Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Technological intervention and inevitability

How many people read their own blog?

I read mine damn near every day - which I'm pretty sure can't be all good. Of course, blogging has been a central part of my research methodology for the past three years, and in my dissertation I describe that I've actually written it through my blog. (The recursivity of this isn't irrelevant: blogging as one of my primary research methods has been a place to think out loud, a form of catharsis, and a way to practice. As such, its history reads not unlike a romantic novella with all its pitfalls.)

Latour and Woolgar describe how, in any inscription, "all the intermediary steps which made its production possible are forgotten" - resulting in black boxing and the like. Definitely, but my blog has, to varying extents, remembered the production of my dissertation as well. (What gets remembered and what gets forgotten in this blog as inscription/device has been one of the most interesting things to look at in my analysis.)

But here's the most important thing I think I've learned: blogging as a research methodology works best (i.e. is most critical and creative) when there is conversation, or more specifically when there is a convergence of difference along shared matters-of-concern. (Yes, my experiments continue!) For example, take last Monday's post, Technological inevitability and intervention: the comments are far more insightful than the original post.


Anonymous Francois Lachance said...

How many people "reread" their blogs? Rereading is in a sense a coming to be in-between and thus an intervention for the getting. Ever wonder about the clustering of images in entries? They appear almost like screens that indicate to the careful, habitual reader that the author is away at word-working on that other writing project. This just to say that certain objects remind by their placement not by what they are. It's not a knot if it's tangled.


Anonymous Trevor F. Smith said...

I went so far as to write a quick search tool for my blog and other sites, since they hold so many thoughts that I no longer keep in my head.

Blogger e-tat said...

What do you mean by read? In some literal sense I would expect everyone to at least review their posts, thereby reading their own material. But that's probably not what you mean. So I'm a bit puzzled.

Anyway, there's a really interesting function of blogs and web-publications generally, which is that they generate 'new' meaning long after the author has forgotten the content. The obvious example is a post that continues to prompt comments years after the initial publication. In some way, the ongoing commentary is an imposed memory, a past that reinvents itself and demands recognition.

Blogger Ulises said...

I regret to confess that I don't read my blog as much as I should ;-) Sometimes I go back and it's like reading something by someone else for the very first time.

Anyhoo, taking a page from your blog, Anne, I've been trying from the beginning to make my blog part of my dissertation writing process. I think it's working, but some people (see this and this) have questions about the legitimacy of the endeavor, it seems.

Anonymous Sanjay Khanna said...

Well, here's to your gift of fostering conversation. I hope I learn something about that from your light touch and open-ended questions. ;-)


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