Here, Electricka introduces and explains her blogs about the arts.
future blogs from electricka
Stay tuned for additional blogs expected to be published by Electricka and her cohort muses.
More blogs are on their way. A blog about Big Bands of the '30s and '40s is now in preparation by The Muse Of Music, and others are sure to follow.
If you know what blogs are and if you look around your computer screen, you'll notice that the page and feature you are now visiting, which is part of Electricka's web site, is not a blog. But, even though you're not looking at them now, Electricka does offer blogs at her web site. You can see her blogs by clicking on links in the large box above.
If you do click in the box above, you'll notice that Electricka's web site pages and features and Electricka's blogs are two different kinds of things; the even look different. How do the pages and features at the blogs that Electricka offers differ from the other kinds of pages and features at her web site, pages like the ones that you're looking at here?
Most web sites like Electricka's site don't offer blogs at all—if a web site is a blog, normally it's a web site all by itself. Electricka's situation is different. The blogs at Electricka's web site are not the same as most of the other blogs you find on the Internet. Electricka treats her blogs as features of Electricka's web site instead of as web sites in and of themselves; the two kinds of sites are not standalone web sites, they're integrated.
To fully appreciate what this means, you need to understand the special role blogs play at Electricka's web site. And for you to fully understand this role, it's necessary to become familiar with: 1) the nature of Electricka's web site, 2) the nature of most blogs, and 3) the out of the ordinary way Electricka uses her blogs.
Electricka's web site
The mission, general appearance, types of content, visitor interface, writing style, and other aspects of Electricka's web site are commonplace for a type of web site that was introduced during the formation of the Internet in the early 1990s.
What is the nature of this type of site? You only have to visit a few of Electricka's features to understand their general nature.
If you aren't already familiar with features at Electricka's web site, you can review and explore them by using menus on this page to open and examine some of them at random.
- Or you can visit Electricka's page called List Of Features At This Site and find features to open features there: click here.
Do the kinds of features and the pages you see at Electricka's web site seem familiar? They should. It's a popular type of design for a web site that's in widespread use today; and many new web sites that look and operate like this one are still being created.
Although Electricka's web site shares many of its design features with other web sites of its type, in important ways it's not exactly the same. The major characteristics of Electricka's web site that distinguish it from other web sites of its kind—properties that characterize it as special and unique—are: 1) the quality, depth, and treatment of its subject matter; 2) its intense focus on numerous art forms and their interrelationships, not just on one art form; and 3) its novel and entertaining approach to the arts—the approach taken by Electricka and her cohort modern muses.
- If you're not already familiar with Electricka's muses and their unique approach to the arts, try taking Electricka's Orientation Tour: click here.
As the Internet succeeded and grew during the mid-1990s, other kinds of web sites came into existence. Today there are many new and different kinds of web sites for you to look at:
online and offline advertising services
product or service retailers
Internet search services
state and local governments
corporate internal networks
audio and video entertainment services
software download and delivery
financial management services
software upgrade and maintenance
etc, etc, etc...
These are just a handful of the many different kinds of web sites that exist today. Each different kind of web site has its own set of design characteristics that give it a personality all its own—a different look and feel, a different way or interacting with you and of operating. The various kinds of web sites differ according to factors such as the appearance and functions of their pages, information content, visitor interfaces, support for postings and comments, support for forums, writing styles, facilities such links and menus, chat rooms, chatting, email, and many other properties.
Each of these different kinds of web sites looks and feels the way it does because of the way it's designed and built; and it's designed a certain way so as to achieve a certain purpose. A large number of different kinds of technical functions—processing, graphics, networking, database, data processing, and others—allow them to establish their characters and achieve their missions.
Blogs, which began to appear on the Internet in the mid-1990s, are no different. Like other types of web sites they have their own technical design and implementation characteristics and they achieve their own purposes. Because of that, blogs were (and still are) a type of web site that is different and unique, with technical and other features that demarcate it from other kinds of web sites.
What are some of the characteristics that make a blog different from other kinds of sites? What are some of their purposes?
- You probably already know about blogs; it's likely that you use them. You may even operate and publish a blog of your own. But if not, you can delve into some of the characteristics of blogs by visiting the section on this page below titled More About Blogs: click here.
- Explore a very brief account of the history of the Internet and how blogs fit into it at the section on this page below titled Brief History Of The Internet And How Blogs Fit In: click here.
The role of blogs at electricka's web site
As with the different kinds of web sites described above, in and of themselves Electricka's web site and Electricka's blogs are two different kinds of Internet sites with two different kinds of design characteristics. They differ with respect to their general appearance, types of content, visitor interfaces and displays, writing style, subject depth and scope, degree of subject detail, and in many other respects, including the ability to display postings and comments.
