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paper submitted

It is good that I have gotten into the swing of things this semester at an early stage. This week has been very busy! Therese and I finished our paper for Blogtalk and submitted it for publication. I am not sure I am allowed to upload it here yet, as they are going to publish a book of all the conference papers. I have emailed and asked, and when I find out I will publish…or not, depending on the decision ;-) I will place an excerpt in the continue reading part.

Also, I have changed webhotels. I was paying quite a lot for very little space, so I have signed up for a new one with a lot of space. I am using typepad at the moment because I kept running out of space and did not want to have to open several programs just to upload files to my blog. On this new server I am going to try out wordpress. As I have never used the program, I am not sure I will like it. If I don’t, I will upload MT again. The reason I am thinking about switching is the overwhelming amount of comment spam I was getting with MT, even using blacklist. My problem with typepad is the inability to ping automatically. I hope that this is a function that wordpress has embedded. Although, I want to be able to moblog, too. This is something that is very easy to do in typepad…will have to weight the pros and cons. I have learned not to mess with the working blog until everything else is up and running!

Ok, enough procrastination…back to identifying loan words in Middle English texts…

In this paper, we have discussed the role of presence in weblogs. Drawing on previous research on presence and our own experiences from participating in the project Moblogging Jokkmokk 2004, we started out by presenting the potential causes of presence in weblogs through the model of Weblog Presence consisting of six ‘I’s’: Immersion, Intimacy, Immediacy, Interaction, Involvement and Individual user preferences. Weblog Presence combines immersive media (presence) and social interaction and communication (co-presence), something which is possible due to the characteristics of the weblog medium.

Even though some traditional weblogs do exhibit immersive and immediate characteristics, there is commonly a big difference between event weblogs and general weblogs in this respect. Whereas event weblogs to a great extent rely on immediacy; through the use of live reporting, sensory stimuli and synchronous communication, general weblogs are more reflective and communication is asynchronous. Another important difference lies within the fact that the event weblog is closely related to a physical place, and as such becomes a virtual representation of that place. In event weblogs, conversations often remain within the weblog itself, whereas general weblog conversations are dispersive and often spread outside the weblog of origin. This led us to conclude that event weblogs and general weblogs often evoke very different senses of presence.

In order to define the type of presence that users of general weblogs can experience, we made use of Fauconnier and Turner’s theories of Mental Spaces and Cognitive Blending. These theories are able to linguistically define structures, largely subconscious, that humans employ in order to maintain coherent communication. These structures are the bases of cognitively construed spaces in which dispersive communication can exist and develop. As webloggers use a variety of methods to communicate and converse (trackbacks, comment features, posts, reciprocal posting), conversations tend to spread over both distance and time. Without the development of mental spaces, coherent conversation would be difficult, at best.

In our view it is important to consider issues to do with presence in weblogs, since weblogs that allow for a high level of presence will most likely succeed in creating a lively and sociable experience, and a sense of a shared space. One way of truly taking advantage of the benefits of the weblog medium would be by optimizing interaction both with the medium, with the content and with other users. With this in mind, we see great potential in enhancing the possibilities for social interaction in weblogs. Considering that this is an advantage of weblogs over e.g. web pages, it is important to focus on this aspect. Such improvements would also enhance the sense of Weblog Presence in every type of weblog.

September 2, 2004 in Weblogs | Permalink

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