This was certainly a challenging week for our Weblogs and Wikis class! The assignment was to read chapter five in Jill Walker Rettburg’s Blogging, explore every aspect of a narrative blog, and discern how it relates to Rettburg’s chapter. I chose to focus on the site of Kiersten White, who is an author and mother. My first post really just brushed the surface of narrative blogs as I went over the specifics of when the site was begun, the nature of her posts, and what kind of narrative blog it was. I wrote that “if I had to put a label on what kind of blog this is, I would say it’s an ongoing narration. Someday there will be an end, and when we look back it will form an entire story.”
My next post dug a little deeper. I looked at many of her posts – almost all of them, in fact – to see what the author provides for her readers. Does she incorporate comments into her publications? Prior events? External links? If so, what kind? I discovered that “oftentimes they’re for venues she’ll be at for a signing or an event, sites where you can buy her books, or sales that are going on for them.”
After that, I thought about how this blog was being used as a mirror. It’s easy to make assumptions off recent posts or “about” pages. But if we truly comb through a site’s archives and look into this person’s digital past, who were they then compared to who they’re presenting now? And does the narrative continue to be what I originally thought? After some exploration I came to the conclusion that “when it comes to presenting the blog as a public narrative, Kiersten White doesn’t go to many extents.”
For my last post I worked on connecting “what I’ve found in addition to drawing on this when I look at blogs as narratives.” Essentially I extended the work from the previous day and continued to research whether or not my original thoughts about the blog and its owner held up. I looked at some of my classmates’ work to see what they’d decided. I read Rettburg’s chapter again and again.
In the end, I realized that “over time, [the blog] certainly has changed. In a way, it’s gone from being a site of self-exploration to one of ongoing narration. Or maybe it’s become a bit of both.” Same goes for the person writing it… or at least, the mirror of her we’ve been given.
I highly enjoyed this week’s assignment, and I feel that I learned much more this time around!