Electronic Dependency Theory edit

20 12 2008

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This was an autonomous experience, very little guidance and a loose set of rules. Early meetings and emails arranged a work plan and set a weekly schedule. The final project resembled the original work plan but came about in a off-the-cuff method. Upon acceptance into the internship program I was given an email address to the blog owner and I sent an email to introduce myself. We met at Coffea and I got my initial marching orders. I was to post blog entries on Tuesday and Thursday, with another short entry over the weekend. Posts could be as simple as a paragraph with an embedded YouTube video, there were no minimum word counts. Write something solid once a week, and add some video content to the site. I was looking forward to live blogging the McConnell, Lunsford debate at Centre College’s Norton Center, but McConnell cancelled. I was also hoping to meet and interview Kathy Stein at a UK Democrat’s meeting, she was also a no-show.

Technical problems arose after the first week of November. YouTube changed the parameters of their embed code (the code that allows someone to re-post videos) the Soapblox architecture would not allow users to embed anything with “always” inside the codex. Red error messages prevent the entire article from posting to the site if it has video attached. This became very frustrating and Soapblox help wikis are useless. One member posted an announcement to insert “never” instead of “always” inside the embed code and the video link would work. This was buggy at best, but wasn’t always consistent. Weekly error messages still occurred when I had something important to share and wanted to attach a video but the blog architecture would not allow it. The code fix I was using inevitably quit working shortly thereafter. Video additions to blog posts became virtually impossible, if you wanted to insert any media, it had to be pictures only. Emails to the one of the site’s bloggers who can still successfully upload videos have gone unanswered. The only comparison blog format I have used is WordPress. Even though its free and is seen by some writers as “small time” technical errors are few and far between. Video uploading is slow, but consistent. The technical problems with Soapblox occur with all types of video, YouTube, Google Video, and others. I am not the only user affected by the video blackout; regular submissions from other writers don’t have the video content they once had either. Lately, video submissions on the site are an endangered species. Soapblox needs to fix their coding and script errors, and keep up with changing technologies and provide some type of tech support.

This example of video embedding error is only the tip of an iceberg of problems that bloggers face. If the architecture of the medium is frustrating or not working properly, it hinders the discourse we are trying to achieve. Most bloggers and E-journalists work at a frantic pace of “hurry up and wait”, where small technical difficulties can bring any story to a screeching halt. Net access, server overloads, and slow connections will be your problem to deal with and are out of your control. A hardware issue might be your fault if you spilled coffee into your keyboard, but if your blog site does not respond for hours there is nothing you can do about it.

Besides facing technical obstacles, most bloggers are still seen by traditional journalists as weekend warriors. As newspaper companies are filing for bankruptcy, they must realize a change in their business model is needed to keep up with the amount of news distributed by independent writers on the web.

Our membership has grown by a few more authors but few are submitting video. I was told by the site owner that Soapblox did not change their software to accommodate YouTube’s new look. Videos embedded from YouTube now have a slide show attached, and this might be part of the reason embedding problems started. Something noteworthy is that bloggers depend on YouTube to help provide content for their posts, If YouTube or other popular video sites change their architecture that impedes a blogger’s ability to do his job and both suffer. This “electronic dependency theory” is not limited to the proliferation of web content, but the actual publication of the content itself. As a blogger I link to various websites that add emphasis to the article I’m writing. These sites receive hits from the incoming links that I publish, if they were to prohibit me from linking to them, or embedding their content, the result would be a decline in readership for both. Bloggers depend on other websites for background information, research, and outgoing links. It’s not uncommon to see a single blog story with ten or more external links. Bloggers depend on the content from other websites and fellow bloggers alike. Many websites depend on this user generated content to flourish and develop.




One response

20 12 2008
Jack smith

Free blogger you can make easy and can use google adsense online


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