Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Summary for November 11, 2008

This reading by Lori Kendall is called "Shout into the Wind, and It Shouts Back", and it is about LiveJournal, a Web 2.0 technology that people can use to write their feelings- as either a personal diary or a public blog.

She sampled and closely examine 26 users over a 2 year time frame. These were people she was friends with, or met through friends, so the sample wasn't exactly a random selection of all users. "Statistically, LiveJournal is dominated by teenagers but most of my 26 interviewees are in their late 20s to late 30s" (Kendall, 2). (This is important to note because the age of the bloggers can be a huge determinant of the experience they have and the opinions they form). But, at any rate, she examined a few different things from these people: private journal vs. public performance, efficiency vs. audience management, control vs. connection, and autonomy vs. the desire for comments.

A topic I found interesting was the private journal vs. public performance. She explains in her writing that she noticed that LiveJournal is used to maintain relationships with family members, friends, coworkers, etc., and also for people to vent and write down their private feelings, but the boundaries between what is acceptable for posting on the World Wide Web and what is not often become blurry for some. Kendall found that many people use the site for different reasons, and that for many, it's not a definite "diary" or "public blog"- often times it can fall in the middle somewhere. Take for instance Alison, a woman in her early 30s. Alison describes her blog as a "performance art kind of thing. I don't think of it as my own personal private journal since I don't want the entire world reading my personal private journal" (Kendall, 4). However, Kendall observed that she wrote about many things that one would write in a diary about, such as relationship problems, work events, online quiz results, etc. She found that many of these things are similar to that of what someone who was writing a private diary type journal would include.

Kendall, Lori. (2007). "Shout into the wind, and it shouts back." Identity and interactional tensions on LiveJournal. First Monday, 12. Retrieved on August 21, 2008 from http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue12_9/kenda11/index.html

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