Monday, June 24, 2002

Viva Blog Vegas

I decided to join Blog Sisters a few months ago, after finding myself reading and connecting to so many of the ideas posted here. I'm (here's the semi-obligatory self-description of the first post) a newish weblogger, a feminist teacher and writer, a married person, and the mother of a 6- year old boy, among other things. I've been interested in exploring the possibilities of virtual communities since first using a listserv in a writing class, especially the potential for civic engagement and activism.

Anyway, I recently attended a panel at a rhetoric conference in Las Vegas (of all places) on "Civic Implications of New Technologies." One of the speakers, John Killoran, from U of Colorado, Denver, gave an interesting paper comparing personal homepages with weblogs, arguing that weblogs, because of their "collaborative ethos" are better suited to create wide-spread civic engagement than more static homepages (the paper isn't published yet, but I hope it will be soon!). He discussed some of Dave Winer's ideas about technology and accessibility, and Rebecca Blood's writing on weblogs , particularly her claim that blogs offer a form of agency.

I found myself talking about Blog Sisters during the discussion, and how, in my view, it represents an innovative form of virtual community for women, a "place" from which to talk, to think to one's self or out loud, to argue, to listen, to persuade, to coax, to encourage, and to act (okay, I didn't say that, exactly, during the panel, but hindsight is revisionist, right?). I don't know yet how diverse or representative we are (I'm sure someone will study that soon), or how significant what we are doing here is, but I'm very glad to be going along with you all for the ride. Yiii-ha!

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