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Blogtalk Downunder » Definitions as problematic

Blogtalk Downunder
   May 19-22, Sydney

Blogtalk Downunder

Definitions as problematic

Definitions are, by their nature, divisive. This is a simple consequence of their role in constituting a taxonomy by virtue of a nomenclature. Hence what gets included within a particular definition, and so what gets excluded, is defined by the pragmatics of what I would call observational granularity - if you’re defining eucalyptus species and are collecting and measuring thousands of leaves, gum nuts and flowers to statistically plot them then the threshold of speciation will be qualitatively different to someone with a field guide and a pair of eyes.

In relation to blogs this is evident in first of all defining what a blog is, as defintions can be highly formalist and technocentric, through to more humanistically and theoretically informed definitions. The former could, for example, consist of an explicit list of qualities or properties that constitute a blog emphasising these affordances as enabling specific behaviours or possibilities. The latter could argue for the implicitly social nature of blogs and emphasise the socially determined, contractual nature of blogging and blog protocols.


note: This page forms a part of a hypertext essay by Adrian Miles. The homepage for this essay is located at:
http://incsub.org/blogtalk/?page_id=74
A long version of this paper (containing some but not all of the text contained in the hypertext version) is available at:
http://incsub.org/blogtalk/?page_id=76

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