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The truth about cats and blogs


10 January 2007

Blog culture is not by definition anti-establishment, mere empowerment does not automatically lead to worthy content
Blog culture is not by definition anti-establishment, mere empowerment does not automatically lead to worthy content

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Blogs have replaced home pages as the favoured online format, visiting Internet culture expert Geert Lovink told an audience at the University of Sydney.

"People don't have home pages anymore - if you want to go on the net and you want to do something … you establish a blog."

Lovink cautioned against equating blogs to the news industry and comparing bloggers to "citizen journalists".

"Remember the number one topic in blogging is cats" he said. "Blog culture is not by definition, and cannot be regarded as, anti-establishment… Mere empowerment does not automatically lead to worthy content."

Lovink said while the early internet and email culture was dominated by an anti-authoritarian and libertarian mindset, blog culture is more commonly about creating "secluded social networks".

"Blogs do not operate in some wild open Internet culture out there", he said. "Instead, the mass drift to write online diaries should be seen as a defence mechanism to zero-out mainstream media and create a space for contemplation and confession."

"I think this is the big difference between blog culture and the 90s cyberculture [which] still had … a very strong link to 60s dominant counter culture."

Geert Lovink is media theorist, critic and author of 'Dark Fiber', 'Uncanny Networks', 'My First Recession' and 'The Principle of Notworking'. He is co-founder of Internet projects such as The Digital City, Nettime, Fibreculture and Incommunicado.

In 2005-2006 he was a fellow at the Berlin Institute for Advanced Study where he finished his third volume on critical Internet culture, Zero Comments (Routledge New York, 2007).

Lovink was speaking at the university on 12 December 2006. His blog may be found here.


Contact: Kath Kenny

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