Monday, 7 May 2012

WEB206 - Week 10: Links

Up until now we have largely focused on how you can use your own creative skills in order to build up an identity on the Web. This, however, is only half of the story in terms of building an audience for your work. As Web technologies have advanced, the act of creating an identity on the Web is increasingly tied to your use of social media as a platform for communication. As you will see in the readings this week, Web 2.0 has given rise to an environment wherein reciprocity and participation play a significant role.

Becoming a part of the Conversation
As you develop your online identity, you will need to engage with others who are also writing about your area of interest. There are a number of ways that you can foster this type of connection through the hub of your web presence.

Blogrolls
Blogrolls are the list of linked-to blogs and sites that appear on the sidebar of blogs. As you saw in Topic 1.1, the sites you select to link to in your blogroll form a part of your online presence inasmuch as they indicate to readers who you are reading and the types of discussion you are following. There is typically a degree of reciprocity in blogrolling (i.e. "you link to me, I link to you") but you need to be selective in the sites you link to. Once again, the question to ask yourself is "What does linking to this site say about me?".

Comments
As you will see in the readings over the next two weeks, as social media platforms have evolved, they have become increasingly 'conversational'. The main way that these conversations are manifest in blogs is through comments and trackbacks. Engaging with other writers through comments, you can not only expand your own understandings of your topic, but also become involved in a broader discussion that will enhance your web presence.

Trackbacks
Implemented in a variety of ways by different blogging softwares, trackbacks operate as a kind of automated comment service. If two blogs both have trackback active, when a post is made to one blog and that post is subsequently linked to by another, a notification appears in the comments of the originating article. Although trackbacks are being largely superseded by shifting conversations to other media platforms (E.g. Instant messaging, Twitter), a large number of blogs still use the feature.

This week's readings/viewing:
Hendriks, N. (2009). From Social Media To Human Media - critical reflection on social media & some design methods to design social environments. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/nielshendriks/from-social-media-to-human-media-critical-reflection-on-social-media-some-design-methods-to-design-social-environments
Ali-Hasan, N. F., & Adamic, L. A. (2007). Expressing Social Relationships on the Blog through Links and Comments. Paper presented at the AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media, Boulder.
Available:http://www.icwsm.org/papers/2--Ali-Hasan--Adamic.pdf
Herring, S., Kouper, I., Paolillo, J., Scheidt, L., Tyworth, M., Welsch, P. et al. (2005). Conversations in the Blogosphere: An Analysis "From the Bottom Up". Paper presented at the 38th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.
Available: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?arnumber=1385453&;tag=1

Activity - Discussion Questions

Has your own Blog/Web presence hub attracted any comments beyond those of other students? How do you think you might encourage conversation through your writing?
So far my blog has only attracted a couple of comments from other students. However, I've put links to some of the posts onto my business Facebook page and Twitter accounts and there have been a couple of "Likes" and an email so I was a bit happy!

In your own tracking of Blogs on your chosen topic, how much of the conversational nature of the blogosphere have you directly observed?
To be honest, not a lot! Granted, a lot of posts have a lot of comments, but in general I don't see a lot of replies to THOSE comments by the original poster, which is what I would consider would make it a real "conversation".

Given the broadly social and participatory nature of Web 2.0 technologies, is the term media still appropriate to describe these emerging forms?

I realise that academia hates Wikipedia as a reference but I thought the Wikipedia article for "media" was quite informative!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media

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