Blog beginnings

Welcome to my blog.
 
The term ‘blog’ is derived from ‘weblog’, which an early online diarist jokingingly broke into ‘we blog’ in 1999. ‘Blog’ quickly became a noun and verb. The two most distinguishing features of blogs are 1) the reverse chronological order of entries, and 2) the persistent web addresses of each entry such that each one can be referenced individually by external sites. This formal structuring of blogs permits the content to be syndicated, that is, repackaged and fed to other web sites or downloaded to other devices (these processes are otherwise known as RSS feeds). In addition to online diaries, blogs are excellent and easy-to-use tools for creating ‘What’s New’ functions on web sites and newspaper-style web journals.
 
My purpose for this blog is to post notes and photos from my trip to the 2007 Ontario Library Association Conference in Toronto.
 
I have experimented with other blog software sites. Most of the sites are free to use, with extended packages of features available for an additional cost. I’m using Windows Live Spaces for this blog.
 
Since blogs are in reverse chronological order, I am reminded of Christopher Nolan’s 2000 film Memento. The protagonist in the film suffers from a short-term memory disorder and so lives in a fragmented world where he is unable to remember recent events in his life. The film itself is presented largely in reverse chronological order, and so we are drawn gradually to the beginning of the sequence of events, and therefore experience some of the disorienting effects that the main character experiences. But there are links between the moments– notes written, photographs taken by the main character– that help move the story in its reverse linear direction.
 
The linking and sequencing of brief pages of information on the Internet bears a resemblance to this structure in Memento. The nonlinear effect of hyperlinking can be disorienting but also suggestive and creative. By comparison, traditional long-form reading (in other words, regular books) is highly structured, but also highly contextualized and often comprehensive, which can lead to a complete understanding of a given topic. In the film Memento, the main character, in a sense, arrives at an understanding, but it happens at the beginning of his story (which is the end of the film) and all future events have already occurred.
 
The Internet is huge reservoir of information, and has opened up new ways of structuring information. How we use that information is still up to all of us, and seeking the best solution for information access and use is the focus of our profession, librarianship.
 
Mainphoto The Guelph Public Library.
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