Thursday, March 31, 2005
Hypertext - literature studies
Genre studies - again, within leterature and media studies
Social networks and online communities - social sciences coupled with information science
Cyber culture - sociology and ethnography
Technology, software - information science, informatics
Journalism - media studies and sociology
Media politics - media studies and sociology, ethnicity and gender
I am certain there is research done which does not fit in any of these categories, but at the moment I can't see it. And the categories need to be more precisely described. Anybody got any thougths on this?
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Summer in Volda is not neccessarily so warm that the winter clothes don't come in handy. The real difference is in what footwear we use. After months of heavy, insulating boots, to be able to slip the feet into light sneakers or perhaps even an optimistic pair of sandals is a luxury. And then there are the activities which are impossible in winter.
This year I am borrowing/inheriting a pair of roller blades from my son. Yesterday I tried them for the first time ever, as I found a place I hoped would be sheltered from prying eyes. Turns out that half of Volda had decided to practice rollerskating away from prying eyes at the exact same road as I was on, at the same time. Nothing like looking helpless and clumsy in company of all your neighbours for the community spirit.
This winter has been too long and too dark, and I have been more affected by the weather than ever before. Exhaustion has been a familiar companion, edging me towards despair as I have failed tasks and seen opportunities slip. But now the days are longer than the nights, and the intense light from a wide open sky, reflected in the ever-moving water, fills even the darkest corners of my mood.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Kristin Halvorsen, of SV - Socialistic left - argues with Torbjørn Røe Isaksen of the young right, about whether or not Torbjørn has a blog. Kristin's argument was that his blog had no comments, so it had to be a net diary. Torbjørn was bragging about being the first Norwegian politician with the important, sophisticated political instrument called a blog.
I don't know if I should despair over what goes for a Norwegian blogosphere, or be happy it's only about 5 million people in the world who understand the language brilliant debates such as this take place in.
But for a researcher who likes to study pop cultures, cultural changes, the internet and rhetoric, the politician's use of the word blog, as well as how they strive to be the one using it correctly and according to a norm, is fascinating.
Although my personal solution might be to limit myself to New Norwegian blogs only. Is there a portal for New Norwegian blogs? Probably a project for Aasen-tunet...
This is a brilliant idea. Rather than defending the whaling as a matter of research, Norwegians should just say: Yes, it’s cruel, but pay us XXX XXX XXX$ for each whale we would otherwise kill, and we’ll find some other research to do. And if a rabbit, who looks like he can’t weigh more than a kilo or two, is worth 50 000 $, imagine what a whale would mean for the research funds of Norway!
Link by way of Thomas.
And all this for only Euro 5.95 a month. For free, you don't get to search, but you get to put in your own information and invite friends - so you may contribute content for free, but can not find it.
This looks like a rather standard contact site set-up, only with a clear target group: academics. Not a silly thought, really, but I can find so many people online for free, do I need this as well?
Friday, March 25, 2005
And for you poor language-deprived people out there: It's a blog about gender in Norwegian society (among other things), well-written, enthusiastic and sharp, and a testimony to the fact that perhaps Norwegians aren't to be that much envied after all. Life for women in one of the countries where we are supposed to have the most options and the most protection, isn't quite that perfect once you scratch the varnish.
Link by way of Hjorten, who's inspired this Easter.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
I remembered this because the last couple of days, I have been experiencing the closest I ever got to that feeling. I had a present from the men of the family: I got a new bike.
I have wanted one for years, and now I have it and it's spring! No matter that the snow is melting slowly, the roads are bare and I am flying low above the ground. OK, so I am sore in muscles forgotten and places unmentionable, but the sensation of wind in my hair, of racing along with no effort, freely, unfettered - it is like a dream.
And so it's spring, Sunday 20th was the spring equinox, days are now longer than nighs here, and the light is returning fast. I have a slight burn on my cheeks after biking into the sun, and I haven't wanted to collapse with exhaustion at any time today. All I want to do is cherish that sensation of flying.
And not think of those other dreams.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Beathe is a young Norwegian male who wants to write his life as if he was a happy, young girl. He gives no particular reason why, he just wants to. His writing is really pretty "girly", perhaps exessively so, the way young men who play female characters in role-playing games are more female than women.
