Sunday, July 24, 2005

More Blog bashing from the NYT

Actually, that's not quite true - but "more discouraging rhetoric" doesn't have quite the same ring. Today the NYT warns would-be bloggers about incorporating work-related content into their blogs. The title of the article, "Write all about it - at your own risk" says it all. Granted, this approach may apply to some kinds of blogs and some kinds of organizations. But what about all the organizations who have incorporated blogging into their PR/knowledge-management/public outreach strategies? Or those who benefit from blogging? How about some of these kinds of stories?

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Littlest UnderWater Hockey Player

Recently my husband participated in the National Underwater Hockey tournement. For those of you unfamiliar with the sport, it is played with snorkeling gear and a weighted puck at the bottom of a swimming pool.

Katerina here is modeling the typical gear, including googles, a stick (for pushing the puck along the bottom of the pool towards the goal), ear protection, and rubber glove (to keep skin on your hand as opposed to on the bottom of the pool).

Hooking Up - Where's the technology?

Although the recent ABC online dating reality show ("Hooking Up") is an addictive guilty pleasure, it has little to do with online dating as I've studied it for the past three years. As pointed out in WiRed (and elsewhere, no doubt), the technology that underpins these encounters is largely absent. A glimpse of an email here, a pixelated photo there, but very little of the CMC leading up to the dates is present. This is a real loss, as without it this show is much like"Blind Date" -- but with a updated hook for 2005. I guess it is the nature of the beast, as watching people type email in their jammies does not make for very exciting television. And watching relationships develop, then deteriorate, from afar satisfies the busybody in all of us.

I would have liked to see a wider range of participants and perhaps a glipse of online dating as it is practiced outside of New York City. However, I am curious to see, in the end, how this show affects the ways in which the average American perceives online dating.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Riled up and inspired by the postings on the recent article in the Chronicle, Bloggers Need Not Apply, I've decided to take the plunge and get serious about keeping a blog. I've had students in multiple courses keep blogs as part of their participation, so it only seems fitting that I as well venture into this territory in a more committed way.
Recent events that have caught my attention include the recent online/offline discussions about blogs and the way they mesh personal and professional lives. I'm thinking specifically of the recent article in the New York Times in which the writer describes her discomfort with her nanny's blogging activity (and the, um, rebuttal here) as well as the recent discussions in the Chronicle. As danah and others have noted, social software tools such as blogs make it easier for us to collapse contexts. Rather than keeping professional activities in one box, and personal aspects in another, everything is available and very, very searchable. When I did my interviews with teleworkers several years ago, I noted that they used ICTs (information and communication technologies) purposely to calibrate the permeability of their home/work boundaries. For instance, they might have a work telephone line and a home line, and adhere to rules about when they answered one or the other.
It seems now with the tools we have today that less calibration and control is possible. If I post something in a newsgroup and ten years later wish I hadn't - too bad. If someone wants to say something unkind about me online, so be it. I suppose there are those who see this transparency as positive, but I'm not completely sold yet.