A blog is often a mixture of what is happening in a person’s life and what is happening on the Web, a kind of hybrid diary/guide site, although there are as many unique types of blogs as there are people.
When I initially began blogging, not knowing what the heck I was doing or trying to do – or how to do it – I had no idea of the connections that would be made with old friends and with new friends and just visitors who share some of the same interests.
It is exhilarating to interact with other bloggers who love books and theatre and stitching and cooking and genealogy and Texas and Colorado and New Mexico and . . . . even things I didn’t KNOW would be interesting to me – just everyday happenings that strike a chord.
I love the connections and the conversations that have ensued (via personal e-mails) once the connection has been made from a posting on a blog.
I love it!
If I’ve learned anything, I have learned that we all basically have the same feelings and experiences (albeit not in the same way). When I read someone’s blog who is dealing with relationships (children, family, friends, work – the list goes on), I ‘know’ what they are experiencing for I have ‘been there’ in one way or another.
When I read about someone who is noticing the beauty that surrounds us – I see it too – every day. Some of the bloggers have such a marvelous gift for writing the words that describe exactly how I feel (although I could never express it so eloquently – but reading their words puts a smile on my face and an “uh-huh – I KNOW about that” – thought in my head).
I’m getting to know these bloggers – folks I will never ever meet in person – and I am ecstatic and delighted.
Who woulda thunk it??!!
Andrew Gordon and his colleagues at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies in Los Angeles have been trying to teach computers about cause and effect. Computers are not good at dealing with causality. They can identify particular events but working out relationships is more difficult. This is particularly true when it comes to using computers to analyse the human experience.
But it turns out that computers can learn a lot about causality by reading personal blogs. Of the million or so blog entries that are written in English every day, most are comments on news, plans for activities, or personal thoughts about life. Roughly 5% are narratives telling stories about events that have recently happened to the author.
. . . The web could be mined to track information about emerging trends and behaviours, covering everything from drug use or racial tension to interest in films or new products. The nature of blogging means that people are quick to comment on events in their daily lives. Mining this sort of information might therefore also reveal information about exactly how ideas are spread and trends are set.
In the world before the web, chatter about the trivialities of everyday life was shared in person, and not written down, so it could not be subjected to such analysis. While recording their words for posterity and obsessively checking their hit counters to see if anyone is reading them, today’s blog authors can console themselves with the thought that computers, at least, find their work fascinating.