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Internet research group, University of Vienna

May 14, 2009

On Tuesday I had a very productive seminar with the Internet Research Group at the University of Vienna. These are doctoral students from various disciplines working on a number of individual projects, including research on Flickr, Twitter, medical knowledge online, and indigenous internet activism in Canada, to recall from memory. They posed some challenging questions about my own internet research and I had the chance to ask questions about theirs as well. 

One issue for further investigation is the Austrian blogosphere – if one can delimit the world of blogs along international borders – and the question of language uses. I was coming to this from the understanding that blogs are part of social fields (political blogging in Malaysia, Anglophone anthropology, etc) but now I´m not so sure any more. Perhaps my field approach is imposing too much order and discreteness on dense tangles of links that cannot be contained within ´fields´? What do blogging practices tell us about the place of blogs within and across specific online social worlds? Do blogrolls tell you most of what you need to know about the social location of a blog? What about those blog ´neighbours´ of whom you may be unaware, i.e. blogs that occupy neighbouring epistemic space but you´re not explicitly linked to?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 15, 2009 8:06 am

    Hi John, it was great having you.
    Re the Austrian non-blogosphere, I just wanted to add that Austria is a small country, so using media also means looking at what is going on beyond the borders. What I, and I am sure also others tend to do through blogging is try to connect to people out there in the big wide world …

  2. May 16, 2009 1:17 pm

    Thanks Sigrid. I wonder if anyone´s done comparative research into country-specific blogospheres, or indeed into to what extent it makes sense to speak of such blogospheres. This reminds me of T.H. Eriksen´s article on nations online and also of a JRAI article a couple of years ago about diasporic Iranian websites and how international borders did make a difference.

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