Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Uses of Blogging

The formation of the Comm Dawg Blawg has lead me to more thinking about the purposes and functions and possibilities of blogs, primarily because of some of the insightful posts of my colleagues on that very topic.

My dad posted a while ago about a conversation I had with Dr Laura Smit this summer.  She apparently had learned about our little cadre of bloggers that formed around the WA office (indeed, many of our individual blogs formed IN the WAffice).  She asked her question this way “so if you and these people hang around together all the time in this office, why do you feel the need also to blog to each other?”

I didn’t answer the question well at the time, but (as my dad explained too) here’s my answer now: although it was primarily to each other, we also want the fruits of our conversations to be available to those who were not there at the time.  There were plenty of times that just a few of us would have an interesting conversation, and then others would be able to read about it and join in.  Also, it allowed our face-to-face conversations to be deeper.  Sometimes we would link to articles or write about things a little more complex than you might generally bring up over a peanut butter sandwich or in between planning a worship service, but since we had the opportunity to read each other’s thoughts expressed more concisely, we were better able to discuss these ideas in person.  So in some ways, blogging improved our face-to-face conversations, which was a big benefit, and probably lead to the formation of thorubos, which was also really cool.  Now, of course, these people are far away from me, and reading each other’s blogs gives us some continuation of that personal-intellectual relationship.  I also posted about this experience by way of explanation a few months ago.

So, now there is a new group blog for my new intellectual community.  I think we are still discovering what it will be, but given my past experience, I’m excited about the possibilities.


Bob K said...

I was going to comment on the comm dawg blawg but it wouldn't let me (was that on purpose??) so I'll post my comment here:

I don't believe I have ever seen a blog in which there is so much written about blogging. Then I realized that if I was to try to be funny I would say something like "imagine a group of communication grad students blogging together - what do you think they'd blog about?" The answer would be self-evident.

Is this called meta-blogging? If so what is blogging about meta-blogging called?

kristen said...

HA, i LOVE this comment...

This is why I like to read other people's blogs!

Hi Bethany!

MattyA said...

I'm very thankful for our little cabal (or was it a coterie?) of bloggers, especially now that I'm in Budapest. However, I find myself blogging less because I have less intellectual stimulus, I think. My favorite part of those heady three months where we were firing away on our blogs like gangbusters was when we were actually in the office talking about what we had posted. How many times would one of us say, "Did you see Kent's latest post? What did you think about is?" And who can forget the day we were "discovered" by Gideon Strauss. The blog posts were often the clarification and elaboration on things we said in person, or they were the impetus for new conversations. That, sadly, is what can't be recreated with us so far apart.

bethany said...

Right on Matt - I miss those interactions too. That is part of what I am hoping will come of the dawgblawg. Of course, we won't have lots of time and intellectual stimulus with little to do like last interim. that was great.

MattyA said...

Why can't real life have a January term?

o1mnikent said...

Indeed, blogging has taken on a whole nother form in the past month. I'm more inclined to post tidbits from my personal life instead of more thought provoking things. I've even posted images. (!) Pretty postmodern, huh? I think this might be because, for me, blogs are no longer complementing discussion by way of inviting others into the conversation or just serving as a way for us to succintly articulate our thoughts, quite unlike how this sentence turned out to be. Now, the people behind all the links to blogs are removed from my day-to-day interaction. And isn't that really the most important thing? I'm more than just what I think... I'm who I am. Take that, DesCartes.