“I’d like to thank the academy” and other prequels to C&W 2011

The other day, I received an email informing me that I’ve won the John Lovas Memorial Weblog Award for 2o11. Go figure!  This comes after I’ve decided (or, employing the passive tense, it was decided) to shelve my research on blogs as writerly spaces, and at the conference where, on a panel I organized around the question “Are Blogs Dead,” my answer is “maybe” (see below).

But in all seriousness, I am honored and thankful for the recognition, and I am happy to once again point to the memory of a blogger that influenced many of the past winners of this award, John Lovas.  I touch on John’s blog in my presentation briefly:  his work (along with a lot of the past winners of this award) represents a very different kind of blogging then what I see going on now.  If you look at John’s blog from way back when (this link is from the Wayback Machine) just for a moment, I think you’ll see what I mean.  John’s blog (and many others from back then, including my own) have a decidedly more autobiographical, “diary-like” turn to them, more than ones nowadays, I think largely because of Facebook.  So it’s interesting for me to be getting this award about “Weblogs,” something that sure seems a lot different to me now then it was back then.

Anyway, thanks again.  And I also really want to point people to what I think is my most successful blogging project, EMUTalk.org, which receives many many more hits and comments than this site and which is devoted to local issues about Eastern Michigan University.

In other prequel for C&W news:

I’m of course looking forward to the fact that the conference is about seven or eight miles from my house and in a town that I know reasonably well.  I kind of will miss out on some of the dorm/hotel/late night “hijinks” I suspect, but it’s always nice to sleep in your own bed.

Either before, during, or after the conference (I don’t know which), check out the “unconference” space I put together with some of my former students, something I’m calling “Is There a There There? A Meta-Review and Meta-Analysis of a Meta-Performance Video.” We’ll see what happens with that.

Thursday, I’m planning on golfing– which I mention because if there are others out there who are interested in potentially joining us, let me know.  Right now we’ve got a 3-some, and I could probably get two tee-times if there’s interest.  I’ll probably get us on at either the EMU course or at a more user-friendly (read “easier” and “cheaper”) course in the area.

Friday, I’m going to conference stuff, and Saturday morning, I’m chairing a roundtable I set up called “Is Blogging Dead?  Yes, No, Maybe, Other.”  It’s at 8:30 AM, and it is going to feature Aaron Barlow, Bradley Dilger, Virgina Kuhn, Carrie Lamanna, Liz Losh, Brian McNely, Brendan Riley, and fellow local and certainly non-academic blogger Andre Peltier.  We’re going to stick to a strict three minute (or less!) opening statement format followed by lots of discussion.  I think it’ll be pretty good. Here’s my talk, all YouTubed and captioned:

By the way, adding those captions was bizarrely easy.

Saturday night I’m thinking about getting out the word to convince some folks to come over to the Ypsi side of things– Depot Town, The Corner, etc.– though that might be a hard sell since there’s plenty to do in Ann Arbor and I am sure that plenty of people will not have a car.  And then there’s bowling, too.   So we’ll see.

And Sunday?  Well, the conference goes on Sunday, though I may or may not partake.  Depends on how far behind I fall in my pesky spring term teaching.

Anyway, looking forward to seeing various C&W types soon.

5 thoughts on ““I’d like to thank the academy” and other prequels to C&W 2011”

  1. Nice work, Steve. Well deserved. I assume you’ll work your award-winning-ness into the intro for our panel? ;)

    And, I didn’t know you lived only eight miles away. Hell, I can run that far. You should throw a party!

    I miss John’s weblog, too. He was one of the first scholar-teachers I saw whose empathy for his students was both genuine and never simpering. I’m sure there are many people in community colleges and otherwise who’ve found that balance, but John’s weblog was the first to bring it home to me.

  2. Very cool news, Steve. Your blog is a great read — eclectic, opinionated, honest, smart, and most importantly, enjoyable.

  3. Congrats on the award. It points out why blogs are not dead.

    The problem I see with critiques like yours is that they focus on one genre of writing (personal, first-person sharing of experiences and links, and so forth). The blog is just a format. To say blogs are dead because people share this information in other formats and technologies overlooks the fact that blogs are used to publish and say many other things. Blogs are not a genre any more than books are. People may be migrating first-person expressive writing to other kinds of writing, but that doesn’t mean that blogs are dead.

  4. Traci, I think you’re basically right about the genre issue, but I would argue that this what blogs have become, not necessarily what they were when this award was set up. I think back then, most of the writing about “weblogs” characterized them more as being like diaries, or as ways to share links, or something that was in some way in contrast to “journalism.” I think a lot of people who are not “in the know” but who have heard of the term blogs still think of them as online diaries.

    But you’re right, I think blogging is much broader than that nowadays and really, blogging has become more about “publishing content.” And, as I argue in my little video, social media and such pushes people to blogs, which to me means that relationship between things like twitter and blogs is symbiotic.

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