For example, Electricka's blogs offer postings authored by the muses and their helpers that invite visitors to enter their own comments; in this respect they are typical of blogs everywhere, but that sets them apart from the Electricka's web site you are now visiting.
By the same token, Electricka's web site does not offer postings; and visitors do not have the opportunity to comment on what the muses have to say, posting by posting.
Since the two kinds of site are so different, it's reasonable to ask why Electricka offers both kinds at her web site.
The short answer is that Electricka uses both kinds of sties because they both fulfill her mission. What is this mission they have in common?
Electricka envisions a future golden age when computers and the Internet are fully at the service of the arts, a time when art and technology meet, match, and marry. Electricka's mission is to bring visitors and the arts closer together; through the intercession of her muses, she strives to provide intimate and personal interactions between visitors and the arts.
- You'll find a more complete statement of this vision at the page called I, Electricka, Welcome You To My Web Site: click here.
In a nutshell, Electricka offers both kinds of web sites because together they advance this goal better and faster than they would separately; they both help put the Internet at the service of the arts.
Electricka's blogs are features at her web site because they offer synergy with her other kinds of features. Using blog postings and visitor comments, Electricka's blogs extend her reach and effectiveness in ways that her other features would not be able to reach alone, and vice versa. Together, her blogs and her other features complement and supplement one another; together they contribute more to her mission than they would apart.
Using blogs to complement and supplement other kinds of web sites is not a traditional role for blogs to play. Electricka's blogs succeed at this because she and her cohort muses operate them with that aim in mind.
In this section Electricka briefly explores Internet blogs. Since Electricka's blogs are typical Internet blogs in many ways, the material in this section applies to Electricka's blogs as well as to other blogs as a whole.
what is a blog?
A blog is a certain type of web site; it's an online journal that's most often published by one or by a few private individuals rather than by a large corporation.
Blogs have features that enable private individuals to post entries about their personal experiences, thoughts, ideas, opinions, or other subjects for visitors to see. Typically, a single posting is brief and it's about a single subject or a narrow idea.
Usually the only people who are allowed to post are those who own and operate the blog, but not always; sometimes privileged individuals called authors are also allowed to post.
Most blogs make it possible for all visitors to read postings originated by the individual who operates the blog or by other authors, as well as to add their own comments or replies to postings for display to the operators or to the public. Sometimes blogs are restricted to private audiences.
Since normally any visitor can see all postings and replies, posts and replies not only form a channel of communication between visitors and those who post; they also establish channels among visitors.
Together, the postings and comments function as a platform for social expression and information sharing; they enable verbal (textual) and sensual (graphic or auditory) interaction to take place among those who post, between visitors who choose to comment, and between visitors who do not choose to comment but follow along.
Blogs were devised by people who sought to have the same kinds of interchanges with others as they were accustomed to having with their personal written diaries or with others through direct face-to-face daily contacts. They saw the Internet as a way to extend their reach beyond that of paper and pencil or the telephone.
To their originators, blogs were a medium for the mass-distribution of personal information that could convey their daily experiences and thoughts to the public better than ever they were able to before. Blogs were an affordable way to revolutionize interpersonal communications and relationships and to change life styles.
With blogs, early bloggers sought to exploit a vastly superior new medium—the Internet—by which to exchange their daily ruminations and life experiences, one that lacked the shortcomings and limitations of diaries and that would diminish real and virtual distances that separate people. Because of the new systems, society would better organize, display, lay out, present, seek out, find, absorb, disseminate, explore, share, and exchange knowledge relevant to its interests and pertinent to its needs.
It turned out that these original dreamers were realists.
Blogs emerged on the scene rapidly once they were introduced because technological advances in software and communications made them relatively cheap and easy to use. They soon earned a mass audience and became a mass institution. Their new methods and media provided innovators who were willing to experiment with new ways to investigate and learn about many different kinds of subjects.
Today, many blogs involve a degree of social interaction that was never experienced by the masses who exploited telephonic or computer network exchanges prior to their appearance. They offer web site content presenters and web site visitors invaluable tools they can apply to better explore, consume, enjoy, accumulate, and profit from their blog adventures.
Blogging adds human judgment to the list of mental processes that bloggers can conveniently acquire and apply. Bloggers who explore subjects that are new for them soon discover that they don't have to be subject experts to be able to profit from other subject experts who blog.
Blogging (the act of using blogs) also flourished because in the right hands a blog can have so much emotional appeal. Blogging can help us laugh or cry; it can help us celebrate or feel despair; it can help us commiserate and console. It has proved to be a way to distribute emotions and sentiments to the masses that's rival the power of the soap opera.
