Tuesday, July 7, 2009

jlinx goes trade school

Well, kind of.

Prompted by a searing essay by salon.com's Scott Rosenberg on how blogs have changed everything, I thought I'd also link to a few helpful sites on the how-to side of blogging and Web 2.0.

But first, a few words from Rosenberg, who compares web communication to the telephone -- rather than the television:
... Like the telephone before it, the Web will be defined by the choices people make as they use it, constrained by -- but not determined by -- the nature of the technology. The most significant choice we have been making, collectively, ever since the popularization of Internet access in the mid-1990s, has been to favor two-way interpersonal communication over the passive reception of broadcast-style messages. Big-media efforts to use the Net for the delivery of old-fashioned one-way products have regularly failed or underperformed. Social uses of our time online -- email, instant messaging and chat, blogging, Facebook-style networking -- far outstrip time spent in passive consumption of commercial media. In other words, businesspeople have consistently overestimated the Web's similarities to television and underestimated its kinship to the telephone.
People who have no experience blogging often fail to understand the essentially social nature of the activity. Blogging is convivial. Bloggers commonly blog in groups, whether formally (as with our Salon bloggers) or simply through the haphazard accretion of casual connections. In these groups, what you contribute is obviously important; but so is where you choose to place your attention. Reading is as much a part of blogging as writing; listening is as important as speaking. This is what so many bloggers mean when they claim that "blogging is a conversation": not that each post sparks a vigorous exchange of comments, but that every post exists in a context of post-and-response that stretches across some patch of the Web, link by link, blog to blog.
and finally:
Whatever the outcome of each of our individual bets, we can now see that collectively they constitute something unprecedented in human history: a new kind of public sphere, at once ephemeral and timeless, sharing the characteristics of conversation and deliberation. Blogging allows us to think out loud together. Now that we have begun, it's impossible to imagine stopping.
Now then. A few links on the how-to's (or not-to's). Blogher.com offers these lists of the top mistakes made by beginner bloggers. Go here and here.

Go here for Slate.com's look at the newest blogging craze -- which has led to a book deal or two -- Tumblr, which is essentially a tool for posting snarky pictures under a single theme. Good example: Look at This Fucking Hipster

And finally, go here for a "blook" (you'll see why the crazy name) on incorporating all the toys that are out there into the the future of journalism as well as this collection of essays, from the same source, on the impact of social media. (You may have to scroll down the page. Look for the "social media" heading.) Thanks, Jorem Thorn. bk

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