Jodi Dean on blogging

Just now read Jodi Dean’s paper on blogging for Hyperpolis. Very good, makes quite a few points I would’ve liked to make. I hope it’s allright with her that I already ‘reblog’ & pick some quotes (btw, these quotes do not capture her main point really):

“To be sure, words beyond control are a noted feature of writing. Academics, journalists, and bookwriters have long been familiar with the ways our words take on a life of their own. Blogging accentuates this new life. It makes more people aware of the ways that their words are not theirs.”

“Bloggers imagine communities. In part, they mark this imagining with their link lists. Yet, these lists are as (if not more) changing, uncertain, and porous as any other border.”

“My experience with blogs is that they allow for slower reflection, the emergence of spaces of affinity through specialized writing, and the experience of a presentation and cultivation of a self. These three attributes of blogs—reflection, affinity, self-cultivation—necessarily traverse the old liberal division of the world into public and private spheres.”

“A critical theory of blogging cannot extend out of presumptions of journalism, punditry, and relations to mainstream media. Instead, it has to begin from the communicative practices specific to blogging, practices that install confrontations with difference, with otherness.”

From Jodi Dean, Blogging Difference, 2006, paper for Hyperpolis, see

With regard to the last point I cite here — basically Jodi Dean’s conclusion — I agree in principle that yes, a critical theory of blogging should start with looking at communicative practices that are specific to blogging. But there are various types of blogs: some are focussed on conversations, some (like that of Jodi Dean) are indeed confrontations with the other (but isn’t all talk, and all writing in a sense a confrontation with otherness?) And then there are also the blogs, (notably some early ones) that are not conversational at all, that do not even want the confrontation, or who prefer to not even look at comments, if there are any. (Hey, why do I write this here and not in the comments of Jodi Dean’s blog? That characterizes me…. — supposing that trackbacking does the job?). Two extremes: there’s the blog as ‘my turf’, ‘my voice’ — and there’s the blog as an invitation to chat. And on a lot of blogs there’s not much ‘otherness’ of ‘confrontation’ going on… I should say that Jodi Dean tackles this issue as well in her paper (and looks at how a blog is also ‘me talking’), yet she emphasises the confrontation with otherness where I’d put more emphasis on the ‘publish for no public’-aspect.

blogging,en,quotations,ubiscribe,writing | October 12, 2006 | 18:00 | Comments Off on Jodi Dean on blogging |


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