Sebastian Fiedler is commenting my recent post about my problem convincing students to run personal weblogs. He comes up with a quote from the British psychologists Thomas & Harri-Augstein:

In constructing and validating their views, people develop their own ‘personal myths’. We introduce this term to designate the ‘personal knowing’ that results from enduring long-term conversational encounters. The term ‘myth’ is meant to carry all its positive, negative, allegorical and transcendental implications. There is a vast range of viable personal myths that can be developed around any topic.

I think that many understand the point here – especially designers. But one very valid question remains: Why should this agenda be implemented with weblogs? And that’s a good question, because it asks why no one talks about all these various other possibilities and ways to intensify socio-dynamic processes, emergent interactions and discourses. Have weblogs outperformed these?

The answer is: Weblogs aren’t any better than many other techniques, but they are a good option that might well be part of many other activities we all know (like face-to-face discussions or lectures).

But amongst all techniques there are five issues about weblogs that are very particular:

  1. there is a potential that increases very quick with the size of a community,
  2. weblog-enabled discourses penetrate the rather static institutional hierarchies that create so much overhead,
  3. weblogs also intersect e-mail, discussion forums, instant messaging and conventional electronic publishing,
  4. they are both monologues and dialogues and therefore can benefit from the advantages of both forms and
  5. they are continuous in the sense that they are not result oriented but process oriented (while the process will end when discourse ends).
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