Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Connecticut blogs

Connecticut has bloggers crawling out of the atmosphere

Dog Star's DogBiz Blog

I was disappointed after looking at this blog. While the blog may have utilized blue, my favorite color, there was too much blue. The writing on the colored background was hard to read.

While looking at this blog, I noticed that it was not really updated on a regular basis. Actually, the writer had recently written a post apologizing for its lack of updates. The blog has a nice layout, but it is not really interesting enough for the average reader. It has a few photos, and a lot of available information for anyone interested in dogs in general, especially in regards to their training, but there are not many links to other sites.

Overall, this is not my favorite blog. However, I did like the fact that the blogger was a dog trainer and he managed to create a blog all about his work with the animals that he loves. Some of his posts were humorous and reminded me of the difficulties I had trying to train my own dog.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Response to Berube's "Blogging Back at the Right"

After reading Berube's story, I was less enthused about offering public comments through a web page or through a blog. I was startled how easy it is to take remarks on the web out of context. Instead of using his website as he first intended as a resource, Berube chose to use it to defend himself when others manipulated his work. I do not know if I would want my writing to become a hot topic.

There are many advantages to publicly commenting on issues. It allows the web to stay as accurate as possible. As Berube found, his blog was one way he could keep from being misquoted or having his work misrepresented on other sites. Blogs can keep discussion alive and allow people who might not normally be given a voice, a chance to represent their views in public. A blog can be about anything or everything

The disadvantages of a blog are very visible after reading the Berube article. What someone writes on the web is up for grabs. People not only read your words, but they can easily take from them without permission. Blogs can become a problem if they are not well maintained or properly cited.

A blog entry is different than an newspaper article even if the same text was printed in The Mirror. Blogs may not be considered as serious source. There are very few limitations on blogs, they do not always carry the correct information and there is no institution truly regulating how they appear on the web. Blogs, if popular, could reach an audience much more diverse than the usual readers of a campus newspaper.

Interesting blog

Using the search engine Technorati, I was able to find an interesting blog about blogs called "Bloggers Blog: Blogging the Blogosphere".This site had a lot of information about how to start blogs as well as responding to the more interesting blogs that have appeared on the internet. There is a lot of links to other blogs as well as responding to news that will affect the creation of blogs. I found this site interesting because I feel that it could help to develop my new blog.

Gibson Questions

Read Neuromancer online

The science fiction genre influences our use of language, our understanding of culture, and our attitudes toward technology. Technology becomes more visible in a novel like Neuromancer. William Gibson's novel can explore the facets of technology, both real and imaginative, and bring it to the forefront of his plot. Because he is one of the first to write about the web, he in fact makes up words, such as cyberspace and microsoft that are now integral to society. Our understanding of culture changes through the use of the science fiction genre because it is infused in a world that is different from what we know. Technology changes our viewpoints on what is normal and acceptable. People can no longer escape technology, they have had to change their attitudes because the world is changing. Email is replacing "snail mail", the web has expanded all around the world (William Gibson, pictured at left).

Technology seems to limit the humanity of the characters in Neuromancer. The more technology that Case and the others have access to, they appear less human. Cosmetic surgery, additions, chips, all add to humans becoming more like machines. Humanity becomes a weakness, a sign of frailty. Reality becomes something unattractive to people. Case, especially, uses drugs to escape reality and his own humanity. He, at several points in the novel, is suicidal. Life is not something Case particularly values; he will give it up, because it is easier to die, than to live. Gibson uses rage and anger as a purpose behind action. The characters are so numb and apathetic, that it takes extreme anger or rage to motivate them.

Because this novel was written over twenty years ago, it is in some ways prophetic. Gibson uses words that will in time expand from use only in the science fiction genre to everyday vocabulary. The novel is not meant to be taken as an image of the future, but rather an idea of what could be. Neuromancer is a cynical view of the world taken over by a dependence on technology. Can we recognize ourselves in the characters? Is this what we will become? are questions that Gibson asks throughout the novel. However, Gibson allows the reader to see the hope that he still has in humanity and also the value of technology, through the journey of Case. While Case does not want to embrace his flaws, he is unable to refute his own mortality and this essential connection to humanity.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Bernstein Reading

Mark Bernstein's 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web exposes the differences between his conceptualization of writing for the web and my experiences in writing for other mediums. Bernstein begins his article by focusing on the audience of web writing. While I have written many papers and essays during my college career, the audience for my writings has been limited. Instead of professors or other students, my writing on the web can be read by a variety of people. It is necessary to gear writing on the living web to something that people will want to read. The body of work is not something that is easily finished, I cannot hand it in and forget about it until the grade comes back. There is a sense of responsibility that comes with web writing that is not there in my experience with other mediums. My writing becomes permanent on the web, not easily erased or forgotten. Yet, there are some similarities to other types of writing. I will still want my work to be interesting and succinct. I want to get my opinion out and provide a strong argument on any topic.

Bernstein would not agree with claims that weblogs are little more than glorified diaries. A weblog could be a diary or it could be so much more. Bernstein speaks out for ways to improve weblogs in effort to get away these claims. Weblogs can provide an audience with ideas, stories, truth, and fiction. In order for a weblog to achieve an audience, it cannot rely on only a little thought or effort. It must have style, originality, and a quality that attracts visitors.

While I did not agree with all of Bernstein's tips, I found that most offered sound advice for both those familiar and unfamiliar with web writing. I agree with his tip that it is definitely a priority of any writer to have a reason for writing, an opinion or a goal. Writing on the web should be focused, similar to any other type of media. However, I do not agree with Bernstein's tip that correct grammar is not completely necessary. I believe that it is necessary for web writing to be considered a serious form of writing, it must be written in a more formal style.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My New Friend!

Introducing Tara...

Tara Lynch is not an ordinary college student. Not only is she the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, The Mirror, she has also studied abroad in Galway, Ireland and traveled around the world.

While most seniors at Fairfield University are planning their next party, Tara is applying to law schools. This journalism major from New Hampshire has applied to eight schools, and has already been accepted by two. She is also writing a senior thesis on legal challenges faced by college journalists.

Tara is interested in digital writing because of her interest in the legal aspects of this media. The issues of intellectual property and plagiarism are often called into question because of the lack of limitations placed on the internet.

While she may not be a lawyer yet, apparently her friends have always been sure that she will make an excellent attorney. On New Year's Eve, a minor acquaintance from high school called Tara and asked her for legal advice for a DUI charge.