December 2, 2006
In this special edition of “reconstruction” which focuses on blogging practices is the following article which I found especially fascinating:
Design and Play: Weblog Genres of Adolescent Girls in Israel by Carmel L. Vaisman
I like the focus on visual practices of bloggers (though claims that other researchers aren’t examining the visual are not accurate, i.e. Sally Humphrey’s fabulous article here) - but it is nevertheless great to see that multimodal analysis is being discussed widely. Here is the abstract:
Abstract: Unique circumstances existing in the Israeli blogsphere have attracted many adolescent girls. In recent years, a growing number of weblogs belonging to adolescent girls are challenging blogging norms, creating a tension between written narratives and performance narratives that combine design and play practices. Existing weblog research has explored the connections between gender, linguistic features, and genre but has not examined visual blog genres, nor questioned the role of features inherent in weblog software in the formation of gendered blog genres and blogging norms. Based on a work-in-progress of a larger scope, I shall argue that design supportive features distinctive to Israeli weblog software are directly responsible for the emergence of new blog genres and blogging norms, as well as for attracting many adolescent girls to blogging.
July 31, 2006
Yay!!! Uses of Blogs, which has my chapter on Fictional Blogs in it, is now available!
Links to the table of contents, chapter one, and the contributors can be found here. This is very exciting!
June 30, 2006
Yay!!!! The special edition of E-Learning that I edited is now published and available (free!!). Here are the details and contents:
E-LEARNING (ISSN 1741-8887)
Volume 3, Number 2, 2006
Guest Editor: ANGELA THOMAS
Editorial, pages 124-125
ANGELA THOMAS. ‘MSN was the Next Big Thing after Beanie Babies’: children’s virtual experiences as an interface to their identities and their
everyday lives, pages 126-142
SALLY HUMPHREY. ‘Getting the Reader On Side’: exploring adolescent onlinepolitical discourse, pages 143-157
BARBARA J. GUZZETTI. Cybergirls: negotiating social identities oncybersites, pages 158-169
REBECCA W. BLACK. Language, Culture and Identity in Online Fanfiction, pages 170-184
KEVIN LEANDER & AMY FRANK. The Aesthetic Production and Distribution of Image/Subjects among Online Youth, pages 185-206
LALITHA VASUDEVAN. Making Known Differently: engaging visual modalities as spaces to author new selves, pages 207-216
JULIA DAVIES. Affinities and Beyond! Developing Ways of Seeing in Online Spaces, pages 217-234
GUY MERCHANT. Identity, Social Networks and Online Communication, pages 235-244
JONATHAN PAUL MARSHALL. Categories, Gender and Online Community, pages 245-262
BOOK REVIEW E-Literature for Children: enhancing digital literacy learning (Len Unsworth), reviewed by Angela Thomas, pages 263-264
For all editorial matters, including articles offered for publication, please contact Professor Michael A. Peters (email@example.com).
June 1, 2006
I had a wonderful compliment today (once I worked out what it meant *laugh*) - I was told that my blog is “sticky“. From wikipedia, the intended meaning of this is as follows:
Sticky content refers to content published on a website, which has the purpose of getting a user to return to that particular website. Webmasters use this method to build up a community of returning visitors to a website.
Apparently its not just my blog that is sticky, but blogs in general since the regular posts mean readers want to keep coming back for updates. But I have never heard that term before, and so I am going to take the comment to mean that I have one reader who enjoys coming back to read more! Now if I only I had something blog worthy today - SL shut down for an upgrade before I had the opportunity to go on an ARG (alternate reality game) quest called “Mata Hari” that I read about over here which involves running around Second Life following clues to win myself some free jewellery!!! (Originally followed the link on ARGs from Gary here). But maybe if I foreshadow that I plan to go on this quest, any interested readers will want to come back and see if I was successful… thereby redeeming myself today by making this post sticky?
March 6, 2006
Wow! Wow! Jill Walker has just won a major University prize for research blogging! How wonderful that her University is recognising blogging as an important academic activity! Congratulations Jill, this is a remarkable achievement.
February 19, 2006
Well! I was just scrolling through my technorati links and found a report called “State of the Blogosphere” (via the Technorati blog) and discovered that because I have more than 20 people who link to me, I fall into the 155,000 blogs that qualify as “the Magic Middle” (as opposed to the “Long Tail”): … a realm of topical authority and significant posting and conversation within the blogosphere. Isn’t that fun! My ranking is actually 85,180 th, and I have 29 sites that link to me. Here’s a summary of the relevant bit:
The Magic Middle
This realm of publishing, which I call “The Magic Middle” of the attention curve, highlights some of the most interesting and influential bloggers and publishers that are often writing about topics that are topical or niche, like Chocolate and Zucchini on food, Wi-fi Net News on Wireless networking, TechCrunch on Internet Companies, Blogging Baby on parenting, Yarn Harlot on knitting, or Stereogum on music - these are blogs that are interesting, topical, and influential, and in some cases are radically changing the economics of trade publishing.
