With the start of the new year, my introduction to the world of Networked Media has been, to say the least, interesting. However i express my thoughts regarding that in another post. In this post, i attempt to unravel the seemingly simple but enigmatic world of blogging with the help of RMIT’s own Blogging expert, Adrian Miles and his perspective through his written work ” “Blogs in Media Education: A Beginning.”
In this writing, Adrian has expressed the functionality of blogging, its benefits and how it works in the world of social media and in an education field such as our course Networked Media. By understanding what a blog is first, we can attempt to unravel the mysteries that follow the process and technology.
What is a Blog?
As explained in detail by Adrian, A blog is a web-based publication consisting of entries of varying length submitted by an individual (Miles, 2006). However, not limited to its functionality of showcasing published works, a blog works as a networking tool allowing individuals to provide web links and references to other spheres of media publications and concurrently, other bloggers as well. As such, a blog can help work as a platform in giving the world accessbility to your inner sphere of opinions and thoughts, it is the ideal platform for canvasing your personal views and ideas. Futhermore, the system of a blogroll, which allows you to create tags and related categories, allows the organization of your posts and as such allows others to search for ideas and thoughts that you have posted in relevant categories.
See, its simple. Your write posts, other people can read it.
Honestly how much of a difference can that make in my life?
These were the thoughts that iterated through my mind when I first encountered the world of blogging because honestly, what more can blogging do.
However, when i read more of Adrian’s work and relevantly looked into understanding the networked world of blogging and its implications, I started looking at it through a different lens.
With that, I introduce to you the concept of Online Identity.
Ever since the early commerical emergence of the internet through the 90s, the web has become a vastly inter-connected network between various individuals. However, in the past there werent many tools for people to express their opinions, thoughts and ideas in various ways with only internet facilities such as messaging boards and relay chat at hand. With the initiation of ideas such as the blog, and earlier social networking sites such as myspace, this need was further catered to, however not as detailed as it could have been at that time.
Enter, (Drumroll), WEB 2.0! A concept many people referred to as the pivotal point at which each and everyone of us hooked up to the web could have a say and expression of their opinions through various forms of media. This started occuring with a critical prescence of websites catering to uploaded user-videos, picture sharing platforms and multimedia messaging boards, user based media. This welcomed the world to the idea of a user-based web, which has now become the imminent reality
As such, this user-based wild web west has given rise to the concept of this, Online identity. With each of us possibly holding access to social-networking services, blogs and user-uploaded media, we are in a sense, representing aspects of ourselves virtually through the uploads that we make. Through the use of a search engine or a provided link, another individual with no apparent connection to us is able to build perceptions about our personality, tastes, interests and lifestyle. This brings about a sense of online identity, in which our online activities and shared information are essentially representative of who we are as well. At times, it may not necessarily be the case as people are different and some might perhaps even share things they normally wish not to express in their normal lives.
However, regardless of what the nature of our intentions are, what we put online ultimately reflects back on ourselves. As Adrian had detailed, information disseminated through our online prescence allows others to make judgements and understandings about our personality, such as a prospective employer who is looking to understand who they are hiring (Miles, 2006). As such, it proves necessary for us to understand the concept of online identity and the implcations that it can make to our personal lives.
A key thought would be understanding how this may serve as a double-edged sword. While having an online prescence may prove great in selling yourself to a prospective employer, a picture of you smash drunk passed out on a club speaker sitting publically in Facebook may not.
We have to understand that without a foresight of the potential areas in which user-based content can affect our presentation of our online personas, it can at times work against our favours. With that comes the sensibility of understanding the added ‘weight’ our uploaded publications have both within a social and moral context of representating ourselves (Miles, 2006)
Education and Blogging
As explained by Adrian, the use of blogging in a networked course environment (such as this) brings about great implications and benefits to students With an ability to share information, fellow students are able to understand their peers better and share insights or ideas with one another (Miles, 2006). As a consequence, we are given an enhanced ability in adapting and learning by reflecting on our peers and even helping in validating their opinions (Miles, 2006). This even reaches out to relevant teachers and lecturers who can derive understanding from their students and provide their own inputs in helping further guide and assist students in their learning. Ultimately, its a networked system that allows educational groups to share thoughts and ideas and catalyse the learning and understanding between themselves and the subject they are studying.
On an ending note, I’d like to leave you with some inspiration on how detailed a blog can be. Here are some links to some of the most accredited blogsites (some of which you’d be shocked to realize was a blog in the first place 😀 ). It simply shows the true potential of what blogs really could be and how far their visual and conceptual design can be extended to create a vast network on connected thoughts and opinions.
I hope you enjoyed this post and look forward to sharing more with you in the days to come. Be a true clint eastwood and operate through the wild west of social media like your backyard.
(Credits to www.ew.com)
In a similar vein, fellow Networked Media classmate Vanessa has a great post regarding SEO and how to help boost the your page ranking.