Sunday, July 17, 2005

Framing Blogs and Blogging Frames

Inspired by an article in today's NY Times by Matt Bai and an April article in The Atlantic Monthly by Marc Cooper.

After the 2004 elections, linguist George Lakoff was catapulted into fame above and beyond his academic framework, by the desperation of the defeated Democrats.

Analysis of the sentence above: the metaphor of physical motion, or even missile warfare, is invoked by the words "catapulted" "above and beyond." A tug at the reader's compassionate or cruel nature is provided by the words "desperation" and "defeated."

My own contact with Lakoff's work began with a reading of his "Metaphors We Live By" 1980 classic, co-authored with Mark Johnson, who seems by comparison to have fallen by the wayside or retreated into blissful obscurity, depending on your personal definition of success.

The sentence above is an example of a post-modern author weaseling about exposing her own point of view and, instead, insisting on dragging the hapless reader into the creation of the text.

My shrink in the 1980's, now deceased, who worshipped at the shrine of the brilliant hypnotherapist Dr. Milton Erickson, also now deceased, succeeded in teaching me the basics of re-framing for use in the context of my own life (not to mention the basics of mortality, by example).

Consequently, rather than trying to discuss framing directly in the context of American politics, I would like to think about uses of framing in the context of blogs.

Blogging Power or Power Blogging

Blogging Power is probably a function of readership quality and quantity. There are political blogs and media blogs and various special-interest blogs like knitting blogs or parenting blogs that exercise blogging power. Their power comes from the broadcast model of communication: one central source to many destinations.

Power Blogging is something else…it is the network model of communication. The power is in the feedback activity and the strength of the connections, rather than the strength of the content/message itself.

Politically, one is centralized, the other is decentralized. The balance between the two is an eternal political struggle everywhere: individual, family, village, nation, state, world.

The Addiction Metaphor

I find blogging intoxicating because it exposes me to my potential for both blogging power and power blogging simultaneously with other bloggers. The mind boggles as it blogs.

I think it's time to walk the dog. As Freud said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."


Fred said...

"The mind boggles as it blogs." Very catchy!

I also love blogging. I enjoy learning new things while I also chronicle my thoughts. It's much more stimulating than simply reading a newspaper.

AmyS said...

Maybe that could be "the mind bloggles"? Interesting post; too bad I didn't read it 'til I'd nearly finished my glass of wine. I'll have to try to understand it tomorrow...

Savtadotty said...

Fred, Blogging is definitely more stimulating than reading the newspaper, and possibly more informative too. I used to trust some newspapers sometimes, now I don't, but I do trust some blogs, and enjoy many.

Amy, that's good! "The mind bloggles!" I think you might need more than one glass of wine to understand...I'm not sure I do. Maybe I need some wine too.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Wow! Heady post! Bravo.

I like blogs because they are so diverse. I would never read about this many subjects, written by such differently thinking people, if not for blogs.