Digital History (and cats).


A response to Dan Cohen
February 2, 2010, 2:19 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

In “Professors, Start Your Blogs,” Dan Cohen addressed some of the common misconceptions about blogs. In addition, he showed how blogs could be beneficial for those in academic fields, especially as a place to develop ideas and receive feedback. For me, however, blogs create another concern. For many people, blogs and social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are places where people share their thoughts, feelings, and other everyday things of their lives, sort of like a diary. This is where my concerns and hesitations about blogs come in.
For researchers, diaries can provide a substantial amount information about peoples’ everyday lives during different eras. They provide insight to the mundane as well as the exciting. For those in the future (say 3000), what record of our everyday lives will we leave? Many of the things today are digital (like blogs), but what if in 1000 years, for some reason, there are no computers or no way to access digital information? Will those future researchers be able to study our time? What will they know about our everyday lives? On the other hand, however, blogs could be some of the best resources ever for those in the future. I mean, you could know what people cooked (Chez Pim), the kind of stuff people liked to put on their cats (Stuff on my Cat), what life on a cattle ranch was like (Pioneer Woman), and even the musings of a twenty something graduate student. Just like anything else in life, blogs have both a positive and a negative side.

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