« The Secret Lives of Bloggers | Main | The Time Traveler's Wife »

September 11, 2003

Redefining my Blog?

Lately I've been finding my blog slowly redefining itself (note how I release some of my agency from this redefinition, this transformation). During the summer, when I first began keeping a blog (especially in the previous generation of this blog), I tended to be more overtly political, more focused on the ephemeral, the everyday. I frequently wrote about my suspicions about evidence of WMD in Iraq, for example, or about coverage of the war by "embedded reporters." More recently, I've found myself writing more about my research and teaching, especially now that I'm working on my paper on the temporality of blogging.

I think I feel like something has been lost in this shift in focus. I don't know if this is simply the fall semester rush of activity, an awareness of new audiences, or an understanding my blog as a part of my research rather than a self-indulgent activity. I'm feeling a little ambivalent about this shift today. Do I really want comments in my blog to feel like peer review (or have I already internalized that logic)? I certainly enjoy the feedback that I have received from all my readers, and, like KF, I feel like the work I do on/in the chutry experiment deserves to be "taken seriously." As she points out, blogs are both sites of research where we can investigate a new form of writing and a location where we can get feedback from colleagues on a consistent basis:

The blog seems both virtual laboratory and ongoing conference, and needs to be taken seriously by one's peers.
I'm somwhat resistant, though, to formalize blogging as a research tool, precisely because of that sense of uncertainty that I'm feeling right now.

I'm not sure what my answer is to any of these questions right now. I could simply be feeling tired and cranky today, especially given my memories of the events of two years ago. Maybe I haven't had enough coffee. I originally planned this entry to be a quick comment on a couple of recent articles on the Demoratic debate in Baltimore and Wesley Clark's recent meetings with Howard Dean, but obviously I've taken a much different direction. I will say that a Dean-Clark ticket sounds awfully interesting to me, although it's far from a done deal.

Now that I've reviewed this entry, I'm feeling a little more comfortable with the new relationship between my blog and my research. Maybe it was that third cup of coffee. Perhaps I simply needed to review what I've written, to think through it one last time. I'm having a hard time letting this entry go, publishing it for public viewing, but I see these reflections as part of a larger thought process for me, about blogging as a medium, about my blog in particular, and about my professional and personal identity.

Plus, I'm more conscious than ever before how difficult it is for me to end blog entries, especially when I'm not sure that my thoughts are fully resolved.

Posted by chuck at September 11, 2003 11:41 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Not sure how to begin this comment. Maybe a title ... The Sense of an Ending for an Entry.

The ritual pointer to the walk away from the keyboard to the caffeine supply maybe the way you will choose to mark upcoming entries. A hook to remind readers of the embodied nature and the periodic temporality of the blog as it is inscribed in the give and take of call and response. The Chutry Experiment is about tempo. Well, at least two tempos: the tempo of the entry and the tempo between entry and comment. The tempo of the entry illiciting a reaction in the tempo of the commentaries which than may spill over into the tempo of the next entry.

And the temporality of current events...

time to go for a cup of rosehip tea.

Posted by: Francois Lachance at September 11, 2003 4:08 PM

Good point, Francois. In fact, I went jogging a few hours after I composed this entry, and my post-jog blogs usually end up being a little more cheerful. I wonder how far & in what directions we can take the embodiment of blogging--it certainly seems connected to these notions of temporality that have been coming up.

Posted by: chuck at September 12, 2003 12:23 AM


Could the centrifugal wonder of "how far & in what directions we can take the embodiment of blogging" be converted into a centripetal force of what pieces of embodiment can be brought to the scene of blogging? "Fugue" in French, btw, is the term for "running away".

Blog as escape mechanism.

From --- the clamour of the quotidien?
To --- a writing space?

or vice versa

an escape from the loneliness of much "academic" writing to a communal space of call and response full of quotidien clamour :)

Posted by: Francois Lachance at September 12, 2003 9:42 AM

I think the synthesis of "from" and "to" makes most sense to me. The blog itself becomes part of the quotidian clamour of everyday life--more clamour than usual lately, it seems.

Now I'm off to get some beers (or maybe gin martinis) with my colleagues, so the blog becomes a momentary distraction, the last lingering detail before a brief period of relaxation (one that will end Saturday morning when I do even more research)....

Posted by: chuck at September 12, 2003 5:10 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)