Monday, 9 April 2012

WEB206 - Week 6: The Public Voice

If what we are seeking to do in online publishing is to establish a recognisable Web presence then two issues are of particular importance: Authority and Ethics. Authority is established in part by knowing your topic well, but you can also read over Topic 1.2: Sourcing Information on the Web to understand how authority is established by effective linking to other sites that cover the same ground. Ethics, on the other hand, is a matter of personal integrity - long-time blogger Rebecca Blood offers some advice in the readings about how you can maintain an ethical stance in your writing.

Over the last few years there has been a rise in what has been termed 'citizen journalism'; topics that in the past were written about by dedicated professionals have become the domain of amateur writers who establish their popularity through engagement with their audience and a sense that they know what they are writing about. This does not mean that 'anyone' can become a successful blogger (or online writer of any kind). The most successful of those amateurs, the bloggers who have managed to establish a reputation within their particular field of interest, are not in that position by chance. As much as the Web is a democratic medium, it rewards those who can utilise the platform effectively. Writing for a public audience is a skill that is learned through practice and observation. This week, we are looking at how you can develop your writing skills in the context of a blog post, but the advice offered here applies to most kinds of online writing.

This week's readings:
Lomborg, S. (2009). Navigating the Blogosphere: Towards a genre-based Typology of Weblogs. First Monday, 14(5).
Available: http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2329/2178
Blood, R. (2002). Weblog Ethics. In The Weblog Handbook: Practical Advice on Creating and Maintaining Your Blog. Perseus.
Available: http://www.rebeccablood.net/handbook/excerpts/weblog_ethics.html
Rowse, D. (2008). Nine Signs of an Effective Blog Post. Retrieved September 9th, 2009, from http://www.problogger.net/archives/2008/07/10/nine-signs-of-an-effective-blog-post/.

Do you agree with the suggestion in Walker's article (last week's readings) that the blogosphere can be seen as a revitalising influence on the public sphere?
I found Walker's paper really interesting.  The idea that the cultural effects of print and the rise in literacy created a separation into private and public spheres in the last couple of hundred years, and that blogging is now collapsing that divide, is something I hadn't thought about before but it does make some sense.  So while I'm not convinced that "revitalising" is the right word, I can certainly agree with Walker that blogging is having a profound effect on the public sphere.

Setting aside the Internet, in what other areas of your life do you contribute to the public sphere?
Last year I became involved in a local community group that was created in response to the local council's draft redevelopment plan - although, my contribution to date has mostly been the Internet side of things - website, email lists, etc.!  I also get involved in my kid's school but again, I tend to get involved in ways that I can contribute via my computer.  What can I say, I'm a geek. :>

What blogs do you read for informational purposes? Why?
I've tried RSS feeds and never really got into it - my tool of choice is Twitter, which I use as a sort of pseudo-RSS feed to click off to a variety of different blog posts and articles from there.  I use a Twitter plugin for Firefox called Yoono which sits on the side of my browser, so I don't have to have any extra windows open.  I have a number of lists setup within Twitter and also have a few different Twitter accounts, which can be loosely broken down into work/web-related stuff, footy (go Hawks!), study-related, funny things and friends.

Writing Task:  Available at http://blog.websolutionz.com.au/2012/04/why-should-small-business-owners-read.html
Share:

0 comments:

Post a Comment

COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG ARE FULLY MODERATED. If you post a comment with a backlink, it will be marked as Spam and never published.

Archive