Blog Theory: Feedback and Capture in the Circuits of Drive by Jodi Dean
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
One of those books for my thesis that I will have to read again because I have the gist of it, but I need to re-read it so that I can understand the underlying ideas that further define the books thesis. In essence the author states that blogs are a contemporary medium that is a "strange convergence of democracy and capitalism in networked communications and entertainment media" p. 4. Some people say that blogging is dead but Dean suggests that there is still a great deal of activity in the sphere, and an increase of the private and large corporate influence in blogging as it is now part of a capitalist agenda. She also states that being part of the blogipelago is "parasitic, narcissistic and pointless" p. 37. While I agree that there are elements of each of these characteristics, I would argue (as does Dean) that the sense of community that can be created that we have lost in our neighbourhoods and actual communities is being replaced with such parasitic and narcissistic behaviours, which in itself does have merit and is point-ful. Dean also speaks to Jaques Lacan's Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis wherein we learn that symbolic efficiency is defined as knowing who you are and how you fit in socially in the world. Once again, blogging is defining this space for many people, just in an alternate format. Lastly, Dean suggests that as more non-professionals participate in the creation of the blogipelago, as a culture, we have to decide whose voice and opinion has more merit, the trained professional or the individual with less training. Good read. Excited to use it in my thesis!
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