Monday, December 06, 2004

Me, machine

So we are machines, Mark? Machines that are supposed to work in the way that satisfies you?

Perhaps we used to offer the best way for Mark Bernstein to keep updated in new media, but to us, it was and is a work in progress, the work of our academic life. And when we no longer offer what he liked about our blogs, the flaw is not in our lives, but in the expectations.

We share freely of what we have and what we do. We don't ask anything but the occasional interesting link or discussion in return. But our lives have changed from the focus they had when Mark Bernstein was interested, and so has probably his. The world of blogging and the general resources available online certainly have.

So yes Mark, the network is still here and still working, and it is still shaped by the individuals more or less loosely connected to it. That our interests have diversified isn't really a problem or a great loss to the world.


Mark said...

Nobody said "not interested" as far as I recall. You're always interesting.

But one of the things we're both interested in, I think, is the structure of discourse in this space. For example, you've made significant contributions toward the study of weblogs as a scholarly medium.

Isn't it interesting that we appear to have observed a change in citation practice amongst some academic blogs? Is the effect illusory? Is it measurable? Is it a transient phenomenon, or persistent? Is it widespread, or local? Can we measure this objectively? How? With what precision?

(Side note: this is as close as we've gotten to flaming, I think, even though I'm pretty certain you and I agree on most aspects of this question, and that we disagree much more fundamentally on issues of computer games we've discussed in the past. I think this is One Of Those Things, but I wonder again if comments make it worse. I've pretty much decided to stop commenting on weblogs after this; will that help? Again -- how could we KNOW if that would help or not?)

Torill said...

Mark, I think the wish to "kickstart" the "cluster" was a little over the line, as well as the claim that we have stopped disseminating knowledge.

Yes, I am interested in the mechanisms behind the development of new media. But most of the people I consider the core I started out with almost burned out over the work we were doing. Now we need to put that aside, make space for new ideas and learn about being part of a faculty. Life happens.

As for comments? I don't use them much. People don't use them much here. I would probably remove them if they became too active - but that's just the way I feel about them. Blogs will change. In not too long they will be obsolete. People will want different areas to chat in. Yesterday I learned a new word: instancing - to play in semi-privacy. The new social software is offering exactly that, and more and more people want it. I think that is the direction blogs will move in, and then the social dynamics will become much sharper defined but also less transparent. And I am not upset about it at all.