I spent some time last week looking in to the "edublogosphere"(yes, that is a real word, at least according to wikipedia)--- blogs which deal with the education and the future of the educational system. Before that I really did not delve too much in to the world of blogs. Aside from this blog, the blog for the Politics of Global Media class and my teenage livejournal, I really did not have too much knowledge of this world which seems to have taken on a life of its own.
Most of the most prominent edubloggers attended something called the Edubloggers Conference at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC), which was held in Washington, DC the first week of July. It is interesting to note that one of the bloggers mentioned that he was treated with high regards by groups at NECC eventhough he was not a member of the press. This points to the shifting balance of power. While traditional outlets for media such as newspapers and trade journals, are still extremely important, blogs and alternative media are increasingly influential.
I find it so interesting how these edubloggers reference each other in their blogs--they are an online network of thought leaders. Many of them wrote about about the conference and meeting other edubloggers at the conference. One of the bloggers had an entry of "suprelatives" for people at the edubloggers conference. Once again I find it so interesting how this community of people who are connected across their world through the internet and their status as thought leaders in the educational system, makes most of their meaningful connections through conferences where they can meet in person.
It reminds me of an article I read by Gina Neff titled "The Changing Place of Cultural Production: The Location of Social Networks in the Digital Media Industry." Neff’s article is particularly interesting because it takes the opposite stance of some literature. While some literature understandably argues that the internet and new technologies reduce the importance of spatial relationships and distance, Neff’s study claims that spatial orientation becomes more important in some industries. She emphasizes the importance of social relationships and social networking in the context of digital industries.