Much to consider…


Yes, I’m back from BLOGTALK, and no, I didn’t blog in Vienna the way I had hoped to; I ended up taking notes the old-fashioned way with pen and paper as speakers gave their presentations. I can hold a pen in hand and look up at the speaker attentively much better than I can type away at a keyboard balanced on my lap. I also find that with blogging I don’t really take notes the way I do on paper with my scribbles and scratch-outs and the knowledge that my eyes only will see the pages. Blogging’s public nature makes me want to shape things more, and I’m not yet ready, I guess, for realtime reflection. I’m a slower writer than that. PLUS– Shoulda taken those typing classes back in middle school…

Also once Leo showed me SubEthaEdit and the collaborative blogging he and quite a group were doing from various spots around the room, I became a little disenchanted with my solo blogging for the moment. Ah for and OSX update! I am hoping IT will come through with one soon, so that I can play around with collaborative realtime blogging for my students in the artswriting course. And the results of the blogging posted JOI ITO capture a good deal of each presentation, even mine with its PPT glitches (i.e. NEVER depend upon links in a PPT talk when the room is filled with bloggers hogging the bandwidth!).

Other excellent summaries of conference highlights inclide Roland Tanglao’s blogging (I am hoping to involve him in my Artswriting course this fall–more on that later) and the brilliant blogger/presenter/social software implementer Lee Bryant from England.

ASIDE–I am torn. Do I provide just a glimpse, a smidgeon if you will of my thoughts on BLOGTALK in this “entry body” and then leave the bulk of it to my “extended entry”, or do I write the whole damn thing here, so people see how much I have to say? Interesting choice. And it is one of the features of MT that distinguishes it from Manila. I need to study other Blogs to see what works for readers as well as writers.

For more on BLOGTALK, see the extended entry.

Reflections on the conference–

Mark Bernstein in his keynote “The Social Physics of New Weblog Technologies” urged the audience to conduct meaningful research not to push the acceptance of blogs in the Academy, but reserach “that matters to weblogs.” What interested me in particular, was his discussion of the potential for the rich use of archives as a way to retain the usefulness of posts and to keep blogs from being all about the current post. Of course this makes sense that one of the pioneers of hypertext would be thinking about the power of linking. FOr me as a classroom teacher who has used blogs now several times in each of four courses, the archives are indeed a rich resource and an essential componemt of the class. My students are assigned essays written by students in previous classes as models of writing (an example from the Irish first-year seminar–before they even reached college, the students were reading student work online) and for the provocative content an example from EL 170, Introduction to Creative Writing); they are assigned discussions from previous semesters (Example from Artswriting), and they even comment at times on the old work or reference it in footnotes, or even build upon it in their own projects (Exmaple from Artswriting–Lia’s mention of composer James Grant comes out of her reading of a previous course blog on which he particated as one of our experts. Pretty soon one semester’s work will be so deeply emeshed in the ensuing semesters’ reading and writing that it will be almost impossible to separate them!

After my presentation, Mark came up to me and asked me about archiving and how we used it. Unfortunately in sticking to the twenty-minute talk limit, I had cut out the archiving part of my talk, but I was glad to discuss our use with him later. He suggested I contact George Landow who is apparently updating Hypertext 2.0 and might well be interested in taking a look at our work.

(will finish later)

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