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