Lost in translation/transition

Struggling with the understanding of rdf/rss and atom gave me some new hints for my thought process of which identity can and might be created through the set up of a blog to make use of its inherent features (virtual/real connections, multi directional, creation of space, etc..read more the next days in texts) without just focusing on one like the timeline/diary string. Coming across the post of Stephen Downes made me think about a few points on blogging identity, postmodern loss of authorship, on social networking – and the appearance of ‘swarms’ on the net.

excerpts from The Semantic Social Network
With the rise of social networking, bloggers have been looking more explicitly at the comparison between the two. There is a resistance, on the part of some bloggers, to creating an ‘identity’ on a social network: their blog is their identity. [Ref] Dina Mehta: A blog is “A profile that changes, grows, flows – not a cold resume or ‘about me’ page filled with past achievements and accolades – but is touchy-feely and one that says more about me through my thoughts, interests, preoccupations, rants, rambles and angst – that makes me more than just a consultant or a qualitative researcher – or a demographic statistic, ‘female blogger from India’.” [Ref]

What social networking preserves, that blogging does not (at least, not in an evident way) are identity and community. In the blogging network, links are formed exclusively between content items. A blogroll links to blogs. A linback links to posts. While the author of a given article may be carried from post to post, information about the author – such as the author’s blogroll or network of friends – is lost, obtained only through a tiring process of tracing back through the link to the blog home page and blogroll. This is alleviated somewhat with the share your feeds’ service, but the link reains to content, not people.

It is perhaps a quirk of history, but the original definition of RSS did not include ‘author’ as a field in its item elements (using only ‘title’, ‘link’ and ‘description’). Hence, in RSS as originally designed, unless the item being described was authored by the creator of the RSS feed, author information disappeared from references almost immediately.

I would not agree to the idea that a blog has no identity. The more interesting aspects on blogging, since I followed this up for a while, I think to find in the possibbilities to create an identity defined through usage, the voices established and the creation of a ‘space’ of performance exploring this. His thoughts about the authorship brought up the idea about a contemporary relevance, which finds its consequence in

..the blogging network and RSS link content, but not identities, while the social software network links identities, but not content.

It is interesting to have pointed out technical facts, like that older rss versions had line for the author, but on the other side it dismisses that content can build up to an complexer identity, then just naming or inventing an avatar. The disappearance of the author behind content and its flow I think a more interesting fact, which but also or even is further developed in wiki platforms as far as I understand.
In the understanding of blogging I see various forms and possibilities from diary to journalism, from posting to exchange and a performance of presence, which follows the merging of different inherent scripts….

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