Sometime Hoyden guest-blogger sajbrfem has a terrific post up at Diary of a Research Artist: “Blogoz and meandering thoughts about blog hierarchy”. We missed her dearly at Perth’s Femmecon, but at least she got a day at Blogoz as a consolation prize. Part of her musings:
I did get the feeling that certain types of blogs were given a privileged position above others. I do understand that with a limited time allocation you have no choice other than to focus on some things and leave others for another time, that can’t be helped, but I did feel that some very important aspects of blog culture, and therefore sections of the blogging community, were excluded. This feeling began for me with my first look at the program ““ though fair enough, limited time and all ““ but became much stronger for me in the introductory panel discussion. The speakers (Senator Andrew Bartlett, Duncan Riley and Professor John Quiggin) on more than one occasion referred to “knitting” blogs and “food” blogs in a way, though not actually a put down, that made it clear that these kinds of blogs were “other’. This “othering’ of more personal and domestic blogs suggested that in the context of the blogging conference and its associated community blogs that were not political, commercial, academic, or journalistic were considered less valuable.
In this context I see knitting and cooking blogs as scapegoats for the domestic in the public sphere. I think it is curious that we would have a platform that we term “citizen media’ but then fail to acknowledge the way a very large portion of citizens use that media ““ or, rather, acknowledge them on the surface, but then disregard them as irrelevant. For me, one of the most fascinating things about web media is that it gives unprecedented (though far from perfect) opportunity for people who were previously without a public voice to speak, yet by privileging those that most resemble offline media we are participating in silencing non dominant groups.
Note that people don’t tend to talk dismissively about “videogamer blogs” or “sports blogs” or “fratboy-boozing blogs” or “porn blogs”, all pastimes rather uninteresting to the non-participant and not uncommonly featured in the blog world. They specifically single out feminine-coded, domesticity-related blog topics to deprecate as trivial and not worthy of consideration. Food. Knitting. Cats. Kids.
Food for thought, hm?