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21 September 2005


Tish G

howdy J! Interesting little piece...and a couple of little comments to what you noticed (which really isn't the whole picture of me)...

as for the "racier blog"..wow! that's painting Love and Hope and Sex and Dreams as something more than what it is! It's really just a personal blog and when one hits a certain age and doesn't mind talking about it, things can, at times get "racy." However, the nakedness I refer to is more like that of a fan-dancer than a lap-dancer and has to do with the verbal/emotional content of the blog and informal writing style vs what I might reveal about my life. Conceal yet reveal. Personna vs. person. Translucency vs. transparentcy.

It isn't as much of a glass house as one might be lead to believe. :-)

But there are others who are not able to differentiate between person and personna and are far more naked than I could ever be. I am concerned about those particular individuals--similarly to Danah Boyd's concerns. I also have a strong dislike for the notion that "all blogs are journalism" and all should be searched, since there are a heck of alot of people who blog who have no clue as to what is being said or done about blogs.

There is a common contention that every blogger is super-sophisticated, reads the NYTimes and all the other stuff that's out there. That's a very false perception of many of the people who populate the Technorati tail. Many don't know what's being said or done with their blogs--and even though I'm fully aware advertisers have been mining our conversations for years, many of them aren't.

As for your comment on not caring about the advertisers...telescope that out a bit to include young people who are not as savvy as those of us careening into middle age. How savvy are young people at reading blogs? If they aren't savvy enough to be able to judge a predator in a chat room (as most adults can) will they be able to make the sophisticated transparency distinction that you or I might be able to make?

Frankly, there are many adults who aren't able to make that distinction either (as well as adults who are supposed to be supervising their children, yet are wildly clueless.)

Further my concern over advertisers mining blogs is that it could lead to what Jon mentions--community organizations and community leaders combing blogs for reasons that are not as well-meaning as Jon suggests. While I'm not a conspiracy theorist (although I enjoy engaging rhetoric that might reflect that tendacy) I do see the danger in collecting too much information about individuals. In a philosophical sense, many in the blogosphere seem more inclined to be Rousseauist than Hobbesian, and assume collected information will be used mostly for the common good. Pesonally, having read Richard Neiburh's "Moral Man and Immoral Society" as well as Hobbes, I'm inlcined to have a less rosy picture of human nature.

I may be simplistic about saying that advertisers are merely annoying, but that's only to boil it down to its most basic element--because, at this point, if I were to say its implications for invasion of privacy are far more vast, it would be like I'm pointing to the Grassy Knoll...


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