Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kendall -11/12/08

In Com430z, I was assigned to read Lori Kendall's article “Shout Into the Wind, and It Shouts Back” Identity and interactional tensions on LiveJournal.

In this article Kendall focuses on identity and information management methods of people within LiveJournal weblogs. In an attempt to gain the most valid information Kendall does some face to face observations with a few of the weblogs current users. With this information she has tried to get to the bottom of what actually is causing some of the tensions which exist within the LiveJournal weblogs. Of the tensions highlighted in the article there seems to be one that stands out, control vs. connection. To understand this tension Kendall interviews about seven different people to see where they stand on the issue. Upon doing this it quickly becomes clear that many of the people liked the fact that they had more control when using LiveJournal in comparison to other online forums like mud’s and listservs. This in return has really pushed many to become members of the online community. Kendall talks to two friends, Tammy and Fiona whom are in their late 30s and have two different lifestyles to see their take on the situation. It appears that these women happen to be a part of a group of friends which interacts through LiveJournal quite frequently. Kendall’s research points out that they each enjoy the journal because of its ability to be autonomous. They see it as a place where they have control over what they talk about and do amongst their group of friends. Kendall goes on to express how LiveJournal interactions could be looked at as broadcast to those whom use the weblogs.

After reading this article I can honestly say all the information that was presented seemed foreign to me at first, possibly because I never heard of LiveJournal weblogs. However, with the help of Kendall’s ability to accurately point out important elements of the weblog this has been laid to rest. These interviews allowed for me to get a non-biased outlook on how the tensions were actually affecting peoples journal life online. Hopefully in the future with the tensions being highlighted something could be done to change them.

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