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The Lighter Side of Jill Walker Rettberg’s “Blogging”

September 9th, 2009 No comments

Jill Walker Rettberg’s Blogging takes us on a journey through the internet and the much used mediums, blogging and social networking.

I found the beginning chapters of this most fascinating and the most fun to read. There is a particularly humorous portion of the book in the early pages. Rettberg talks about different types of personal blogs. Then she discusses The Dullest Blog in the World. (p. 22) She quotes a portion of the blog that gives a short discussion about a pile of pencils. Rettberg says, “…[there are] hundreds of comments, showing how fascinated people are with this simple parody.” (p. 22) I must say that when I read the post she quoted I laughed out loud. I would say that it may not be that people are posting comments so much because they are fascinated, but rather, that they are entertained.

Rettberg further discusses blogs and community networks. Rettberg discusses the difference between a blog and social networks. She describes blogs as “…free-form … decentralized … connecting haphazardly to other blogs.”(p. 57) By contrast, she discusses how social networks differ due to the fact that “…social software is often centralized on a single server, like Facebook, Bebo, or MySpace.” (p. 57) I know from personal experience just how easy it is to create a blog and yet how much more is involved in joining a social network. I’ve been sent invitations to join Facebook, but found the steps to join a little annoying.

In the section where Rettberg discusses blogs as narratives she points out that while most blogs are telling the true story of someone’s life, there are some that are exposed as fiction. Rettberg points out “…sometimes blogs that are written as though they are authentic turn out to be fictional … readers respond with fury and outrage.” (p. 111) She uses Lonelygirl as one example. Since I learned about the Lonelygirl site after it was well known to be fiction, I didn’t experience outrage, I just enjoyed some of the hilarious videos.

One thing this book did for me – it encouraged me to blog. I had previous experience with a class blog in the past. That is a safe route to go. After reading this book I started a personal blog and will likely tie a few different topics together in the future through the blogroll available on wordpress.


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