There’s really no other phrase that effectively sums up the way in which I have put off starting a professional blog. This is the second year that I’ve been forcing my students to blog for their courses, during which I’ve been waving the “rah rah new forms of online publishing are leading to exciting developments in the value and visibility of informal writing” standard. Do I blog along with them? Occasionally. Have I blogged anonymously? I’ll never tell. But this here? This here is the coming out blog.
It comes as no surprise that I was originally trained as a British Modernist scholar in this program, as the Mods were well-known for obsessing about formal conventions that altered the reading experience; I just can’t get on to the writing on this page without getting it set up right first. It is bugging the living crap out of me that the picture in the header is leaving behind some odd remnant of the original banner. Let’s hope that I can make that go away right quick. Meanwhile, I’ve begun a list of important (to me, but also to others) links in the blogroll. These are primarily new media types–some of whom I know in real life (hi Noah!) and some of whom I know only from the digital realm. [Somewhere I read that people are beginning to use “meat” to describe the non-digital world, so as to eliminate the linguistic cue that activities online are “fake.” I’m all for it, but isn’t there a better word than “meat?”]
I could take some time to describe how I moved from British Modernist to digital media apprentice, but I’d rather focus here on the point of this blog in the first place. More and more, I find that my research is necessitating a digital space for musing, meta-reflection, and storage of ideas. There’s a sad sort of irony about locating resources online only to print them out on paper and put them in a file. Ah, the struggles of moving from paper to code! Also important (and I think it’s relatively safe to write this now that even MLA is beginning to re-evaluate its definition of academic writing that “counts): blogging may well be on its way toward the development of a new kind of communication among scholars and teachers. And even if that does not continue (which many would argue is already an established truth), then I’ve opened an archive of my own preliminary writing and thinking for more traditional forms of academic discussion.
Thus, what one might see here in the future: writing about the effects of new media on contemporary culture; consideration of pedagogy; articulations of early theories on works in progress; notes on class readings and discussions. I’d like to promise incisive cultural critique, uproarious humor, stunning insights, etc. But let’s stick with the first set for now and see what we can accomplish.
And with that, we’re off!