Yesterday in my Technical Communication as Cultural Practice class, we had to present our paper topics. Unfortunately, I still at the time had five ideas for papers, which I presented, and the professor decided on the one that would work best. Here are my ideas; hopefully, I'll be able to write all these papers during my time here:
- The one that won the contest was a look at the assumptions that academia has about publishing and why online journals and blogs are still not considered impressive publications on a curriculum vitae. I'm going to use as my examples the journal Kairos and the blog Kairosnews. I will ask cultural studies methodology kinds of questions, like these: Why is the situation the way it is? Who benefits from the system that is currently in place? etc.
- The second one is about the use of blogs in pedagogy. For this one, I would discuss the use of a public class community blog instead of password-protected course management systems like WebCT and Blackboard, and also having each student keep his or her own blog for a research/freewriting/reading response tool. For the students, what are the effects of using blogs? I might look at this in an outcome-oriented way; in other words, I might approach this as both a teacher and a writing program administrator (which I'm not, of course. I'd be pretending.).
- Gender in the blogging community--is the blogging community sexist? There's a discussion about it at Blogroots. And, uh, there is this telling little blurb too. I am doing my final research proposal in my Research Methods class on this topic. I plan on sending out a survey to women who blog. Don't know exactly how I am going to phrase my questions just yet, but more on this soon.
- Blogging and journalism: Is it true that journalists have gotten fired for expressing certain opinions on their blogs? Blogging has often been called peer-to-peer journalism. What are the intellectual property implications? JD has written quite a bit about blogging's connection to journalism. Are blogs reducing the traffic on news sites? If a friend of mine has a blog on, say, women's health issues, and sifts through a bunch of newspapers every day and filters out the women's health stories, I might just go to her blog rather than the New York Times online, etc. Obviously, this topic is only half-baked; actually, that's more than one paper too.
- Why do people post such personal information online? Why do so many people read the disclosures of strangers? Some have said that blog-reading is voyeuristic. I find this interesting and might write about it, possibly juxtaposing this idea with the Panopticon. Torill Mortensen and Jill Walker have argued (see jill/txt) on my blogroll for the article) that a blog occupies this space between public and private. They put it in a Habermas-ian framework.
Those are my ideas for now; more as they develop!