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   Friday, December 20, 2002  
Seb's OpenMind: Weblogs By The Numbers
   posted by *mcb* at 8:37 AM
   

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Diary
Love and Understanding

Thieu, Nickers, La Spin and I went to see a play last night. It was written by a friend they all went to Adelaide Uni with, Joe Penhall who has since moved to London and become a famous playwright. Thieu and I saw another piece of his earlier this year called Blue Oranges put on by the MTC. The one we saw last night was called Love and Understanding and I liked it a lot.

It's weird going to see local theatre-- I forget how different it is to seeing a film or even seeing big budget theatre. I think this is partly because local theatre groups perform in small spaces and so you are often inches away from the actors. Yet they don't respond to you at all and it feels so odd. I find myself sometimes wanting to tell the characters what to do- it somehow seems rude to be sitting there just watching and not participating.

The way the stage was set up last night (sort of in the round, I guess) meant that you were constantly watching the reactions of the audience members sitting opposite you. So the play and the audience were somehow enmeshed. When you see a film or watch television with a group you are often very aware of the other people around you but you rarely get to see their faces.
   posted by *mcb* at 7:45 AM
   

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   Thursday, December 19, 2002  
Masters- link
Personal Cinema
The Lord of the Rings
Looked at this again today and it made me think of Mark's post. I think its very well done. It's like a mini doco and while there is a lot going on with each screen I somehow didn't find it overwhelming. Made me think I'd judged the film a bit too harshly. There was one story in particular that made me laugh.A programmer in one of the clips explains how they did the big CG battle scenes.Each of the animated characters had been programmed to behave in a particular way- for instance, if you see the enemy, fight them, if you can't see the enemy, run until you do.

In an early test run of the system they staged a battle scene and noticed that at the fringes of the action the orcs were running away. They were doing this, the programmer explained, because they couldn't see the enemy and were going off in search. However, it created the impression that they were being sensible orcs and deserting a chaotic and hellish scene for safer ground.
   posted by *mcb* at 10:33 AM
   

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Masters- link
MoMA

Hmm. I "blogged this" during the day and I can't exactly remember why.
Maybe the nav?
Actually, maybe it was just because I liked the architectural drawings, especially of the buildings that were never built.
And I've always liked the idea of the "floating city." Maybe I could somehow work that into the title of my thesis. Blog networks as floating cities? Maybe. Maybe not. I do love a metaphor, even if it's a tenuous one.
MoMA.org | Exhibitions | 2002 | The Changing of the Avant-Garde
   posted by *mcb* at 10:13 AM
   

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Masters
Personal Cinema

Some great, useful thoughts from Mark about personal cinema. He comments that "Cinema as public space was originally a gathering of many individuals for a common experience." This was then (to a degree) replaced by television where the group experience was on a smaller scale. And now we have the Internet, where it is easy to forget that there is anyone else out there at all, except by pariticipating in online communities (such as weblogs). Perhaps this is part of the appeal of the weblog. The connectness of the shared experience. Hmm.

I love his comment that the web is "one on one, for many people, simultaneously." And yes, will the stories produced by this medium be more personal or more public? Or will they, Oprah-style, be deeply personal in a very public way?
   posted by *mcb* at 8:22 AM
   

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Masters
Glean Blog

I've been keeping a glean blog this week- (I have a whole three entries now...) It's a combination of things I've either found or are sitting on my desk plus the 1 minute writing exercise from one word. (the writing is pretty terrible, but it's an exercise so I'm forgiving myself.)

Don't know how long I'll be able to keep this going but it's been interesting so far.
And yes, it's a total rip-off of TRASHLOG- but I prefer to think of it as an homage...
   posted by *mcb* at 8:10 AM
   

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Masters
Gender Blogging

I started reading the article I printed out yesterday (GenderBlogging) when I got home. Unfortunately I was quite tired and a little beery but what I read was good. It's interesting to read other people's proposals, especially as this is currently on my mind (this weekend's the one, I think, to finally get mine done).

Her central questions are:
Does blogging give women a sense of empowerment?
Does blogging accomplish anything at all for women and feminism and if so, what?
What is the source of gender conflict in the blogging community?
Are there gender conflicts unique to the blogging community that one would not find inother online communities?
and
Why do women find blogging attractive?


I've been trying to answer that last question for myself, as it seems slightly different to the discussion GG has had with the Questioning Ant recently about "why blog" or "why humans blog." What attracted me to it? That initial urge has now been so over-written by proposal-type justifications that it's hard to remember what started it. I remember that I read an article in The Age a number of years ago and looked up some of the URLs mentioned and was singularly unimpressed by what I saw. And even when I started the MA I imagined the blog to be a sideline project- just a way of keeping track of my research.

