Other Wind
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Weblogs as Place

Ecotone Topic for August 15—Weblogs as Place (I’m a little behind on this one.)

These are the questions:

Is your weblog a place in itself? How do you locate it in the scheme of things? What kind of map is it on? What’s your relationship with your weblog? And with those who visit it?
I see my weblog as a place if I use the word place loosely and define it as a certain location or experience that is sought out, that evolves, that is built or becoming. It is a distinct locale. But roads don’t go everywhere yet, and I doubt they ever will. In some ways, my weblog is more like a vehicle or even a map. I use it to get somewhere in my mind, to express something, or to have fun. Sometimes, others visit it and use it too. The way I create it and use it reflects my mind, my life, and my physical place, but the reflection is only partial.

I like writing this weblog, but I haven’t completely figured out what I’m doing yet. So, I don’t know much about how to answer these questions. Other Wind is on a map, in the sense that it is linked to from other locations. Links on Movable Type and Weblogs.com, on search engine results, or on other bloggers’ sites tell people how to find it. And it links to, or tells people how to find, other sites.

My husband, David, points out that a weblog, or any site on the web, is different from a physical site because you can visit it directly, and usually quickly, from any location.

Weblogs are controlled locations, though, and their environs are not left to chance. Comments from the outside can add a dimension of otherness and perhaps chaos, but they too are under control. They can be turned off or deleted. Weblog content is chosen and portrayed by a single person or group. So, weblogs are places we can visit, but they are not as organic and eclectic as physical sites likes towns and buildings populated by unpredictable people or like wild sites populated by plants and animals.

And yet the place of my weblog invites others to visit me in real space, and several have done so. More of this to come, as our community becomes face-to-face acquaintance.

Posted by: fredf on August 21, 2003 08:46 AM