(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

The Blogging of Everyday Life

Tuesday, September 07, 2004
I finally heard back from the Cultural Studies Assocation of Australia organisers regarding this year's Everyday Transformations conference and they have accepted my abstract. It's all about blogging, power and the politics of the everyday, but specifically arguing that certain blogging practices instil a social form and ethics of citation. The abstract:
The Blogging of Everyday Life
While the increasing digitality of everyday life situates the utilisation of information and communication technologies as the norm, there is also an increasing tension between the accessibility of information and the need for mechanisms of attribution and citation. Recent media reports have noted that huge percentages of students readily admit having plagiarised information found using the World Wide Web. Online essay warehouses entice students into buying ready-to-hand-in papers and institutionally licensed corporate solutions such as TurnItIn.com start from the premise that the solution lies in catching plagiarisers, not preventing it from happening. However, in this supposedly cut'n'paste culture, the internet may also be facilitating practices which instil a social culture of citation. Blogs (short for online 'web logs') are often characterised as either an annotated list of hypertext links or an online diary or journal of an individual's day to day existence. However, the vast majority of blogs exist as a combination of these two types, and within the description of a bloggers banal existence, readers will almost always discover links to other websites of interest, including clearly marked textual quotations or images from these linked sites. Here, I argue, is the beginning of a social practice of citation which occurs almost independently of academia (although a sizable number of bloggers, especially in the US, are from academic backgrounds). Moreover, the email and online attacks or 'flaming' which occur when one blogger knowingly steals from another illustrates self-regulating mechanisms which (sometimes painfully) educate bloggers in the everyday practice of digital citation.
Tama Leaver, University of Western Australia
I rather look forward to pulling all the notes together and writing this one ...


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