One of the great treats of co-teaching with David Weinberger is getting to be a student on the days that he leads discussion. Today, we’re taking up blogging, something he knows a thing or two about. You can also follow along with the class notes on The Web Difference class blog. A few of the issues that drew heat, and a bit of light:
– The early discussion has circled around the issue of whether news is tending toward the gossipy, whether on HuffPo or WaPo. The class members disagreed as to whether or not this trend is OK.
– David says that the HuffPo has two things that the printed version of the WaPo doesn’t have: 1) links and 2) people talking back, right there on the “paper,” in real-time. (I wonder whether the difference is so important on the second score, given that a) many papers have letters to the editor and op-eds, b) increasingly, most papers have web sites where one can post comments, and c) maybe some people prefer to have editors choose the letters to run rather than having to wade through 742 comments on the latest HuffPo story.) I agree with the follow-up insight that the difference is that people who read HuffPo and submit comments regularly feel more as though they are in a social setting, in a social network, while those who submit letters to the editors have this feeling less acutely, if at all.
– I’ve been looking forward to see if the students have any reactions to the Boston Globe’s article, by Irene Sege, on Saturday about girls and why they blog. One of the issues we took up earlier in the course, very briefly, is whether there’s a gender difference in terms of how people use the web.
Also: Some excellent students in the class have also created a meta-blog — a blog on blogging — for this class, yet another way to follow along. The class bloggers pointed to a helpful video reference for those interested in the most basic question: “what is a weblog?” One might also consider Dave Winer’s classic, “what makes a weblog a weblog?“