What is interesting and attentiongrabbing with "Oh, if I was Beathe!" is the fact that he was denied access to the Norwegian portal nettdagbok.no. The purpose of nettdagbok.no is to let other bloggers know that your blog has been updated. A kind of mutual reading circle. The rules for being on nettdagbok.no are: you have your own blog, you link to nettdagbok.no, you write a personal blog and not a topical blog (I suspect the distinction is something along the lines of diary vs themed blog - I also think I would not be permitted even if I wrote in Norwegian), you don't use your blog for flaming and you don't focus on or write engraving about sex. (Yes, nettdagbok.no actually uses the word which translates to engraving. No, we are not talking about double meanings here, who ever wrote that fac must think "inngraverende" means "graverende" - which means something along the lines of compromising.)
But these rules were not there when Beathe wanted to link his/her blog to the portal. At that point all he needed was a blog, writing in Norwegian and a link on his blog to nettdagbok.no.
This has become a crucical moment in the Norwegian blogosphere, because it highlights several problems. One is the problem of "real". Hjorten, one of the Norwegian language blogs I enjoy due to his mixture of heavy sarkasm and common sense, withdraws from nettdagbok.no because he isn't real. His blog, he claims, is an edited version of reality, and doesn't honestly and totally reflect his person.
Tonje points out the elitism in the decision: that only one person can make and enforce the rules of the portal more or less randomly, and decide what is real blogging. Andreas leaves the portal for this reason, while another Andreas claims communication theory insists all writers need a receiver, a reader.
And this is what the portal and the fight is over: the readers.
The purpose of nettdagbok.no is to supply readers for writers. The real power in the media is traditionally not on the supply of writers, we know that. Quality content does not automatically lead to power, as any person with some slight critical sense will discover from reading and watching some of the larger media institutions out there. Power in the media comes with having an audience. And so being refused by a portal such as this means to be excluded from "the source".
Well, guess what, the current discussion proves why blogs have a different kind of power from the established media. Blogs can share, generate and focus readers with very high speed. Beathe reports that s/he has had more readers and comments than ever, since s/he was excluded from nettdagbok.no. The event seems to have made parts of the Norwegian blogosphere react violently, making a stand for freedom of content and the right to present yourself as what ever you like, the kind of enthusiasm and intensity which creates the debates that creates the links that creates the blogosphere. This is the power of the blog, right here, in the buzz and the link and the sharing of the love, not in the organised portals and the control of the access to the readers. Come to think of it, hardly any of the blogs I read would have been permitted under the rules of nettdagbok.no, even if they did write in Norwegian.
The readers are there. Your skill, enthusiasm and involvement will grab them. But if it is only 5 readers who are made for your content, so be it, give those five your best, and it will be good enough. It is about the flow, not the fame. At least for me, and this is my blog, so right here, I rule!
Monday, March 21, 2005
Sunday, March 20, 2005
WOW! Go NoA! This is as good as the double Norwegian victory and new world record in ski-jumping in Slovenia today! (Although not as heavily covered by Norwegian broadcasting just yet.)
But, LOOK, the deadline for all submissions was not 21st of March as we though, but 28th! Lucky me, I get to spend easter finishing this!
Well, I get to spend two days of easter for this. The rest of the period it is back to the weblogs and literacy project, an article moving at snail's pace towards a deadline I keep supressing.
I think I'll make one of Jill's not-to-do lists, and look at all the things I can ignore for the next week, when I feel too far down from spending easter with the cat, writing and cleaning up in the basement.
Friday, March 18, 2005
The light has returned. I have hungered for it, through a dark and wet winter. Still, the cold lingers and spring hesitates. But this morning, before leaving for work, watching the sun tip the mountains and kiss the clouds, I let cold be cold as my eyes drank the light.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
ICA is a foreign organisation to me, it keeps its conferences within North America for three out of four years, and the conference programs and history do not tell anything about where the conferences are the fourth year. So I can't tell if outside North America means in Canada and Mexico, or if the conference leaves the continent. But I have known of it for a long time, and am curious about it. I also have not been in any of the more classic media scholar conferences for years, as my scope has narrowed to games and digital media, and so I am quite exited about dipping back into what I consider my scholarly roots.
But after years of digital media pursuits, I suspect that the feeling will be slightly Sting-ish: A visit to a country where the language is familiar and still slightly different: different focus, different values, different style.
I don’t take coffee I take tea my dear
I like my toast done on one side
And you can hear it in my accent when I talk
I’m an englishman in new york
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Monday, March 14, 2005
I have never doubted the existence of Francis Strand, he is so human and writes such wonderful posts and emails. But I still enjoy the way his voice fleshes out the image of him.
