Week 3: The World of Blogging

This week we focus on a specific form of social media – blogs. And again, to better understand them, we’ll be looking to provide context through history, technology, economics and their social aspects. First up, we need to define what a blog is.

What is a blog? ( As well as providing a useful definition, Sébastien Paquet reflects on the usefulness of blogs for research and ‘personal knowledge publishing’ ).
History? Rebecca Blood covers this well in the reading for this week.
Anton Zuiker dissects the anatomy of a blog post.
Blogs in plain english by commoncraft.
10 myths about blogs (a video) by Scott Rosenberg.

Aside from wordpress, there are several competing blog systems. These inclue complex content management systems such asmovable type and the open source drupal. There are an abundance of less complex blogging platforms such as blogspot / blogger and livejournal, and then microblogging services like tumblr, which are suited to fat spontaneous publishing without many other bells and whistles.

Why Blog?
Why is blogging of interest?
-lower technical and economic barriers to publishing and broadcast.
– control of your online identity, presentation and search engine results.
– sophisticated publishing options ( eg auto-archive, categorise, search functions, embed media, combine other feeds, allows easy subscription… ) explain feeds? early adopters – one foot in future – RSS / feeds – subscription…
– blogging hints at future publishing models for when mobile media ( phones, mp3 players, game consoles ) converges further with the internet
– community and connectivity – many to many; stickiness ( compared to web html – easy to cross reference, subscribe, comment, update )
– what they enable – podcasts, video blogs ( again subscription based )
– massively popular – meaning lots of niche areas and thoughts/media of fascinating people available regularly…
eg exciting to read *current* musings of contemporary musicians, or science fiction novelists etc etc

Web Feeds / RSS ( subscription technologies )
What is rss? The BBC has a succinct explanation ofRSS feeds. Understanding feeds and the capacity to subscribe to automated updates from blogs, podcasts, videoblogs etc is necessary to grasp today’s internet.
Explaining RSS in Plain English ( youtube video ).

What Makes a Good Blog?
Good writing? What is different about writing for the web, and writing for blogs?
Jason Kottke has a few ideas (video), and describes a sliding scale of writer to editor.
Curatorial group-blogs? – 3quarksdaily ( great filtered lists of intelligent articles daily ). Worldchanging is a great blog about sustainability, with fresh perspectives. And Boing Boing continues to expand its horizons.
We Make Money Not Art curates electronic arts rather than websites, but attracts and satisfies a large readership.
rocketboom – daily video blog with huge audience. 1 x 3 minute news video every day.

TASK: Using the technorati and google blog search engines find 3 blogs that have translated their blog popularity into other forms of publishing, such as getting book or movie deals. Link to the blogs mentioned, and describe some of their attributes that’ve helped them succeed.

Getting Under the Bonnet
Behold, the wordpress support pages. We’ll be developing together a list of criteria for a good blog, then working through that list with the above support pages.

Finding Relevant Blogs
A well chosen collection of blogs can provide a constant stream of pertinent research, news and ideas.
Geoff Manaugh’s BLDGBLOG is about imaginative approaches to architecture, but regularly provokes ideas about how architecture intersects with other topics – eg this example interview with Walter Murch, film sound designer ( Godfather, Apocalypse Now etc )
“If I go out to record a door-slam, I don’t think I’m recording a door-slam. I think I am recording the space in which a door-slam happens… I spent a lot of time trying to discover those key sounds that bring universes along with them. I tend not to visualize but auralize, to think about sound in terms of space. Rather than listen to the sound itself, I listen to the space in which the sound is contained.”

Geoff also asks Walter, ‘What makes cities sound the way they do?’, and Murch references in reply, a short essay written by filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni which attempts to describe what it feels like to listen to Manhattan (New York in Sound).

TASK: Find and reference 3 blogs related to your project, and ideas around sound and space. ( Remembering that the soundscape essay needs to show how theory has informed your process in some way. )

TASK: Explore the list of student soundscape ideas mentioned in the blog posts in the Design Studio blog collection. Find one that resonates with you, and write a blog post about it, offering some thoughts about any ideas or challenges it suggests. Include a link to the original blog post.

Week 4: Reading on REMIX

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4 Responses to “Week 3: The World of Blogging”

  1. Adopting A Blog « Rmitmusic09′s Blog Says:

    […] When choosing a blog to focus on over the next few weeks, keep in mind some of the points raised during week 3′s blog discussions. […]

  2. Recent Blog Posts And Queries « Rmitmusic Blog Says:

    […] And a few people have started writing about their ‘Adopted Blogs‘ – ideally these should not be blogs you already read, but offer a challenge to dissect […]

  3. Par – tis – i- pay- shon « TysonYeo's Blog Says:

    […] and of course, The World of Blogging […]

  4. Week 2: Research Checklist « Rmitmusic Blog Says:

    […] within the posts for Design Studio Week 1,Week 2: Social Media and Writing for the Web and Week 3: The World of Blogging. And yes, you should write some blog posts about your reading here. […]

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