Thursday, June 14, 2007

Why Blog?

Jodi Dean is a political science professor at a college in New York state. I like her answer (at least I like parts of it):
  • She started blogging because she felt responsible to try and articulate some of her ideas and views in cyberspace where they could be accessed by other people (that's what it sounds like she's saying, to me).

  • She kept on blogging because she "enjoyed the intellectual and political company that grew out of a community of blogs."

  • She's going to keep blogging because "Blogging has become an integral part of my practice of thinking and self-reflection."

If I didn't have to work for a living and if time was more elastic I'd probably read more of her blog. But political theory (her blog topic) isn't all that close to my heart at the moment. I'm more interested in the politics of education, educational pedagogy, the experience of teaching, and in Appalachian culture.

What is a blog? The term itself is a shortened form of the word "weblog." Originally it was an online journal. Today it has become any online running commentary that speaks at least occasionally in the first person ("I think..."), no matter how impersonal. You can find blogs about teachers and teaching, blogs about games, blogs in Chinese, blogs about what some guy feeds his dog, blogs in Portuguese, blogs about being 29 in Malaysia, blogs about mobile phones, blogs about cats, blogs about mental illness, and, well, I could go on...

meThey all write for their own reasons. And the genre has become commercial. Three different companies in the last few years have paid me money (sometimes pretty good money) to blog about something. (No one pays me to do this one at the moment.)

Why do I blog? I mentioned hypergraphia in a previous post more as a joke than a real reason. Like Jodi (mentioned above), I blog because it makes me think, helps me think. It's reflective (an approach to professional thought that has gained some credibility in the last few years). It serves as stress relief for me.

Oh yes, and I blog because I'm arrogant enough to think that my opinion (and the way I express it) might change minds.

A.J. Liebling (1904–1963), a journalist with the The New Yorker for almost 30 years, once said something to the effect that freedom of the press belonged to those who owned one (a printing press). The Internet has changed that. Blogging is one of the results...

1 comment:

tulip said...

mm.. i was wondering why people kept coming to my blog from this site. hehe.. i was mentioned. thanks. :) btw i'll be 30 soon. :D

the blogger who blogs about being 29 in malaysia