Friday, February 28, 2003

Tracking other conversations

Sometimes I don't want to participate, but I like reading.

Liz Lawley posted some interesting comments on academia. Baldur Bjarnason wrote about the curse of the meme in academia and blog culture. Shelley Powers urges a return to blogging about the rest of the world, and the comment-conversations are fascinating.

I know that many people have no patience for reflexivity - among quantitative researchers it is sometimes referred to as "intellectual masturbation" or "navel-gazing," and in this context it can be referred to as "meta-blogging." But despite limits of usefulness and appeal, it can be very interesting. Reflections on self and group can illuminate otherwise hidden power-relations and problematise the taken-for-granted; meta-blogging draws attention to discrepancies between what we say we do and what we actually do. And a little reflexivity can prevent over-stating the uniqueness and value of any one individual voice. That ought to be worth something!

(Update) I still maintain that it is more interesting to look at *how* people link to each other, rather than *how many* link to each other. Why? Because comment-conversations construct and reflect context-specific relationships (apologies for so many c-words!) and that's what being social is about ;)

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