The Nuts and Bolt(er)s of Blogging
[H]ypermedia authoring can support the emancipation of one’s self and others through the authoring and publication of critical texts that by questioning representations of the self, explain the possibilities for the self in future actions as a member of a community (114).Indeed, blogging and, more specifically, linking, has emancipated me as this metablog has attempted to recount for you. However, as Madeline Sorapure asked her students when assigning them Flash projects to “experience the principle of variability,” when writing this blog I had to ask myself, "How did you know when you were done?" Well I had a list of key points about my linking literacy that I knew I wanted to address, yet because of the myriad amount of the links I have included to tell that story, I had to remind myself that “The reader may well become the author’s adversary, seeking to make the text over in a direction that the author did not anticipate” (Bolter 168). Thus, before I send you off on an adventure of hypertextual happenstance, I will conclude here by summing up where I am now as a blogger and where I want to go.
Having moved from Blogger to Blog-City to Writingblog, I have to say that my third space is where I have found the ideal blend of personal and professional voice. Initially I moved [go here for my first post] for the sole readership of my professor, mentor and bossman, Joe Moxley. Writingblog.org is his pet project, which began in December 2003 and now hosts over 2,800 bloggers, so knowing that he would be reading my posts and following my links gave me the structure that I needed to focus my research interests and streamline my blog’s template. The categories I can create here to list links have helped me organize who and what I read, and the image galleries are an added plus because there is no download required for what other blog spaces call “Premium Features.” A spin-off of Writingblog.org is Researchblogs.org, which describes itself as a site “Established for graduate students, faculty, and librarians involved in the electronic thesis or dissertation process, Researchblogs.org provides a free writing space for the development of ideas and research, linking all in an international dialogue” is a place I might eventually go, but for the time being I am staying put. So much is archived here already and quite frankly, I’m not one who likes moving in any way, shape, or form!
Moreover, I’m learning more and more how I feel about collaboration and perhaps this blog is the best example of my independence as a writer and selfish appreciation for having this space or these multiple spaces as my own. Russell’s essay on Activity Theory has stated, “Writing is an immensely protean tool that activity systems are always and everywhere changing to meet their needs” (56), and each blog I have started has cultivated my writing and using hypertext in different ways. As I mentioned in the first post to this blog, blogging now consumes my academic work and by reading and linking to other professors who blog has taught me more about the genre than you’ll ever know.