Thursday, February 28, 2008

No More Blogging on Air Force Networks

The US Air Force has banned all URLs with the word "blog" in it.
Maybe they should add this tidbit of info in their recruiting ads...

I think it's interesting that Blogs have become such a central focus point for an institution like the Air Force - kind of surprising to me. It seems that their justification for blocking access to blogs is that they are not media outlets, and should not be read at work. I thought this related well to our class conversations regarding how the Web has changed our notion of what constitutes knowledge. It seems that the Air Force is a bit stuck in the past and hasn't yet embraced the Wikipedia-esque notion of knowledge.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

YouTube and Blogging

I am sad to see that the YouTube video posted on this blog is no longer available. But I thought that would be a good segue into YouTube and blogging in general.

Traditionally (is that even possible in such a short time?) like most things on the early web, blogs consisted of text - an online written diary. Today, with fast internet connections, cheap webcams, YouTube, and free video software, the blog has morphed. Video blogs, or vlogs (everything on the Internet seems to get abbreviated?) are now everywhere. YouTube even blogs about itself in a video blog (see

Most people know the story of lonelygirl15 (I won't recap it here - look it up on wikipedia!). After video blogging on YouTube for a while, lonleygirl15 was outed as a produced, fictitious character. Did this matter to her fans? Many blogs today are based on fictitious identities. But many people were upset (see Does the fact that the blog is in video form make us more upset that we were cheated than a written blog would? Do we feel more connected to a video than to plain text on the screen?

In our class, we have been discussing whether the nature of the Internet has changed how we perceive our relationships with respect to our former purely "real world" relationships. I think the reaction to lonleygir15's bogus identity shows that even within the Internet, relationships have different meanings based on the medium.

But I am wandering away from the topic of blogging.... Bloggers create online identities for themselves, and the medium that they use to convey that personality has a significant impact on how they are perceived in the "real world." Video blogging has just added to the Internet a new layer of personality.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Blogs in Plain English

Since it seems logical to follow one Web point of reference with another, here is another version of the history of the blog, as told by a couple of veteran Youtubers.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Start things off: History of blogs according to wiki

Where else to start but the ever-increasing point of first reference?  

Interesting historical points from the wiki-entry on blogs:
  1. Blogs were around before some people in this class were born.  The first "blog" was created in 1983.  Created by Brian E. Redman, mod.ber frequently posted summaries of interesting postings and threads taking place elsewhere on the net
  2. The modern blog evolved from the online diary, this happened around 1994
  3. The term "weblog" was coined in 1998
  4. "Blog" in 1999
  5. Livejournal made blogging mainstream for the high school demographic in 1999
  6. The corporate world officially decided to take blogging seriously when Google bought Blogger (the host of this blog) in 2003.
  7. In 2007, Tim O'Reilly proposed a Blogger's Code of Conduct
Hopefully this timeline can serve as a frame of reference for our future discussions.