Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Academia, painful academia. Just one letter off a nut.

I received an e-mail from a student, here is my reply, all mixed in with the original. Seeing Derrida has just died it seemed appropriate to get all Sociologist on it, so read this as a polysemic text, or something equally incoherent. I wonder if this little hobby warrants all this attention. My bits are are in italics

Hi there,

Sorry to take so long to get back, I didn't think I could be bothered, but then I figure what kind of a cock takes that attitude. I also never figured that my random purges were worthy of the title blog, or of any particular interest. But anyway, I hope this is some help


I'm a Honours student in Mass Communications at the University of Canterbury.I'm currently researching blogs for an essay. I've been following your site and I would appreciate it if you could answer some short questions related to my research. The questions are:

1.Do you feel you are part of a wider public debate through putting your views on your blog?

Not really. More of a narrower, yet more aware, community. Things you do can come to the attention of the 'agenda setters' or whatever other awful mass comm terms you want to use, like editors, journalists etc. So sometimes there is the possibility and othertimes it feels like some form of endless self-reflexitivity.

2. Do you believe your blog is more personal than other media, such as newspaper or television

Yes in that the responses can be immediately attached to the primary material, errors can be
quickly altered, and the community (awful fucking term) is small

3. How would you describe your writing style? Is it entirely your own voice or do find yourself adopting a persona?

Pretty difficult that. Some of the pieces I post are written to be delivered on the radio so are written to that style, some have appeared in other media, and have the commensurate restrictions, some are meant to be well put together, and some are simply short observations. So I'd say that I adopt many voices, but hopefully a consistent persona, I'd rather lose track of myself if I didn't

4. What are the most important sources from which you draw material and topics?

Scoop, Herald site, other blog-keepers, radio,

5. Bloggers discuss a wide range of topics including issues of public importance. How do you explain your right to discuss a topic in a forum where others can read it?

Why on earth would I have to explain it? Someone would have to do some very serious explaining if I couldn't. This is not Communist China, though I'm well aware that post-graduate students in communications-y things perhaps wish it were.

6.Are there any features or criteria that make a good blog?

being able to write is a plus. A lot of time on your hands. And a sense of humour and or indignation helps.

And because I sympathise for anyone in a media class, how about I post all this so you can write something about the postmodern hall of mirrors? And the immediacy of the medium or some other painful contortion.


Poor bastard. Catching that kind of rubbish back. As if he hasn't enough problems, what with living in Christchurch and doing Honours in Mass Communication.
John, I'm sorry.


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