Katie Cavanagh

Katie started out lecturing in IT, then digital art and now English literature, she is involved in a project in setting up a blogging environment for all of the art students across Adelaide. Of interest this was her first conference presentation, she did really well. Her Mac would not connect to the projector and so the first half of the presentation had no PowerPoint slides, although towards the end it did get working and the slides were very cool.

She interested in what people do and how they interact in the online world. She also noted that her paper was originally 18,000 and has been compressed into 2,000 and she feels that it reads like this as well.

Printing press brought religion to the masses, she feels that blogs are actually being the masses to the masses. Something that has never happened before in human society, our traditional publishing mechanisms do not allow for this. Blogosphere is a space for marginalised voices. Goes back to some of the previous dicussions on the long tail.

We need lots of readers to ensure that we keep the writers. As we read the long tail we can start to learn about them and hence move society along.

She has studied miscarriages and the group of bloggers who are undertaking this writing and now they are able to openly discuss the issues that they are experiencing. They are trying to redefine the rules of society around the topic. In reading she tried to work out if there was a repeating view from the group of bloggers. The women are writing crisis narratives, for the purpose of healing, however they need to be careful that they are “wallowing” in the situation.

Katie poses an interesting thought, if we can read and learn can the community start to help and we fundamentally change society. She also feels that comments are a very important part of the diary writing, part of the conversation. A really she is starting to cross some into some very serious psychological aspects.

Fundamentally this connection to like minded people is also part of why may people start blogging from all walks of life. The life narrator confronts not one life, but two. There personal view and that others see of them.

A hurdle she has had is trying to “crack the ring”, ie find the ring of writers who are linking to each other. Once you are in you can follow the links and themes. Katie suggests we need to start mapping the internet, similar to Robert Ackland’s research.

Finally Katie goes through the whole idea of the digital archive, then map it with social software and what would things look like, especially if we then used key word searching to look for patterns?

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