It puts me into a conversation- with myself and with others.
In many ways its similar to why write but there are some differences also.
I might have journalled: pen to paper... but i choose this medium because of its capacity for more:
1. My blog has the capacity to link- temporally and spatially. Hyperlinking past with present, spanning distance whether local or global, but it also a space where difference and similarity can be accessed at the touch of a button. Its a space for weaving; for networking in a Latourian sense.
2. My blog connects me with people i might never get to converse with otherwise. >I live in New Zealand, travel to conferences is extremely expensive. Blogging democratizes voice somewhat: When i respond to an article and the author of said article comes on my blog to further the conversation i am engaged with a community of thinkers otherwise denied me (see for example http://amusingspace.blogspot.co.nz/search?q=hill). For all the reasons espoused by Pat Thomson expands on in her blog of why phd students should be funded to attend conferences
, sometimes blogging is as close as i can get.
Blogging expands my literacy: A digital literacy in the sense that Lankshear and Knowbel describe in that my engagement mediated here privileges participation over publishing. And a space for relationship- having a place from which to be, to stand and to speak as it were: these are my connections/ this is me. Blogging provides me with Turangawaewae (a NZ Maori word that allows me to claim lineage, and voice, and a right to be heard. My identity is formed here.
3. My blog is a space for thoughtfulness, a playful space where the thoughts of a moment are being spun in the writing. Its the antecedent step to my more academic publishing self.
4. My blog is also a space where my emotional life as an academic can also be held. I have engaged in this space with not only my intellect but with my soul and have found support for vulnerability and compassion and affirmation to be extended. (for example http://amusingspace.blogspot.co.nz/search?q=elise). This is about a deliberate endeavour to see and to add to a space for meeting the very human needs of connecting, of love and belonging as well as actualizing
5. Being beyond a textual form it's a space for creative engagement prompting the juxtapositioning of words and text; a space for allegory.
6. And because my phd is about change and the performances associated with emergent technologies, blogging provides an insider experience.
In more concrete and practical applications:
7. Blogging has enabled my co-presenting in an international forum (see for example Vhttp://amusingspace.blogspot.co.nz/2011/03/if-knowledge-is-distributed-if-agency.html).
8. It provides me links to otherwise unknown of resources because people here in a blogging world share; its what they do. Expertise and knowledge get held in the connections. A radical shift in how learning might be contained not so much individually but distributed.
9. I believe it was a significant factor in my last promotion- providing novel evidence of impact factor and of scholarship activities. To be cited, i need to be situated and sighted, and being cited is a power base in academia.
It was also a space for finding my own voice.
In followinn in my child's footsteps i treated it as a fanfiction/fanfact space. Here i wrote as if writing a further chapter for Sherry Turkle's book Evocative objects; Things we think with. http://amusingspace.blogspot.co.nz/2007/12/evocative-objects.html
Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2007). Researching new literacies: Web 2.0 practices and insider perspectives. E-Learning and Digital Media, 4(3), 224-240. Retrieved from doi:10.2304/elea.2007.4.3.224
Latour, B. (2011). Networks, societies, spheres: Reflections of an actor-network theorist. International Journal of Communication, 5, 796-810.