At Technorati, we define this to be the bloggers who have from 20-1000 other people linking to them. As the chart above shows, there are about 155,000 people who fit in this group. And what is so interesting to me is how interesting, exciting, informative, and witty these blogs often are. I’ve noticed that often these blogs are more topical or focused on a niche area, like gardening, knitting, nanotech, mp3s or journalism and a great way to find them has been through Blog Finder.
I think that’s pretty cool. I stole somebody’s quote the other day for my talk about blogging and said “I won’t ever get my 15 minutes of fame, but I will be famous for 15 people!” But now I am famous for 29 people. Thank you, 29 people, for making me “magical”. *grin*
February 16, 2006
I’ve just ordered Will Richardson’s book and hopefully will have a chance to use it in a series of workshops I’m planning to run with teachers in the latter part of the year. From Will’s blog, here are the details:
Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms.
Table of Contents:
1. The Read/Write Web
A New World Wide Web
The Read/Write Web in Education
Keeping Students Safe
2. Weblogs: Pedagogy and Practice
Weblogs in Schools
The Pedagogy of Weblogs
Blogging Across the Curriculum
Blogs as Resources
Classroom Uses of Weblogs
Standards for the English Language Arts
Sponsored by NCTE and IRA
3. Weblogs: Get Started!
Blogging With Students
Making a Blog Roll
4. Wikis: Easy Collaboration for All
The Challenge of Wikipedia in Schools
Wikis in Schools
Examples of Wikis in K–12 Education
Wiki Tools for Schools
Other Wiki Tools and Resources
5. RSS: The New Killer App for Educators
Setting Up an RSS Feed Reader
Finding and Adding Feeds
Using RSS Feeds in the Classroom
Combining RSS Feeds
Including RSS Feeds in Your Weblog
Reading RSS Feeds
6. The Social Web: Learning Together
Reading What Others Read
Social Bookmarking Services
Bookmarks in the Classroom
7. Fun With Flickr: Creating, Publishing, and Using Images Online
Learning With Flickr
Flickr in Practice
More Flickr Fun
8. Podcasting and Screencasting: Multimedia Publishing for the Masses
Podcasts and Schools
Getting Started With Podcasting
9. What It all Means
The Big Shifts
Just the Beginning
Epilogue: The Classroom of the Read/Write Web
February 14, 2006
When I opened my email this morning I thought I had several secret admirers sending me Valentine’s Day greetings but alas, it was only spam. Nonetheless, Happy Valentine’s Day to everybody.
Today is the REME (Research in English and Multiliteracies Education) research seminar day and I am presenting THREE papers!!!! (Well, two proper papers and then some tips for post-grads about publishing).
I was reluctant at first to link my powerpoint presentations because I tend now to leave most of the text off the slides and speak to the images, so they don’t really stand alone so well, but for anybody who cares, here they are uploaded onto flickr:
Blogging as a Literacy Research Tool (starring two of my amazing research participants Tiana and Jandalf for about the 5th presentation I’ve done in a row! as well as DrJoolz, Michele and Guy in the “bloggers I networked with in Miami” section): this is the serious one for researchers, although there are some silly jokes in it which might not come across through the slides
From the post-PhD blues to publication bliss (note: bliss is an overstatement and somewhat tongue in cheek): this is for post-grads
Kahootz: Children as active designers of 3D animated simulations, games and narratives : this is for upper primary and early secondary school teachers
I have written papers for the Blogging and the Kahootz sessions but want to tweak them some more before uploading them.
Let’s hope the audience gives me some love after my disappointment over the fake Valentine’s messages!
January 30, 2006
According to this TMZ.com media report, bloggers have come under fire for predicting the Oscar contenders. With a title, “Do bloggers know more than mainstream media?” the article (and the ones this article reports about) has caused quite a stir, because somebody’s study has shown that bloggers have been getting it right in the past more than mainstream journalists!
But this debate over bloggers vs. journalists seems outdated to me now. Axel Bruns quoted Glenn Reynolds in a book chapter he’s written for Uses of Blogs, saying that “… although some bloggers ‘do actual reporting from time to time, most of what they bring to the table is opinion and analysis – punditry’.” Whatever it is - punditry, gatewatching, opinion, micro-commentary, I love the showbiz gossip blogs. How else would I find out that Guy Ritchie is going to be Brad and Angelina’s best man??
January 25, 2006
I have spent the entire day today writing my “Blogging as a Literacy Research Tool” paper at the same time as working on the powerpoint presentation to go with it. I love working that way because the combination of academic thinking and creativity seems to work really well for me.
I used these notes that I made last year as a starting point for anybody interested. I’ll no doubt be editing and refining the actual thing until two minutes before the presentation in mid-Feb, so will upload the final thing then.