from their point of view, and with thousands of blogs to view you know you’ll get every prevalent piece of information out there and see every opinion. 

“Imagining The Blogosphere” Notes

Summary:

According to a study done by the Perseus Development Company, the vast majority of blogs are no longer in use. This causes a sort of “iceberg effect”, in that only a small portion of blogs are normally viewed by the public. The “blogosphere” is an example of an imagined community in which people don’t really know each other yet interact in a variety of ways. Many people believe that the online format of the blogosphere is superior to standard forms of media like news print due to the fact that the most prominent news is what the community finds to be most important, rather than what a private source deems the most prevalent. This freedom allows members of the blogosphere to feel more impactful by more directly affecting other people’s thoughts and lives. The importance of the less popular bloggers can’t be understated either and should be recognized as the important piece of the blogosphere that they are. 

 

Main Idea:

The blogosphere provides a unique view point on current events and other important information when compared to other forms of media. 

Key Terms:

The Blogging Iceberg: A study performed by the Perseus Development Company on the popularity of online blogs. 

Imagined Communities: A work by Benedict Anderson in which he claims, “all communities large than primordial villages (and perhaps even these) are imagined.” 

Joshua Marshall: A blogger pivotal in bringing awareness to inappropriate statements by Trent Lott. 

Trent Lott: A former Senate minority leader. 

Clay Shirky: Author of “Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality.” 

“Seeing Ourselves Through Technology” Reflection

Rettberg discusses how the advancements in technology have led to the advancements of the way people represent themselves. She mentions the evolution of cameras and the changes in how society interprets the way people present themselves. She also brings up the way society can attempt to influence or discipline people based on how they present themselves. She also mentions social media and modern methods of presenting yourself through things like “selfies.” 

I personally wasn’t particularly drawn in by this text. It seemed full of unnecessary, fluff information to me which made it feel very boring to read. In my opinion, it read like a it was written by a high schooler trying to reach a word count requirement, only in a slightly more complex way. I felt I was spent a lot of time sifting through unnecessarily long paragraphs to find anything important. While it was difficult for me to analyze the information, I’ll do my best to explain my thoughts on it. 

As for the actual premise of the piece, the base purpose and topic was actually somewhat interesting, particularly in the sections where society’s interpretation of how someone presents themselves is discussed. I found it interesting how she explained the growth of technology advancing the ways people present themselves. For example, when early cameras were introduced when people took self-portraits with a mirror they were forced to find ways to creatively integrate the camera into the portrait which I thought was fairly intriguing. 

The analogy of modern day methods of presenting one’s-self compared to Parmigianino painting himself using a convex mirror to demonstrate how our own thoughts, biases, and opinions can distort the way we see ourselves in comparison to the way others view us. The way we present ourselves can drastically affect the way it is interpreted by our culture and our society. 

It was interesting to me how prevalent the word “selfie” was towards the end of the text. It’s interesting to read about Rettberg’s perspective on a modern take of self-representation. Since she is from a different generation than the one that popularized selfies, it’s a unique perspective on the way different generations interact in our society. It’s a common opinion among older generations that modern day social media is bad for younger, up-and-coming generations and causes many of the issues faced by our culture today. 

In conclusion, I personally found the text to feature a compelling topic written in a mediocre way. It definitely doesn’t feel like it was written to be entertaining to read or to be presented in a quick and concise, “to-the-point” kind of way. Of course, this is just my own opinion. The writing does present some interesting topics in a very uninteresting way, as I said above, like a high schooler trying to reach a word count requirement. 

“Seeing Ourselves Through Technology” Notes

Summary:

Rettberg compares modern day social media and other technologies to the convex mirror used by Parmigianino to paint himself, in that they both can distort the way we view ourselves. Self-representation is an important part of the way we live and always has been. Self-representation through text, most commonly seen in the form of autobiographies, didn’t become very popular until the last century or two after the literacy rate and availability of writing resources became widely available. Protestantism can be largely credited for the increase in people viewing themselves through their relationship with God. Cameras caused a metamorphosis of people’s ability to use self-representation, presenting the opportunity for more creative pieces. Analysis of the self has become more prominent in recent years as well through things like GPS and activity trackers. Smart phones allowed people to not only study their appearance before recording it, but also if they were dissatisfied with the result there is little to no penalty for deleting the record and trying again. Society tries to discipline young women, who through the use of smart phones and selfies, are some of the biggest stars of modern times. All forms of self-representation can act as not only a statement, but an entire conversation.

 

Main Idea:

Technological growth has allowed for the evolution of self-representation in our culture.

Key Terms:

Self-Representation: The act of presenting yourself or the way you perceive yourself.

Autobiography: A summarization of someone’s life/experiences written by themselves.

Confessions: The first recorded autobiography, written by Augustine.

Literacy: One’s ability to read, speak, and understand a language.

Selfie: A photograph you take of yourself, usually with a smart phone camera.

“Why Blog?” Notes

Summary:

student’s passion for writing can be stifled by the strict and rigid curriculum of most school systems. Things such as deadlines, word counts, and specified topics can strangle a student’s desire to write, causing what they generally find entertaining to feel more like a burden. Reid’s solution to this problem? Blogging. Blogging presents students a much more fluid and flexible opportunity to practice their ability to craft quality pieces of writing. According to Reid, once you ignite an internal passion for writing, you can translate it towards writing academically, and for some, even professionally. Blogging has exploded in popularity since the 1990s with the introduction of sites such as Blogger, cutting out the requirement of a tech savvy hand to be able to share information through a blog of your own. Blogging provides freedom to a student’s creativity, allowing them the chance to better their creative writing skills. While blogging likely can’t be the answer for every student, it might help set you on the right path towards a successful future in writing or whatever you choose to pursue. 

 

Main Ideas & Key Terms:

Main Idea:

Blogging is a useful tool to better the writing ability of students and workers alike.

Key Terms:

Expert: According to Malcolm Gladwell, an expert is someone who has dedicated at least 10,000 hours to a specific skill.

Blogger: The first mainstream blogging site, developed by Pyra Labs.

Technorati.com: A website for the purpose of indexing blogs that has seen heavy use since 2002.

Individual Blog: Most independent form of a blog for class, with minimal requirements such as a minimum post amount and word count.

Disqus: A social media site where people can create an account that will be usable universally among all associated blog sites.

A Little About Me

I’ll try to keep this simple and to the point. I’m an avid gamer and anime fan. I also enjoy reading from time to time. As far as sports go, I follow MMA and the NFL, and I play disc golf with my brother every now and then. I wrestled and played golf in high school, too. As well as being a member of the knowledge bowl team when I was in 9th grade. Speaking of school activities, I graduated from Fillmore Central High School in 2016. Hope this helped get to know me a bit better.