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Day Seven Class Notes: A Conversation "with" Kate Thomas

rachelr's picture

We started our class today with afterthoughts about the visit from Hannah last week. Sweetp commented that she was able to relive her trip to New Zealand when reading Hannah's blog, and xhan liked how the images made the descriptions come alive and inspired her to perhaps write a blog when she next travels.

Anne wants commented on her goal of having us engage with people who are doing different things through blogs, and we transitioned into reading and commenting on some Serendip postings that were made since last class. In sbg90's post she commented on how technology has so many perspectives and levels to it, and that the internet is not finite; a book on the other hand is a closed system. Links continue the length of the blogs. Anne commented that blogs show us our smallness in the world, and our inability to absorb all of the available information. Sweetp said that there is a lot out there, and that it can be overwhelming. 

Spleenfiend said that sometimes the never-ending nature of the blog can be a good thing- when she is reading a good book she doesn't want it to end. And with a good blog, it doesn't. Skindeep argued, however, that she feels like she can delve into a book more easily, and that reading a book allows us to sink into the story. And some of this comes from what we are used to, our reading practices. 

One downside to many blogs, as Aseidman mentioned, is that you have to start reading at the end of the blog (because of the layout of posts from new to old). She also questioned how blogs will affect the future; first impressions are important, and what is on the internet remains on the internet forever, available to anyone who goes looking. 

The discussion following these comments about censoring ourselves in the interest of a future "image" distressed Anne, as she said that if we think too much we will lose half of the interesting ideas we have- you want to grab ideas and use them, not moderate. Aybala50 said that she doesn't feel like anything that we have posted on Serendip has been too "out there" and will most likely not harm any of our future endeavors. Jrf said that it is not very useful to class discussion if we don't share what we are thinking if we feel like it may be wrong or sound stupid. Anne said that she has never had a problem with anything that she has posted on Serendip, and Sweetp brought up the point that our generation was born into the world of the internet, while Anne had it come later in her life, after her career was already set up. This allows her to "play" with the Internet. 

We then looked at a few more class postings. Rmeyers had questioned whether or not it is time for everyone- artists, authors, musicians, etc.- to create a new identity online, and if and how copyright laws should be changed and how important that question is. Anne questioned how new an idea has to be to be patented, whether or not ideas should be treated as material goods that can be owned. There does need to be some crediting for the source of our ideas, but the root of this issue really boils down to the issue of finance. 

We then transitioned into hearing a brief background from Anne on Kate Thomas, whose blog we read in preparation for the class. Most people in the class felt invited into the blog. TPB1988 said that she became absorbed in the writing and enjoyed the reading, concentrating on the blog and not the reading as an assignment. When we discussed whether or not the blog invites you to comment or not, Molly said that because the blog is crafted like a work of art, it encourages you to self-edit in any commenting because it is so beautiful. Spleenfiend brought up an interesting point: that we were looking at blogs as a whole too strictly. Do all blogs have to be inviting in the same way? Not everyone who reads a blog needs to post a comment. Skindeep added that when you write a blog it is directed at a broader audience than a single teacher (like essays/papers are) and mkarol reminded us that the wide expanse of the online audience all bring different elements that they look for in a blog. People could be compelled to read Kate Thomas’ blog because they are cooks, because they appreciate the style of writing, or maybe because they like the images. Blogs do not have to fit only a certain “genre” of people- they can be for everyone.

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