So I shall give this some thought. Perhaps it's one to GG and QA. I seem to have more luck working out my thoughts in that format sometimes.
   posted by *mcb* at 7:45 AM
   

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   Wednesday, December 18, 2002  
Masters
Online Museums
A collection of links to collections.
I like the Soviet calculators in particular.
Coudal Partners
   posted by *mcb* at 2:38 PM
   

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Masters
Reading
I've printed it out to take home and read.
Looks interesting.
GenderBlogging
(via :: Kairosnews ::)
   posted by *mcb* at 1:44 PM
   

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Masters
Proposal and Goals for Next Year

Think I may be finally making headway into my proposal (about time, yes.) The computer was at Thieu's place and I momentarily panicked when I realised this, thinking "how can I possibly do any work without it?"
But then I remembered that it is actually possible to still write on paper and I actually got much more done this way in one evening than I have all year trying to do it in Word. Ah the irony.

Then my over-stimulated brain would not let me get to sleep and insisted instead that we devise various writing exercises that would assist in formulating ideas for blogs (with the emphasis being on producing concise pieces.)

It also insisted on thinking about the various goals I have for next year's MA work- I'd really like to write a couple of articles based on various blog-related topics. I'd also like to try and get a paper accepted as part of a new media conference. And finally, I'd like to try and work up some of the Grumpy Girl dialogues into an animated piece- just to see if they would translate into this format.
   posted by *mcb* at 7:35 AM
   

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   Tuesday, December 17, 2002  
Masters
Brave Boynton
boynton has taken the plunge and has added comments to her site. And she has adopted the first person. Are these things linked?

I feel my time to add comments is approaching.
As a book in our house currently proclaims "Feel the fear of (0) and do it anyway."
   posted by *mcb* at 1:47 PM
   

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Masters
Masters Questions
George found my post about my MA questions and has written his responses to them. Now I just need to find someone to write the proposal. I like the idea of blog posts as being drafts, in particular.
   posted by *mcb* at 1:33 PM
   

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Masters
Writing Exercises and Trash Log

Found this writing exercise site:one word. so little time yesterday.
(via Veracity or Mendacity? You decide...)
You have a minute to write on the word they give you and although my two attempts both resulted in rather uninspiring nonsense it still strikes me as an interesting thing to do. I'll give it a go for a while.

Also found yesterday (and I can't remember how- possibly through Daypop.) was this site:
TRASHLOG. I like the gleaning nature of this project and was musing this morning on my walk in that perhaps I could take inspiration from both of these sites and post a daily "found object" with a daily piece of one minute writing, just as an exercise and to see what emerges from it.
   posted by *mcb* at 7:53 AM
   

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Masters
Masters Meeting

Met up with my supervisor, RB last night and went over what I've done so far. Or what I haven't done so far. She thought my questions were not too bad, which is a good thing and it dawned on me that what I need to do now is write my proposal around them. I showed her an early scrappy page of various things I had been considering putting in the proposal but I realised that I was actually attempting to write a uni essay rather than structure a proposal. I would like to do some writing about blogging over the next six months, however- I put this down as one of my aims (under the primary aim of having my application approved... How dreadful it would be to have spent this much time on it and then have it rejected.) So I am absolutely determined to get it ready before I leave for Cambodia on Jan 25th.
   posted by *mcb* at 7:44 AM
   

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   Monday, December 16, 2002  
Masters
Masters Questions

Sat down on Saturday and actually worked a bit on my proposal (which means no Grumpy Girl this week.) I'm going into to RMIT to see RB this evening- wish I had a draft to show her but time has yet again slipped away. Where has my self-discipline gone? I'm sure I used to have some.
Here are where my research questions are at:

1. In what ways can the unique model offered by the weblog format assist the web-writer in producing narratives designed principally for electronic delivery?

2. Can the weblog be used by the online researcher as a tool for shaping and progressing their research?

3. In what ways does the online environment and the process of broadcasting globally, impact on the web writer’s process? For example, how are the author’s voice, style or content affected?

Still a bit rough and I think I'll need to define what I mean by 'narrative' so that I can make sure I include the comics. Also need to think about covering "community"- (but the online environment part of question 3 should look at this I guess.)


   posted by *mcb* at 7:56 AM
   

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Diary
Comments (0)
Boynton wrote to me last week and expressed similar fears of adding comments to her blog. And she pointed me to curious frog whose author shares our concerns. However, perhaps it is time to get over this and at least give it a go. Perhaps in the new year.
   posted by *mcb* at 7:49 AM
   

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