Writing into the Blogosphere

Welcome to the Class Portal for English 297EE, Spring 2007. This space will be a central location for linking to blogs, making class announcements, and posting links to articles of interest.


Quite the Menu

Below are links and descriptions of the individual blogs from this course. Read a blurb, read a blog, change your life!

1 Take: Movies and everything else.

Behind the Times: "An abomination in the sight of all that is holy. --Charles Darwin
"This blog gave me herpes." --Lenard Nimoy

But How Much Did You Lose? is the newest blog attempting to get in with the worst of it. This poker blog is a welcome break from the otherwise ultra-serious personal blogs of pro and semi-pro players. Burdamania is not afraid to admit his losing ways in everything, whether it be poker-related or just expensive first-dates, but adds a certain sappy charm to it all. There's nothing to lose by bookmarking this new frontier of comedic poker posts!

Floriated Swashbuckling: Interwebular Cranium Cruising on the road to Mottled Wit

From the Brilliant Mind of Mags
: A look at pop culture and fashion through the lens of a twenty something female intertwined with life experiences and stories.

Here's Your Opinion: One guy's take on professional, collegiate and UMass sports. You might not have one yet, so Here's Your Opinion.

Fill Me With Meaning: The author of this blog is a senior English major. Her blog is a random collection of thoughts, writing, and other miscellanea.

That's What She Said is a personal blog that displays Ludakristi's life as a
graduating college senior. In it you'll find topics ranging from serious to
comical, recipes to personal statements, and more. You'll especially like it
if you're into cats and karaoke.

The Commentary is On. All fiction. All the time. Sometimes it's not about you.

The Five Hundred: A comprehensive guide to pretentious, foreign, and domestic films, French New Wave, youtube clips and self-deprication, updated weekly and guaranteed to make you visit wikipedia.com at least twice.

Seth Sibley is a senior English major and Classics minor, graduating in
May of 2007. Seth's blog, "UMassDarkside -- Konami Code Kid," is, as the
title suggests, all about video gaming. Seth's been playing video games
borderline-religiously since he was three. And without showing any signs
of stopping, he wanted to share his knowledge about gaming, along with
gaming news, with everyone in the Blogosphere. So what'll it be:
Continue, Save, or Quit?


It takes a village...?

How do blogs create or express community? Do we consider our identities as fixed prior to our entrance into the blogosphere? Or does our interaction there construct a new identity? Do we join blogging communities based upon previous interests, or discover new possibilities for community and interaction by exploring blogs? Are these communities “real”? Why or why not? What purposes do they serve for us or for others?


Just like being there

I thought we looked at some really interesting ways that some blogs are using multimedia. Obviously, using images, videos, and sound are pretty common in blogs, but how these things get used in the service of the blog's purpose is where it's worth focusing our attention.

So, how have you been using multimedia? How do you present images, video, or sound? How might the multimedia be used in relation to the purpose or operating theme of your blog? What's the relationship of the multimedia to the text?



I just wanted to remind everyone of the new posting policy. You can still post absolutely anytime you want, but please have your posts done by Monday night. It was just getting too confusing trying to determine how to give credit (last week, or next week?) for posts that came in right around 3-5pm on Tuesdays. Especially when the timestamps aren't always set for Eastern time.

I hope this doesn't overly inconvenience anyone. Happy blogging, and we'll see you in two weeks! Check back here for a couple of questions we can be considering during our long hiatus.


Does the Cheese Stand Alone?

Who is reading your blog? How do you know? Have you recruited readers, asked friends, or engaged in cultivating an audience? Do you imagine that audience as you write? Do you have readers who you don’t know outside the blog? How did they find your blog? Do you comment on the blogs of strangers? How do common interests and reciprocity work in the blogosphere?


State of the Blogosphere (Your mother!)

With Spring Break upon us, we're nearly half done with our time together. Try not to cry. (Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in.)

So, much like our Commander-in-Chief (who won reelection by tens of votes), the duty falls to us to examine the state of our blogosphere. Ahem.

So, without further ado, I'd love you all to consider the following questions:

1.) What have I accomplished so far?
2.) Where do I see my blogs going?
3.) Is this getting easier, harder, neither, both?
4.) Am I coming up with new and different things to say each week? Is that necessary?
5.) What have I learned?
6.) Why should what I'm writing be a blog rather than something else?

Post your answers here!


Read Me!

Call it dereliction of duty. Call it laziness. Call me undedicated.

I have not been updating this page, and therefore haven't been giving anyone any incentive to check back here. Shame on me.

So, in an effort to get this up and running, I thought maybe this could be a place to start our discussion of the Internet and Democracy. Whether you've read the handout for next week or not, what are you initial thoughts on the notion that the web is a democratic space or medium? Is this an empowering thought? Are you buying it? What makes it democratic, or what could make it more democratic? Should the internet, or blogs specifically, be political?