Blogs and Wikis


ELIZABETH LOSH

AN INTRODUCTION TO INTERNET RESEARCH WITH SOME CAVEATS

What is Digital Rhetoric?
New Genres in New Media
How are conventions for
comparatively well-established genres like Webpages, PowerPoint Presentations, and E-mail (1, 2, 3) articulated?  How do newer genres relate to older ones?
How do Vividness and Interactivity correlate in new media?

Digital rhetoric also reflects an epistemological shift that draws attention to
how Information is different from Knowledge

One caveat: This isn't my area of expertise. 
My specialty is the Ideology of Institutional Discourses on the Internet
digital libraries, online course materials,
government websites, military videogames, and other electronic ephemera of the "virtual state"
Of course, official and unofficial forms of communication can be very different
For example, compare The United States Department of Defense to CompanyCommand


But I suppose I can talk about blogs and wikis for three reasons:
  1. A decade of participation in public and private Virtual Communities like The Poetics Listserv (since 1994)
  2. My interest in Political Theater and subversive discourses of parody and protest
  3. My administrative role in finding Pedagogical Applications for blogs and wikis in the classroom (see the UC TLtC for more)
THE NEW HETEROGLOSSIA OF BLOGS AND WIKIS

Looking back to the last Information Revolution: Diarists and Encyclopedists

Rousseau
Revelatory, Chronological, First-Person Discourse
Diderot
Collective, Taxonomic, Omniscient Discourse

Let's assume -- as many theorists of the novel do -- that print culture facilitated a convergence that resulted in novelistic discourse.
I would argue that digital culture is still characterized by a pattern of divergent evolution with two relatively discrete paths in which the rhetorical rules are very different.

BLOGS

The Blog Defined shows a prehistory in Usenet, e-mail lists, and electronic bulletin boards
(We)blog Research on Genre Project shows that over time the readership of filter blogs rises and that of journal blogs declines
Blog Data from the Pew Internet  & American Life Project shows that many still don't know what the word "blog" means!


A Weblog Webliography

Making News: The Blogosphere responds to Fed chairs and Supreme Court justices
In the headlines this week: The Skyblog prosecutions in France
What does it mean when embattled journalists like Judith Miller defect to the blogosphere?

How is ephemera captured?  Is the
Library of Congress keeping up?
Are all cultural artifacts worth preserving? (Consider this typical weblog
from another Liz Losh)

Political Blogs: Some Ways to Think about Blogs in Relation to Traditional Journalism

1) Scooping:
The page with no memory: The Drudge Report (since 1994 via eNewsletter) and its breakthrough with the Monica Lewinsky story in January 1998 (although some would say that Drudge's 1996 story on Jack Kemp as the Dole running mate was the defining moment)
Parody imitators like The Borowitz Report (since 2001)

2) Data Checking:
Conservative blogs and "fact checking" reaches the spotlight on September 2004:
the CBS Documents are interrogated by Buckhead on Free Republic (since 1996) --> then Power Line (since 2002) --> then Little Green Footballs (since 2001)
Analogies could be made to how the open source community debugs code

3) Personalizing:
Is the personal political? Andrew Sullivan's
The Daily Dish (since 2000)
Bear flag bloggers and American Digest (since 2003) -- virtual communities for those homesteading in hostile territory
Gender and blogging: Ana Marie Cox's Wonkette (since 2003) -- weighing in on subjects like Maureen Dowd or Craigslist

4) Hyperlinking:
Pointing to Primary Sources:
The Memory Blog of The Memory Hole
Changing practices in traditional media as well

5) Translating:
The Interpreter Speaks!
"Native Informants" or "Fixers" to "Smarty-Smart Journalists" (See September 22, 2005)


Salam Pax

International Blogs


From Screen to Print:
Where is Raed (2002-2004) becomes Salam Pax, and Riverbend (since 2003) becomes Baghdad Burning
Professional academic commentators weigh in at Angry Arab (since 2003) and Informed Comment (since 2002)
The closing of the comments section of Raed in the Middle (since 2004)
Pro-American sentiments in Iraq the Model (since 2003)
War Kitsch in
Baghdad Girl (since 2004)
Blogging the tsunami
The JennyCam aspect of Wendy Cheng's  Xiaxue (since 2001) and Li Li's Muzimei
Death by a Thousand Blogs?  Chinese Public Opinion Surveillance Net of Li Xinde
Intersections with game identities from WoW in Mr. Brown (since 1997 via Usenet)

Manuel Castells on the Network Society

What about Parody Blogs?
A Dog's BlogHarriet Miers?

The Virtualpolitik Blog

WIKIS

The Ethos of Voice and Viewpoint in Blogs
vs.
NPOV in Wikis

Defining a Wiki

How Sourcewatch works as a Disinfopedia

Four Troubles in Paradise
  1. Copyright Problems
  2. Maxwell's Demons
  3. Commercial Incursions
  4. Wetman's Challenge to NPOV
Wiki Vandalism and The Vandalism Entry (Sample Vandalism of Vandalism)
Political Vandalism: Geoge Bush and the Iraq War
Editing Abortion and Islam

Who are the Wikipedians?  Who are the People in Red?  Who are the Administrators?
A Gallery of Guardians: Gaff, Hadal, Ahoerstemeier, Tokek, Bjelleklang, and Antandrus

The Wikitorials Experiment at the Los Angeles Times

A Wiki Bibliography