Tuesday, March 02, 2004

I hadn't realized how my being so far behind would affect my participation in the dialogue, so I too will try to bridge some issues w/ this week's readings.

In response to Emily, I think that blogging may hold some potential for social/political action, but I am wary of calling this a true community building effort. It seems to me that your example (or even indymedia) lower some of the editorial barriers of entry to the mass news media. However, I think that efforts such as these are quite different from the other types of political blogging that I have seen. As I said in my previous post, I believe that much of the posting of this sort serves only psychological benefits and rarely filters up to the realm of action. Even when online activities do result in some form of action (like petitions sponsored by moveon), the social investment of simply filling in one's name is quite low. I was pleased to see that Gurak addressed this issue specifically (254). Perhaps I just have not yet seen evidence of how these weak online ties are moving up towards IRL action.

This all strikes quite close to the conversations about censorship/control. We have talked about the "god" type of censoring where one can control another's ability to speak. However, it might be argued that we already do this to some degree already in our daily lives. Giving someone the "cold shoulder" or ignoring someone's posts are similar in many ways. These internal forms of censorship can form both analog and digital divides, and yet they do not get addressed as a real kind of problem. I guess the remaining question is whether or not this type of control of communication has any greater implications for creating online communities with the potential for social action. I might be overstepping, but I would argue that both hinder communication/debate which can't be a good thing for building any kind of necessary social ties.

New questions soon...
-john t

No comments:

Post a Comment