BAWS: jill/txt post on genre that kind have has to do with blogs, maybe

See jill/txt’s post, “the whole point of the genre is the long-time accrual of meanings and experiences.” Some good and smart points, Jill is borrowing from discussion about how shows like Lost are rarely thought of as being like a soap opera, even though that’s a show that certainly borrows from some of that form.

In the BAWS project, I’m going to have to address blogging as a genre since that has been the approach that most of the analysis has taken and/or assumed has been based on genre: blogs as journals/diaries, blogs as journalism, etc. That’s all fine and good, but thinking of blogging only in generic terms is first very limiting, especially since that a lot of these analyzes more or less end with this connection between a personal blog and a personal diary. But it also strikes me as inaccurate in that a lot of blogs– second or third generation blogs? ones fueled by tools like WordPress?– have moved beyond some of the generic categories that have been used to describe/contain blogs.

And besides all that, I’m interested in contemplating blogs as something other than a genre. Maybe this makes me a bad scholar, but genre is only so interesting.

Still, what Jill says here is interesting and potentially useful for my project, depending on how it evolves.

2 thoughts on “BAWS: jill/txt post on genre that kind have has to do with blogs, maybe”

  1. Did you see the comment Jason left on my post noting ways in which blogs are NOT like soap operas? Or at least not always? In particular that many blogs require far more attention than the standard soap opera that’s built for distraction. Though that might be a moral sort of analysis, hm.

    Anyway, I guess that’s just anohter example of how trying to define blogs within various genres becomes quite limiting.

    What do you mean by second- and third generation blogs? I like the idea, and I guess I sort of know what you mean, but would love to hear more!

  2. I think what I mean by second/third generation blogs– and I haven’t thought about this in great detail yet, I should point out–is that the technology that run blogs has changed quite a bit in the last 10 or so years, and those changes have had a significant impact on how blogs function and also what blogs are used for.

    For example, “back in the day,” when blogs were not interactive and not common, I think it’s true to say that most blogs were like personal journals or personal journalistic accounts. Kind of the way that Bolter/Grusin talk about “remediation” and the way that Ong talks about how the first print books imitated the form of manuscripts, I think a lot of these early blogs were replicating either older web sites or print.

    Nowadays, I think we’re starting to see things with the form of blogs that are moving beyond these early forms, and I think that part of that is a result of more sophisticated tools.

    I’m not sure how much I want to go down the path of the WordPress example, but a really easy one in my own experiences: when I first started using Blogger to teach, Blogger didn’t allow for comments. Once I started using blog software that did allow comments (and of course Blogger lets you do that nowadays), the idea that a blog was “just” an electronic diary or whatever became more problematic. I mean, people don’t comment on my print diary, right?

    I think the same sorts of things can be said with innovations like audio, video, the numerous plugins in these different software platforms, etc. So I think that’s what I mean by 2nd/3rd generation, but I still don’t quite know what I mean yet, either. ;-)

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