Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blogging America Essay

Communication technologies are on the rise thanks to the Internet and blogging, a new technology used to communicate that is rapidly becoming more popular by the second. Blogs are a completely separate "Online Community" just as Aaron Barlow refers to in his book Blogging America. According to the website Technorati, there are over 75 million blogs but is still rapidly increasing. People use blogs to create personal journals where they rant and rave freely while hearing what others have to say. They can also be used for a source of the newest information, to talk politics or any other interest you might have or even just to connect with others for a sense of security or entertainment.

For the past week or so I have been tracking a popular blog for my Communications 430z class. The blog I chose is called Autoblog, which is a blog all about autos. Autoblog allows users to see the newest releases on all different kinds of vehicles. Everyday there is about ten articles posted on different types of autos. Each article allows users to read about the topic of interest, look at pictures or videos, and post comments of anything they want to say. Now this particular blog is the least bit of an online journal or a place for private emotions to be displayed, but still a place for communication at the very least. Before this class I never used a blog in my life and now I am on them everyday. I am still hesitant to get into the very personal blogs so far but am very much into this one for now.

As soon as I became an active participant on the Autoblog I realized that it really was a real different "Online Community". At first when I looked at the blog several times a day I would never post a comment and just scan through the comments that people left. After a day or two of just reading others comments I decided to sign up with my school email address and make up a simple user name of "Scott". I made my first post as a blogger and observed the reactions people had. I continued to communicate as my observations went on throughout the week. My observations show that many people post short opinions such as "Very nice car" or "I don’t like it", but others chat back and forth about specifics and minor details that others do not even see. I found that many of these people knew each other and became friends just from their online user names. They have never met in person and probably never will. But it was still a close community between them and they would back each other up no matter what. For example, one day a user with only one previous post started up some negative drama (to be funny) but all the regular users shut him down immediately whether they liked each other or not. It was just like a family. Barlow (2008) talks about bloggers being lonely people living in their mother’s basements but it was at this point I saw that this blog proves otherwise. I will admit that some people probably have way too much time on their hands but most of these people are in fact a tight community who really enjoy what they do.

I now see that the purpose of these blogs is to bring people who have the same interest together. They come together to interact together creating tight relationships between bloggers all around. There will always be people who try and break relationships by writing ignorant and pathetic things that are meant to destroy but a true community overcomes that and moves on quickly. In some circumstances it could be potentially catastrophic. If these certain people who wish to break up relationships are not eliminated it may cause regular users to leave and stop communicating on the blog all together.

Barlow and the Autoblog have made me realize what blogging is all about. People want to become close and bond together by sharing interest. People even want to expand their interest and find other topics they relate to. They want to be able to connect to their community and share with each other, which to me is what blogging is all about. Each person has their own purpose to communicate blogs whether we disagree or not but in the end the whole point is to create a sense of community in their daily lives. They do so by joining the blogosphere and connect with each other by helping and enjoying blogging all over.


Barlow, A (2008). Blogging @merica: The new public sphere. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November 12 Reaction

For my Com 430z class we were assigned to do a reading by Lori Kendall called "Shout into the wind, and it shouts back". This article focus’s on a Web 2.0 technology that I have not talked about yet called LiveJournal.

The article was written based on research that the author had conducted. Kendall (2007) researched specific strategies that people of the LiveJournal use including identity methods and even information management techniques. Kendall starts out this article by telling us the "Methodology" used while conducting the research on LiveJournal. Two years of observations were made. Observations such as viewing samples of journals, conducting interviews, and even had a journal of her own. She goes in the article to talk about what she calls "Private journal vs. public performance"(p. 2). In this section she talks about things such as the blog as a diary and privacy concerns. She also talks about the nature of the blogs. By nature of the blogs I mean whether or not it is public or private.

