Blogging Out Loud: Shifts In Public Voice

Danah Boyd

Danah does not hold back and she starts her talk by chastising librarians for some of our anti-Google stances and takes some swings at Michael Gorman for his remarks against “blog people.”

“Librarians should not be the sole gate keepers of information.”

People detest the gatekeeper and librarians present themselves as the only “real” gatekeepers. There are people squirming in the audience. Danah is challenging us and what we believe is “our” place. (I hope that some people will leave this session thinking about what we do and how we do it from a different point of view.)

Blogs have greater increased the sheer amount of information out on the web. They are evolving and therefore are targets for those who do not understand the medium. The inflammatory rhetoric of those who rail against blogs are used to reduce the relevance and worth of blogs. Bloggers can provide alternatives to the MSM (main stream media).

Danah likens blogging to speech where we write and share on the fly. It is our thoughts out loud. (This is one of things that has drawn me to blogging. It is a way to share all the thoughts in my head, to get them on “paper” so that they no longer float around and clog up my neurons.) Blogs are an ongoing knowledge base, a continual conversation between the blogger and their audience.

Blogs are forcing us to renegotiate social boundaries. Searches put things in conjunction that would not appear in the course of normal life. This has led to some people getting fired.

Blogs redistribute power. They allow people to discover and explore different ideas. She ends with a plea that we support others engaged in the fight for civil liberties. Danah Boyd calls us to be better.