Today I taught a class on blogging to grad students in Comm. 144: Communication & Information Technologies at UNC. Here are my rough notes from the discussion.
what makes a blog? how is it different than other web pages?
- first-person voice
blogs increasingly have more credibility than the MSM because they are more authentic and believeable.
- community dialogue
either through comments on the blog, or discussion between blogs
- archive & permalinks
archives by date and sometimes by category or by author as well. permalinks allow others to refer directly to a specific post, encourages inter-blog dialog.
- database back-end
this may be the least important, but is essential to emerging tools like aggregators that use syndicated content
history of blogging
- personal publishing in mid-90s. Justin Hall’s homepage
- blog software started in the late 90s
- mostly personal at first:
1. personal journaling
2. geeks geeking out
- growing in popularity around 00/01. exploring new uses like photos, family/social updates, specialty topics.
- Dean campaign in 03 -> explosion in popularity especially in politics.
- now: growing role as media and government watchdogs. MSM losing credibility.
current uses and future potential
- journalists vs. bloggers (where does “jeff gannon” fit in?)
- journalists AS bloggers, see Greensboro News & record
- blogging integrated with other social tools like friendster (which is apparently like the face book, news to me!)
- moblogs, photo blogs
- syndicated feeds (RSS and atom)