“Blogs and Blogging: Text and Practice” by Aimée Morrison is a stroll in the park in comparison to the challenge of comprehension that Alan Liu punishes his reader with. From the offset, Morrison establishes her literary tool of choice is going to be clarity. Her introduction clearly defines blogs and blogging to her reader but, not only that, she offers also a list of resources for those brave enough to take a plunge into the blogosphere.
Morrison analyses a blog comparatively with a webpage and says that it is “not static…but not private like an email” (Morrison unpaginated). Along with constructing an understanding of a blog in layman’s terms, Morrison immerses her reader in the history of blogging. She declares that with the launch of “simple-to-use blogging software” (unpaginated) in 1999 detonated the explosion of “the push button publishing tool for the people” (unpaginated). As a result, today we have a plethora of weblog software to choose from, with blog tracking websites such as Technorati to help us along the way.
However, Morrison refuses to lull her reader into a false sense of security about blogging because all is not rosy in the blogosphere. She discusses how “the first wave of these new bloggers…were distressed to find themselves being fired for their online activities” (unpaginated). With further inquiry, I discovered that a flight attendant, of a renowned American airline, was fired as a result of posting pictures on her blog, of herself in uniform on an airline, which were titled “Queen of Sky: Diary of a Flight Attendant” (Squidwho unpaginated). Surprisingly, the Airline deemed the content of her blog as inappropriate which demonstrates the power of the blog and its ability to “dooce” (Morrison unpaginated) somebody; the verb defining someone who loses their job as a result of blogging.
Furthermore, there is an additional concern which follows blogger everywhere like their shadow and that is the question of reliability. Accompanying anonymity, a symptom of the internet’s accessibility and global reach, is the issue of credibility. Because of the apparent lack of editorial control or regulation of content on blogging sites, everyone or anyone is free to publish whenever and whatever they like. Therefore, one has to adopt a critical role as a consumer of blog content, in order to fish out legitimate sources from the baloney or what could be called the information super highway debris.
As a final word, I would applaud Morrison’s essay for its clarity, comprehension and readability.
Morrison, Aimee E. “Blogs and Blogging: Text and Practice”. A Companion to Digital Literary Studies.