News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Blogging: a study in scatology

The number of blogs tending toward the progressive viewpoint are diminishing in South Dakota, while those that espouse the regressive cant continue to grow. The same goes with the comments under postings.

Because of personal business, we find little time to post, but we still believe that the Internet offers an opportunity for cogent and valuable discussion. There is a problem, however.

Our good colleague Dr. Silas, who directed research on political communications, and who hopes to retire from his academic position this spring, has some points about web logs that are in line with our thinking. He writes that blogging is like motorcycle riding. Many people like the freedom and sense of exhiliration that riding a motorcycle can provide, but when you ride in groups, people tend to identify you with gangs. And so it goes with blogging. In order not to be perceived as a menace, motorcycle enthusiasts have to find different ways in which to share their enthusiasm rather than roar down the highways in hordes. And so, many bloggers, are searching for different forums that are not dominated by--to paraphrase Skakespeare--the idiots spewing forth their sound and fury.

What time I have been able to spend on the Internet since the Virginia Tech massacre has been devoted to discussions of how professors of English deal with student papers that signal some portentous problems in some students. Some years ago, the Dakota Writing Project was involved in developing guidelines on this matter, and I have been sorting through archives trying to relocate the results of that work.

I might post a summary here as well as on the other discussion forums in which I am participating.

1 comment:

Douglas said...

Just a note. You have had a number of very good posts recently, but Blogger was not sending my ID apparently and I was unable to post a comment. Today it is working.

Keep slogging or blogging along. I don't really know if we do or don't have any influence, but we know we won't if we don't make the attempt.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States