Do you agree with the suggestion in Walker’s article (last week’s readings) that the blogosphere can be seen as a revitalising influence on the public sphere?
And, in tandem with this:
Setting aside the Internet, in what areas of your life do you contribute to the public sphere?
I do agree with Walker Rettberg’s argument that the blogosphere can be seen as a revitalising influence on the public sphere. As she states, “Blogging and other participatory media reposition writing and reading as social, rather than solitary activities” (2008, p. 8). This is not difficult to see in today’s blogosphere, where solitary and/or highly social spaces can emerge depending on a blog’s popularity and whether or not it is private or public. This is further supported by the fact that “…there has been drastic fragmentation of… traditional media, with an ever-expanding number of… niche publications” (2008, p. 8). I also foresee that as blogs become increasingly sophisticated and more engaging due to the continual emergence of new technologies, the online public sphere will constantly be in a state of renewal.
To answer the second part of the question, I must admit that I spend a lot of time online. However, I am happy to say that I was able to find a few areas of my life where I contribute to the public sphere. I am a member of the Australian Greens Party, attend meetings and cast votes on representatives we want to put forward to represent us in elections, both federal and state. Occasionally, I also attend fund-raisers and protests, if I feel it to be necessary to further an important cause.
I attend lectures, philosophical discussions and festivals – these vary, as I do not get the opportunity to contribute to each of the topics that are discussed, but again, occasionally, I am able to publicly voice an opinion or offer an alternative point of view for those around me to consider or dismiss.
Finally, by attending my work five days a week, I contribute to the institution’s public sphere by training academic staff and/or students in digital literacy and associated social network technologies to (hopefully) enhance the standards of teaching and learning in the university. Some keep coming back for more, so I guess my contributions could be considered worthwhile. LOL
Walker Rettberg, J. (2008). Blogs, Literacies and the Collapse of Private and Public. Leonardo Electronic Almanac, 16(2-3), 10. Retrieved from http://jilltxt.net/txt/Blogs–Literacy%20-and-the-Collapse-of-Private-and-Public.pdf