She continues on into the article talking about "Efficiency vs. Audience Management" and "Control vs. Connection" (p.5, 9). "Autonomy vs. the Desire for Comments" is the last subject she talks about in her article (p.11). In the section she talks about how the users see their comments as an uncontrollable performance. A user’s comment can be deleted at anytime if the author of the blog does not like it. She also talks about how her participants have deleted comments because it may have been too personal for anyone other then them and the author. Kendall slightly touches on the waste of space or waste of a post. For example when someone just simply agrees it is a waste of space because it holds little information.

I think that this article is interesting in how the author considers different levels of interactions of the blogs a performance. It seems to me that Kendall is trying to show that people that use this site want to have a connection or bond with others and LiveJournal gives them the chance to do so. People like to hear feedback on what they say and want to hear opinions or what they write. If they did not, they would not be on the site.

Kendall, Lori. (2007). "Shout into the wind, and it shouts back." Identity and interactional tensions on LiveJournal. First Monday, 12. Retrieved on August 21, 2008 from

Auto Blog Reaction # 5

Well today is the final day that I am required to observe the Autoblog. Although I promise i will continue to browse and participate in the blog on a regular basis. This class has got me hooked onto this blog and I am actually excited to see what other kinds of blogs that I have interest in. Nothing really too special happened on the blog today. It is really just people agreeing or disagreeing and very few people asking questions or arguing back and forth. It is not like a chat room are anything so I'm guessing some people never check what is written back to them. Comments are still very short and to the point. The articles are interesting but there is no more excitement besides that! I like to see a good debate once in a while.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Auto Blog Reaction # 4

Well Monday comes around and there is a lot of chatter on the blog. This blog produces like 10 or more new articles everyday. Keeping everyone up to date regarding the auto world. I think that it is really hard for people to focus on one subject because there is just so much to read about. I tried stirring up some mischief but not to many responses so far (we will have to see what happens in the next few days). One thing about this blog is that it links to other blogs of different topics of interest. I did some looking around and found a few other interesting articles about sports and politics but I want to focus on the Auto's section for now. I did an enormous amount of searching on the Autoblog today. I looked at many older articles and read some comments on them. I say older but really nothing too much more than a few weeks. I am interested to see what my new few days of observations bring to me.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Auto Blog Reaction # 3

Searching the blogs some more I realized that I have made a mistake. There are acctually tons of comments on each article and even answers and replys to the ones that I have made. I am not even really sure how I made this mistake but I am happy I discovered it shortly after I posted about it. The comments that I do see are usually short and nothing too drastic in lenght. Mostly talking about the looks and like of the car. I have not seen too much confrontation yet either. I think I will have to try and manipulate some into it to make it a little more fun for my paper. Still a key problem is going to be identity. It is a main issue because no one knows who you are. I made my username Scott and all i needed was an email adress to sign up. Your email adress is never seen by anyone that I know of. This being said, making any user name you want leads me to to a false sence of security. I do not know who these people are and do not know if I can trust what they say with out further research.

Auto Blog Reaction # 2

This weekend there has been so many post on the blog. One thing I realized is that they make so many post it is really hard for people to focus on one thing at a time. There are many articles that go without comments on this blog. I try to make post asking questions or even just making a simple statements. My findings are disappointing to say the least. Many of my comments go unanswered and overlooked. Hopefully that will change sometime soon. I plan on making more specific comments and am going to focus more on the bigger articles that are posted.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Auto Blog Reaction # 1 is the blog that I decided to research for our com430z class. I found this blog though, a website introduced to us by the professor. I chose this blog because I am very interested in cars and motorcycles (really anything with an engine and wheels). This blog is actually awesome and I can not believe that I have never seen it before. This site is going right onto my favorites. Autoblog shows all the updated news on new cars, concept cars, car shows, and so much more. They even have a place to find cars for sale around your location. One thing I did notice is that most of the comments on the articles are really just opinions if they like the car and things like that. One thing I would like to do when I post is to ask a question and see if someone answers me. I do have a feeling that identity is going to be a key issue for me while researching the blog. But I am very excited to explore this website for at least the next seven days but most likely more.