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    Homework and comments from Trinity's Blogging On class will be displayed here.


    No Crush on Spazeboy!

    Just thought it needed to be said.


    Many Thanks

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!!


    License to Quill

    Chalk up the topic of anonymity as one more contrast between blogging and MSM. One of the first lessons I learned in high school when I thought I wanted to be a journalist, aside from the Canons of Journalism, was that everything that I would write for a newspaper would theoretically have my by-line associated with it. Op-Ed articles inside the Courant or any other reputable paper won't be printed without the accompanying author's name, and in fact the articles are verified by a newspaper representative before they are actually printed. Not so with blogs.

    I've written a few editorials for the Courant that were published, and reaction to them ranged from misunderstanding and stereotyping my point of view to unsolicited mailings to my home address that had virtually nothing to do with my editorial aside from a 30,000 foot overview.  With crackpots like the Unabomber in the world, and in light of the whole Salmon Rushdie thing in the 80's, there is a strong case for anonymity in the blogging community.  I took "joeydee" as my persona more as a pseudonym than a desire to remain anonymous, but that persona was already well-developed from 12 years of fantasy football newsletters and Nascar newsletters. There are a few times, however, where I've woken up in the morning wishing I could just crawl under a rock from something I wrote the night before. Blogging anonymity may provide a buffer to some of that, but as some of us found out with Jason, it's not a License to Kill with words. bond.JPG The persona, I believe, develops as we become more public with our writing, and we are able to judge upon the favorable and objectionable reactions to the things we have said in print.


    Running With It

    tricolor.JPGI'm probably just full of shit here, but If I could take my tri-colored model and run with it, I would say that the bloggers who visited us last Monday (and I wish I wrote down who they all were during the introductions) all have various makeups of information (red), influence (blue), and entertainment (yellow) qualities to their blogs. (I drew the picture on the left myself, my own contribution to the blog community.)  Bloggers like Spazeboy to me would be slightly higher in the entertainmant value of their blogs, although strongly grounded in the influencial (advocacy) aspect, while a blog like Connecticut Local Politics is more firmly grounded in a informational style that more closely resembles traditional MSM journalism.  Two of the women bloggers (and I can't remember their blogsites--damn the wretched grain alcohol!) seemed to shade toward an advocacy style, with the woman by the door approaching advanced (and incurable) Leibermanitis, and the asian-ish (can I say that?) woman who sat beside me proclaiming the value of Connecticut Public Television news more than once. (I don't think my remote gets that channel...)  My guess is that their sites would shade toward advocacy blue, but lighter on the entertainment yellow than someone like Spazeboy or CT Bob.  Then there's Aldon, who is so informational his underwear is probably red. How does one whip out a handy quote for virtually any occasion? If I'm ever in a game show and need to phone a friend, Aldon would definitely be on my speed dial! 


    The Trichotomy of Blogging

    So I was thinking about the first assignment and something didn't quite jive with me as far as what I wish to accomplish with my blog (if anything). Colin suggested that there was what Aldon would have called a "dichotomy" of information processing on blogs, that some bloggers were information nuts and some were more inclined to promote an agenda important to them. I think that leaves out another critical aspect of blogging, the basic urge to entertain. I look at my own blog and I see elements of all three--I certainly have been trying to promote an agenda through political commentary, promotion of organizations that are important to me, etc. I try to disseminate some information through links and file sharing of articles I have written. But one of my main goals is to just have some fun and try to make people laugh (hopefully with some degree of success). 

    Jim mentioned that there is always going to be some bias in anything that is written, and I agree, although I feel that journalists and other professionals cast in a role requiring non-bias are generally able to comply with an acceptable level of non-bias (in the eyes of the public) because if they don't, they hear about it through editorials or just plain whining. I think of it in terms of refereeing a football or baseball game--the referee may personally have a certain like or dislike for a particular team, but in being a professional he is (hopefully) able to set that aside and perform according to expectations.

    Aldon (I think) spoke about phD's who create blogs simply to disseminate information about research or projects they are working on. That might work as a straight distribution method for infomation, but I don't think we're going to see any such blogs on the Technarati Top 100 list any time soon.  There just seems to be a third element involved here. In my view, a blog should process some type of information, it should have some sort of viewpoint on that information (which does not necessarily need to be an extreme viewpoint), and it should attempt to relay that information and viewpoint in sort sort of entertaining matter.  By entertaining, I don't necessarily mean "funny", but funny works. If a blog is just simply "funny" but doesn't disseminate any information, it might not be taken very seriously by masses, although it may still be enjoyable.