Blogging can do these kinds of things because it supports, accommodates, and encourages conversational and interactive activities similar to those in the natural, relaxed settings people enjoy most in their everyday lives, and in which they thrive.
And at the same time, blogging is not inhibiting or stultifying; you can blog alone in the middle of the night or during rush hour. True, blogs depend on cold, unfriendly, and unforgiving computers for their success, but blogs mask their presence behind the Internet scenes to a greater extent than do many other kinds of web sites.
Why the name blog?
Linguistically, the word blog is a portmanteau word; it's a blend of two other words: web and log.
- What's a portmanteau word? Check into the subject of portmanteau words at The Muse Of Language Arts feature called About Portmanteau Words And The Portmanteau Words Table: click here.
Why did the blog innovators choose web and log to name their innovation when so many other words might do?
Why use log to describe a blog when a more personal word might seem to be a better fit given the motivations for blogs? After all, Internet computer logs, which usually record data about computer functions, are identified with impersonal computers, not with people. Is log the wrong word to use because it suggests computers, which remind some of us of automatons, not people?
The word log appears in blog rather than the word diary or some other more intimate word because a blog is a web site at which people log (chronicle) and interactively exchange information about events, ideas, interactions, and other information. They deal greatly in the currency of who people are and what they do.
The logs at a web site do contain data about computers; but they also contain data about posters and visitors and postings and comments—about people. The blog innovators sought to blend these two notions.
Log succeeds at making this blend; it reminds us of the fact that blogs and the Internet bring people closer together even though the vehicles for accomplishing this interaction are machines. Thus, to the originators of blogs—the ones who coined the word blog—log did not seem unfitting; indeed, it seemed a more than fitting word to use.
These blog originators must also have seen the word web in the blend blog as a virtual requirement for their portmanteau word because it unambiguously identifies blogs with the Internet.
But the word web raised major linguistic problems for them. Constructions such as wlog, wog, or welog would result in clumsy, awkward-sounding and hard to pronounce blends that are not viable; and preceding log with a b would produce a blend that's hard to identify with the word web. Even today the word blog poses a mystery for uninitiated people and many miss the fact that the b stands for web because it sounds nothing like the web that it stands for.
Give these problems, the originators decided to favor the letter b. But the b in blog remains a good compromise because it results in a blend that is far easier to remember and pronounce; blog is silkier-sounding and far less silly-sounding than its alternatives would have been.
As you probably know, the Internet is an offspring of the Communications Age that emerged in the 1990s, about the time cell phones started to grow in popularity.
How many blogs are there today?
One estimate puts the number of blogs on the Internet at almost 200 million; it goes on to allege that 10,000 new blogs are added daily. Although these numbers may be exaggerated, it cannot be denied that the number of blogs is huge and still growing rapidly.
Blogs have been around and growing steadily since the mid-1990s, and there are plenty of reasons to expect their numbers to continue to grow and to evolve during the 21st century. Today, many blogs still function as personal online diaries, but the scope and variety of blogs is far greater than it was originally conceived to be. New blogs provide general and specialized news commentaries; some provide information about technical or other kinds of specific subjects; others combine text, images, and links to connect other blogs, webs, or web pages. Still others feature very short posts or even allow a visitor to send brief messages. There's not telling what kinds of new blogs will emerge, and soon.
While most blogs are primarily textual, many others focus on the arts or other disciplines. Many employ large amounts of photographs, videos, music, and audio.
Some people characterize the Internet of the 1990s as the Old Internet, with web sites where visitors were limited to the passive viewing of content that was created for them. Today some people believe that the Internet has evolved so rapidly and to such a degree that the original Internet is all but gone, having been replaced by what in retrospect they now call the second generation Internet or Web 2.0.
They describe W 2.0 as an Internet that facilitates participatory information sharing, interoperability, user-oriented design, and collaboration. Web 2.0 sites allow users to interact and cooperate with each other in a social dialogue that creates content collectively; users form a virtual community. Wikipedia is a good example.
W 2.0 people base their opinions on the fact that many contemporary Internet technologies and techniques are fundamentally new and different from old ones. Blogs and blogging are among the technologies and techniques they point to when they seek to rationalize these claims.
It's true, compared with older Internet methods and styles for dealing with information acquisition, blogs and blogging are truly relatively new and different ways to handle and disseminate information, even if they date from the mid-1990s.
And the Internet is still evolving. The directions in which blogs may take us in the future can only be guessed at.
But the things that bloggers want today are not really so new. Far more primitive but similar technologies and techniques to achieve the same things have been employed for millennia, albeit with far lesser success. What is new and different about blogging today is the greater extent of population coverage, lower cost, and greater ease with which bloggers can interact with each other using network-oriented automated systems to find and use the people and information they want.
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