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.

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