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Bibliography by Jennifer Housel

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 11 months ago

 

 

Bibliography by Jennifer Housel

 

By Jennifer Housel, Timeline Project

 

1. LiveJournal.com 13 Feb. 2008. <http://www.livejournal.com>. 

 

Livejournal.com is a blogging site that allows users to recount their memories through text and pictures, and is essentially an electronic diary.  Unlike myspace.com, which is first and foremost a social networking site with blogging features, livejournal.com is a blogging site with some social networking features.  These social netwotrking features include the ability to comment on one another’s journal entries, as well as “friend” people and view others’ posts on a universal “friend’s page.”  Groups and communities centered on a particular area of focus are popular to connect people with similar interests; some livejournal users become very active in moderating and contributing to community discussions on topics as broad as the latest Harry Potter book to good breakfast recipes.  One of the biggest appeals of livejournal.com is the great amount of freedom it allows its users to personalize their journal and create their own online identity.  Livejournal allows its users to have multiple “user pics” which can be changed with each new post and comment.  Users also have the option of supplying individual information such as “current mood” or “current music” with each post, as well as filling out a “User Profile” page which outlines age, hometown, birthdate, and interests.  The flexibility of the site design, too, helps contribute to its personalization—users can change the page design to be as plain or elaborate as desired, and html can be easily used in almost any text entry box to link to pictures, change the color of text, etc.  Livejournal.com will be the basic medium of our blogging/timeline project.

 


2. González, Jennifer. “The Appended Subject: Race and Identity in Digital Assemblage,” in Race in Cyberspace, ed. Beth E. Kolko, et. Al. (New York: Routledge, 2000), pp. 27-50.

 

As we begin to create blog entries for the characters in the Canterbury Tales, the formation of online identities will become central to the “why?’ question of our project. One of biggest reasons we chose to use livejournal.com as the format for our project was its freedom to personalize the aesthetics of the blog itself and the creation of a “User Profile” page.  These individualistic touches help form a compressive sense of an online identity, a trend that is becoming progressively more relevant as internet popularity increases.  In this article, González talks about online identity using the metaphor of the “appended subject,” as the online identities we create for ourselves are “appended subjects” of our true, “real-life” selves.  Although the Bodies© INC example González focuses on is an extreme example of creating new digital identities –the website allows users to generate bodies in a 3-D space—the idea of creating physical representations of self online is central to livejournal.com’s popularity.  Formating the blog, choosing “user pics” and listing one’s interests are all ways of creating a digital identity.  

 


 

3. Jackson, Timothy Allen. “Towards a New Media Aesthetic,” in Reading Digital Culture, ed. David Trend (Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers, Inc., 2001), pp. 347-353

 

This short essay by Timothy Jackson outlines general changes that have occurred since the rise and spread of the Internet and cyberspace and points to an overall cultural shift as a result of this new technology.   As our project is centered on the concept of a timeline, I was particularly interested in his ideas of digital time, and how it differs from our real-life, or analog, perception of time.  Jackson argues that this new technology of cyberspace raises larger metaphysical issues, as we’re experiencing a new phenomenon of mind/body interaction.  Our bodies remain in analog time, for example, while our minds now have a new way to behave and organize ideas in cyberspace with new rules of time.  No longer is time strictly linear and steady, but occurs in sharp breaks and contrasts in digital mediums without the flow of analog time.  Jackson’s comment that, “events in digital time exist without an event horizon” (p. 349, Reading Digital Culture) epitomizes the logic of the Internet blog.  Blogs are representations of time, but in short, abrupt snippets.  Blogs are usually to-the-point in their nature, and completely omit the “ordinary” or regular passing of time in which no great or note-worthy event occurs.  Additionally, a blog is organized in such a way that days/events are tidily self-contained, and with a single click can jump to an entry 30 days into the past.  The consequences of such new digital time on the human experience will be central to our project’s exploration of blogs as a way to represent time.

 


4. Kalmbach, Jim.  “Reading the Archives: Ten Years on Nonlinear (Kairos) History.” Kairos.  Illinois State University. 13 February 2008.  <http://endora.wide.msu.edu/11.1/topoi/kalmbach/types.html>

 

Hypertext technology has created a new medium that previously was very difficult to simulate.  Hypertext in general disrupts the traditional, steady flow of time and allows users to jump around to different self-contained chunks of text and information, and this navigation is often based on association of topics, rather than chronologically or other more traditional methods of organization.  This source describes types of hypertext and analyzes the benefits and drawbacks of each method.  For example, the entry on “timeline hypertext” describes a webpage that has a timeline, and is supposed to be read linearly.  Since the foundation of a timeline already dictates a kind of linear format, the innovative use of hypertext comes in the links.  As an event is labeled and identified on a timeline, there are links that allow readers to navigate away from the core timeline to get more specific information on a specific event.  The reader is encouraged to pause in the exploration of the timeline to explore aptly included pictures, quotes, videos, etc. pertaining to specific events.  Similar to a timeline, the blog is pre-disposed to be digested in a linear format; hypertext linking to other information from the foundation of a blog allows for new complexity and understanding of events.  

 


5. Paolillo, John C., Mercure, Sarah &  Wright, Elijah. “The Social Semantics of LiveJournal FOAF: Structureand Change from 2004 to 2005." Indiana University.13 February 2008. < http://ftp.informatik.rwth-aachen.de/Publications/CEUR-WS/Vol-171/paper6.pdf>.

 

This study examined livejournal activity from 2004-2005 and uses statistics to analyze a large number of livejournal users.  The study of livejournal interests that users list on their “user profile” page and how they changed from 2004 to 2005 were very representative of livejournal.com’s predominantly youthful fanbase.  The study’s statistical and diachronic approach revealed a churning, changing, living livejournal community.  The vast activity on livejournal.com shows a trend towards online blogging and popularity of creating identities online, especially with young people.  Although this doesn’t relate directly to the nature of the timeline project, my favorite thing about this study was the interesting graphic representations of the data collected from their study of livejournal.  A scatter plot graph showing the correlation of interests and livejournal friends reminded me of the graphical representations in Franco Moretti’s Graphs, Maps, & Trees.  The study also used dendrograms that depicted clusters of popular livejournal users, as well as other interesting diagrams showing the exchange of livejournal members of five “interest clusters”. It would be interesting if we were able to create graphical representations of the livejournal blogs we are creating for characters in the Canterbury Tales in such innovative ways as these, as a way to perhaps make an overall conclusion about livejournal activity.

 

 

 


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