Genres Web Paper 1
LiveJournal is a blogging website founded in March of 1999 by Brad Fitzpatrick, a student of computer science. In 2005, it was purchased from Fitzpatrick by the American blogging software company Six Apart, and in 2007 the Russian company SUP purchased it from Six Apart. Although academic research on LiveJournal is limited, a December of 2008 study ranked it as the sixth most popular website, among American college students. LiveJournal offers uses personal blogs (or weblogs, online journals) and the option of creating LiveJournal “communities,” which link multiple bloggers together. One LiveJournal blogger of note is Cleolinda Jones, whose blog is called Occupation: Girl. Jones began her LiveJournal in 2003, at the age of twenty-four, and is still blogging on it currently. In her first entry, Jones said, "I swore, when I was in high school, that I was going to grow up but I was never going to grow old, popular cultur
“The key issue is interaction” (Fitzpatrick 20). People have become so afraid of interaction, so afraid of collaboration. Instead people run behind the title of author. An author has power; the ability to create and influence others through words, or art. However, if an author is so powerful, imagine how powerful co-authors would be, or multiple authors, or a piece produced through a collaboration of dozens of minds! Most pieces are collaborations, but their “authors” won’t admit it for fear of loosing status in an academic world that praises individual genius. Yet, if people would only harness the power of collaboration and commit to it boldly, not in shame, then the world of writing would expand exponentially, inclusive of all those unable to be published or heard for whatever reason, and best of all, more people would be able to have fun.
I. Breaking Away
I am a twin. For a very long time now, I had been vying to be my own separate person. My parents, or anyone else in our family for that matter, have never treated us as if my twin and I are just one person. I can’t say much for other people, though. For some reason, the general public thinks that because we are identical twins—same not only outside, but even inside, within our genes—that our personalities should be the same way, too. This is not the case.
Growing up, my mother always made us wear the same clothes. The garments would be similar in pattern and design, only differing in colors. We always had the same hair, the same earrings, the same friends, even the same face. As children, it was fun being my twin’s reflection, and vice versa. When I was old enough to realize there was something wrong in the picture, it seemed impossible, then, to alter the way that many people have been viewing us—inseparable, an entity that somehow cannot exist without the other.
Academic Blogging, a Possible Genre of Digital Humanities?
Tumblr is a blogging website that allows users to post pictures, videos, links, and written pieces to a blog of their own design. The interface is very user friendly (I can even navigate it), and it offers a variety of layouts, both free and for a price, that can help personalize each individual blog.
Along with ways of personalizing ones blog, Tumblr also has a variety of options that fosters a sense of collaborations. For example, if you find a blog you like you are able to “follow” it and then posts from that blog appear on your homepage or “dashboard.” Another method of collaboration is the action of “reblogging.” If you see a post, picture, or video on a blog that you like you have the option to “reblog” it. When you “reblog” a post it appears on your own blog with a list of who has posted or “reblogged” it beforehand; when a post is “reblogged” there is also the option to comment on or add to the post. The comments or additions are separated from the original post which allows it to remain cited.
One morning in September 2011, I was in awe when my eye caught the following Al Jazeera news headline: “Scientists claim to break the speed of light”. It was a break from Einstein’s theory of special relativity that establishes the photonas the fastest particle and a break from the core laws of physics that govern the world around us. Little did I take notice of the science news article as a break in the science writing genre.
"no longer the sole producers, stewards, and disseminators of knowledge or culture, universities are called upon to shape natively digital models of scholarly discourse for the newly emergent public spheres of the present era." (1)
As the information age has taken hold, thoughts, views and writings have gained a wider realm of dissemination than ever before. The internet and its databases have provided the knowledge of those who came before to all and any without a filter or intermediary. Thoughts and ideas are presented through an open door for all to enter and interact. The results of this openness have enacted many changes in all that we think and do, especially in the Digital Humanities. The antiquated idea that a writer constructs her writing as “original” and as an individualized piece of work is being challenged by the overwhelming flow and mixing of ideas by anyone and everyone. The idea of the individual owning a deed to an idea is being replaced by a common space occupied by all. In “The Geography of Thought,” Nisbett delineates the differences between Western individualist thinking and East Asian collective. It is in this light that I’d like to examine our traditional process of “original” writing, explore how the Digital Humanities is reconceiving that concept to a more collective framework and how this might change the landscape.
Of all the words I have ever used to define myself, writer has never been one of them. Every time I write, I write for someone or something else. I write papers for school because I’ve convinced myself that school matters, and I write letters for Amnesty International because issues of justice are important to me. When I first started writing this web-event, it was an assignment that I “had” to do. During a round of revisions, I realized that I was writing for myself. For the first time in my life, I was writing just for myself. So, this is for me, but I want you to read it.
Understanding the Evolution of Change
"For my first paper for the course, Literary Kinds at Bryn Mawr College, I’ll be using Tumblr to do an analysis of what this blogging platform is and the ways in which it can be useful in academic work. It’s going to be crazy meta so I’m going to work hard to keep it fresh and exciting.
In line with the digital humanities, this blog will take the form of an archive - an archive of my thoughts about the medium and how I’ve started to compare this form to others. Additionally, though I do this with aims of a final project of sorts (still to be determined), I want to value the process of learning and I will gladly take any advice that you leave in the comments or my inbox."
(The first post on my Tumblr blog that explores Tumblr as a medium.)