It has been a while... After the presentation of the paper (available in chunks below) at the conference in New Orleans - which was very nice - all my time has gone into packing my stuff for moving to the United States.

I have been thinking about bloglogic, though - the concept I introduced earlier as a way to map and understand blogging as a medium-specific set of communicative acts. Bloglogic, let me reiterate, consists of the particular institutionally structured features of a medium, the ensemble of technical and organizational attributes, and the cultural competences of users – all of which impact on what gets represented in the medium and how this gets done.

It is particularly useful to look at blogs, bloggers and blogging in this way, as it provides both specificity to an analysis of this phenomenon, as does it allow us to see how the various aspects of bloglogic have their roots, counterparts or histories in other (genres or types of) media. It is my contention that all media phenomenona have old and new properties in terms of the dynamic distinction between determined and determined properties, following Mark Poster. Poster (in a 1999 essay in New Media & Society) argues: "What is new about the medium of the Internet – which I distinguish from print and broadcast media – is that as a machine, a thing in the world, an object extended in space, in short as simply one more technological device, it is nonetheless underdetermined." Later on in this work, Poster amplifies his concept: "With the term ‘underdetermination’ I contend that certain social objects that I call virtual (hypertexts, for example) are overdetermined in such a way that their level of complexity or indeterminateness goes one step further. Not only are these objects formed by distinct practices, discourses and institutional frames, each of which participates in and exemplifies the contradictions of capitalism and the nation state, but they are open to practice; they do not direct agents into clear paths; they solicit instead social construction and cultural creation."

My point here is, that all media always have dominant (that is: redundant, determined, self-similar, consensually specified) as well as marginal (or: complex, random, undetermined, disruptive, different) properties. Identifying these properties within the framework of bloglogic may help harnassing our understanding of this phenomenon beyond what Poster beautifully critiques as: "technophobic demonization" versus "naive celebration", and "we might avoid overlooking what is genuinely different about it as well as greeting it with unattainable novelty."

Reference: Mark Poster (1999). Undetermination. In: New Media & Society 1 (1), pp.12-17.