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Blogtalk Downunder » 2005 » April

Blogtalk Downunder
   May 19-22, Sydney


Today is the last day to book your hotel at special rates!!!

Filed under: General — James @ 10:33 am

Serious last minute warning…

Today is the last day that you are able to book your hotel at special conference rates.

That means paying AU$130 per night rather than AU$290… here are all the details, go and book now!!!


Our first two presenters…

Filed under: General — James @ 10:02 pm

I can’t tell you how exciting it is to have the quality of speakers and writers attending blogtalk that we have… and to prove it to you we’re going to start releasing papers and information starting, um, now!

What I’m doing is creating a page for each presenter and linking to them from here.

Move aside Howard Dean, speaking at Blogtalk Downunder will be someone who I have a lot of respect for, deputy leader if the Australian Democrats, Senator Andrew Bartlett:

Senator Andrew Bartlett - Blogs and politics in Australia and globally

“The real long-term value of blogs in politics is very much an open question – in many ways a living experiment in progress. We’re all finding out the answers and exploring the solutions as we go along. What I wish to explore is how things have gone to date and what can be done to increase the chances of things developing in a way which maximises the potential benefits for political processes… more

And I can’t tell you how much I like this paper, certainly enough to not even try to describe it’s breadth and insight at 9PM so I’ll leave it to Dr Chris Chesher (who I hope I have to right picture for…):

Dr Chris Chesher - Blogs and the crisis of authorship

“The uptake of blogs proves that reports of the death of the author are greatly exaggerated. The Author is alive and well, and has a blog.

In the speculative era of cyberculture criticism in the early 1990s, many authors claimed electronic text would destabilise the institution of authorship (Poster 2001; Landow 1994; Bolter 2001). They argued changes of material form of writing would decrease the power of the author. They connected this claim with critics such as Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault who had questioned conventional assumptions about authorship, and speculated on the possibilities of texts without authors. While the claims of these electronic writing advocates were contested theoretically (Grusin 1994), the popularity of blogs empirically demonstrates the persistence of authorship, and how progress often works backwards.

Authorship is so familiar it’s almost invisible, and so flexible it cannot be defined. Certain elements of a text attribute it to a source: an author’s name on the book cover, a newspaper by-line, or the author information in a blog. The Author emerged in the West alongside a range of economic, technological, social, political and legal changes associated with the rise of individualism, capitalism, rationalism, democracy and rule of law. Authorship functions as a boundary abstraction that connects each of these discourses. It gives authors the legal protection of copyright, economic connections with the printing and publishing industries and provides the key field to locate books on the shelves of booksellers and libraries. In silent reading, it provides a persona for the reader to imagines, completing a text’s meaning. Canons of authors provide symbolic figures whose names become shorthand for concepts and stories. The convention of reading a text with reference to its author is ingrained, even if this institution is only 500 years old. Blogs have succeeded because they are less innovative than other online forms.

Far from dissolving authorship, blogs perpetuate, coexist with, and transform it. Authorship re-emerges in proportion to the distance that a text moves from its context. Specific features of blogs allow them to invoke Foucault’s author-function more effectively than static personal home pages: the inverted narrative structure of the archive, the consistent voice, the time stamp that positions posts in a reference to a temporality shared with readers. However, the practices associated with blogs also do transform authorship. The reader’s capacity to give feedback through comments compensates for the conversational mode of writing. Many blogs’s authority comes from positions outside institutions.

Blogs gravitated towards two discourses that reflect the conventional split between public and private domains: the political polemic blog, and the confessional diary. Media events that brought certain blogs into the public sphere in 2003 and 2004 followed standard scripts for each side of this split. The role of political blogs in discrediting Dan Rather’s report on Bush’s war record was generally celebrated as evidence that blogs were legitimate players in the public domain. On the other hand, the most high profile personal diaries were those that presented narratives of transgressive sexuality: Muzimei in China, the London Callgirl in the UK, and Washingtonienne in the US. By contrast with the political bloggers, these authors who brought the private sphere to the public were subject to a moralistic collective tribunal…. more

Second Call for Sponsorship

Filed under: General — James @ 2:56 pm

If you are part of an organisation that would like to partner with Blogtalk Downunder there are lots of avenues we can explore.

Help support a non-profit conference & get exposure to a wide range of key people in technology, academia and media!!!

Please get in touch with Anne.Bartlett-Bragg [at] to discuss what we can do for you!



Filed under: General — James @ 2:13 pm

As a warm up for the conference we’ve got two cracking workshops on Thursday 19th May.

Places for these are strictly limited to 20 participants and they’re an absolute snap at AU $80 p/person p/workshop…. so you’d better get in their quickly!

19th May 9.30am – 12.30pm - UTS Building 10, 235 Jones Street, Broadway.

Up close and personal with weblogs - James Farmer register

This workshop will focus on the possible uses and application of blogs in a number of different contexts.

Participants will be introduced to weblogs and aggregation (RSS and atom) and invited to explore together the communication and information dynamics which distinguish the medium and technology from other forms of online communication (such as discussion boards, wikis and online learning environments).

Following this, participants will be invited to explore and discuss possibilities for the use of weblogs in their individual and organisational contexts.

The workshop will cater for both new and experienced weblog practitioners and will be ideal preparation for any conference participant looking to frame and consider the possibilities of weblogs for themselves and their organisation.

19th May 1.30pm – 4.30pm - UTS Building 10, 235 Jones Street, Broadway.

Video and Podcasting: Rich Media into your Blog - Adrian Miles register

This workshop will introduce the basic tools to record and capture audio and video into your videoblogs.

It will cover how to syndicate such content (essential for podcasting) and the basic things to consider when introducing video and audio into blogs.

The workshop will be run on Macintosh, but the principles and skills are applicable across platforms.

Gumnuts! The final version of the site!

Filed under: General — James @ 10:24 am

New Website ThumbnailWell, the initial move to WordPress 1.5 meant that we lost our original template so I knocked together a bit of a temporary measure through Kubrick and finally, yesterday, finished off the new one based on Northern Web Coders (thanks guys :o)

The gumnuts started off as a conversation in the Botanic Gardens in Melbourne and represent growth, seeding, Australia (obviously) and there’s also a kind of networky / bunchy thing dontcahthink?

Either way we promise that this’ll be the last evolution (this time round) if you’re reading this through RSS come and have a look and tell us what you think!


Only 7 weeks to go…..!

Filed under: General — ABB @ 5:27 pm

Did you know it’s only 7 weeks until the inaugural BlogTalk Downunder??

If you haven’t already registered – do it now!
Space at the venue is limited and it would be awful to miss out….!

Although the program hasn’t been set in concrete yet – we are going to release some sneak previews of our presenters and brief overviews of their papers over the next week!

AND – if you are a registered conference participant you will have access to the full papers 3 weeks prior to the conference!

AND – if you’re intending to stay at the Vibe Hotel in Rushcutters Bay, remember you need to book by 27th April if you want the special rate – do it now!!!

So – what’s stopping you? Register NOW!

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part of an ever expanding network including edublogs - free education blogs, blogsavvy - professional blog consultant, wikisavvy - professional wiki consultant, incsub - social software and open source for education, in australia: melbourne blogs, sydney blogs & brisbane blogs, in the uk: london blogs, in the usa: new york blogs and incorporated subversion - social software, online education and james farmer