(Oh, and the Scandinavian word of the day is torg/torv/torj, which means means market.)
(And while I search for Dust from a distant sun, in order to link to Tinka, I find she is leaving her location, a breadcrumb trail leading from the post that is about to be deleted to her new blog. Some other girl who calls herself Eve and calls her blog distantsun.blogspot.com comes up at the url that used to lead to Tinka. While I stopped reading distantsun a long time ago, seduced to other reads, I know I will miss its existence in the links of friends and in other weblogs. Kind of like discovering that some of your neighbours have moved, there are new people in their home, and you never noticed.)
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Friday, March 11, 2005
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
I have this soft spot for a well-written scam letter. It contains all the triggers and addresses our dreams. The latest promised me compensation for using microsoft products, addressing the latent resentment against a company so widespread and so powerful, we all feel it owes us something. It went on to say that I would gain economic independence, all I needed to do was give my account information over the Microsoft's connection in Netherland, and I'd be a million dollar wealthier.
MICROSOFT SOURCE INTERNET SWEEPSTAKES B.V
12Z ELIZABETH WALSTRAAT
1801NZ AMSTERDAM OOST,
AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS.
FROM: THE OFFICE OF THE MANAGING DIRECTOR.
INTERNATIONAL PROMOTION/PRIZE AWARD DEPT
We are pleased to inform you of the result of the Internet compensation promotion programs held on the 7th of March, 2005 and it is aimed at compensating frequent Internet explorers in all over the world. Your e-mail address attached to ticket number; *********** with serial number *************, batch number **********, lottery reference number ******** and drew from lucky numbers ****************which consequently won in the 2nd category, you have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of US$1,000,000.00 (ONE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLAR) only by the Microsoft source Company, payable in cash credited to security file numbers; ************* at the Netherlands Payment Authority.
Interestingly enough, the email address of whomever I was supposed to contact ended with netscape.net.
Insert prince/minister/king for microsoft, insert money transaction for winning sweepstakes, and insert yours sincerely Prince Al Hassar Ayid Umhallan for the microsoft sweepstakes office, and you see that this email has close relatives in Nigeria.
It is still fun. Who wouldn't want a million $ in their account? I prefer the Nigerian scam in the pure form though, because it offers an additional little fantasy: After they have transferred the 12 mill $ to my account, and are about to move 11 of them on, who is to stop me from cancelling their permission to withdraw money from my account? All I need is to be quicker than them, and I will have 12 mill instead of one... Human greed and the conviction that we are smarter than them is such a good tool for those who live from our willingness to think money can come free.
Monday, March 07, 2005
Saturday, March 05, 2005
Thursday, March 03, 2005
It is here, my daughters, that love is to be found - not hidden away in corners but in the midst of occasions of sin. And believe me, although we may more often fail and commit small lapses, our gain will be incomparably the greater. ~ St. Teresa of Avila
And, of course, it has a list of Isaac Asimov quotes, at least one of which made me reconsider my signature quote.:
If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster. ~ Isaac Asimov
Douglas' article is a delicious outline of the same mechanism as we have discussed several times about weblogs and academic discussions. By discussing the relationship between hypertext and the trivial, printed linear text, she touches on the issues of transparencies and the problem of reflexivity when the basic premise for research is that everything can always be interpreted differently and subjectively. It invites a discussion of the weblog as the relativists' tool, and opens up issues of written modes and prejudice which makes my mind sing, like a bell.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
It's an independently wealthy, well educated, capable and tidy personal slave.
Whenever I want to do something, even just plan a lecture, there is so much paperwork I need to shovel first, my back hurts. I am fine with doing the nit-picking work of research, fine with reading 10 books for every 3 I can use, fine with reading 30 papers every 3 weeks, fine with working 12 hour days in order to prepare for a concentrated batch of lectures - what I am not fine with is spending one day on clearing the desk of demands from up above for each task I am actually trained for.
Let me teach, let me research, let me think, speak, gather knowledge and share it!
Just don't make me fill out another form... please...
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
If you read Norwegian and want to watch two broke young men try to survive, make progress and find internet connections through eastern europe and asia, this is the link for you.
I foresee a lot of "No internet connection for the last two weeks, but we are still alive" posts. The question is: where WILL they manage to post?