Tag: tipping point

Academic blogging

Joy Wattawa (2008) ‘Can Academic Blogging Advance Wisdom Research? Defining Wisdom project.

My rating: ***

I have just found another useful article on the benefits of academic blogging. From the references it appears to have been written this year (2008). In case you were wondering, given this is my second post on academic blogging, I wouldn’t really classify my own blog as ‘academic’ in the strict sense of the word. It’s more of a hybrid exercise. The advent of the web has been fantastic for allowing this kind of hybridity which has wasted no time in proliferating. It is something I have also played with on my pseudonymous Christopher Walken site – which floats somewhere between a fan site and a cultural studies site.

There are some really useful references attached to Wattawa’s article which further elaborate on how blogging is viewed within the academic community. The academy is a conservative institution and strictly polices both what is regarded as suitable subject matter for research and the forms in which that research is disseminated. Blogging is widely regarded with deep suspicion, although it has its advocates as well. Earlier in this blog I mentioned Malcolm Gladwell’s notion of ‘tipping point’. Academic blogging has a long way to go before it reaches this point of viral explosion, even if very recently, there has been some cautious progress towards a more positive point of view on this front.

Of particular interest is the Academic Blog Portal, a wiki which indexes academic blogs.

Peer review

My rating: ***

Continuing on with the same theme…


For those of you came in late, ‘lolcats’ is a phenomenon that really took off on the net early in 2007 – although it dates back to around 2005. It involves photos – usually of cats – with funny captions in broken misspelt ‘Engrish’ in a sans serif font. See dicey font of wisdom Wikipedia for further info.

The two main lolcat sites are I can has cheezburger? and lol cats

I have decided to categorise lolcats as an ‘internet meme’ (which others have done before me in any case). I am a bit ambivalent about this whole notion of ‘meme’ but will go with it for the time being. I am using the word in the sense of an idea or other cultural unit that captures people’s imagination and spreads like wildfire. Here are a couple of references: Wikipedia (aaaargh not again!), Meme central. Malcolm Gladwell’s notion of the ‘tipping point‘ covers similar ground to this particular definition of meme. He is similarly ambivalent about the notion of memes.