Wednesday, March 16, 2005

This may be on the exam.

Greetings students of UNI 221S - Culture and Media in Canada (Spring 2005). My name is J. Kelly Nestruck -- you can just call me Kelly -- and I'll be your guest lecturer today at about 3 o'clock.

This is the second time Rick Salutin has asked me to come speak about blogs in his UofT class. (You can read about my last experience here.)

Last year, I was rather surprised to find out that out of a class of about 120 communications students, less than a third had ever visited a blog and only one student actually had a blog of her own. This year, I imagine things will be different. Has anyone not heard about RatherGate at this point?

Here's a little data for you. In 2000, the word "blog" appeared only once in the 200 or so sources in the Infomart database, which is comprised of most Canadian papers (notable exception of the Globe and Mail), plus the New York Times and a few other American/European sources.

In 2001, the word "blog" appeared 25 times in the Infomart database.

In the first half of 2002, "blog" appeared 32 times. In the second half of 2002, it appeared 59 times.

From Jan 2003 on, there is a steady increase in articles containing the word blog.

Jan-Feb 2003: 32 references. July-August 2003: 84 references. November-December 2003: 108 references.

Then, we reach 2004, the "Year of the Blog"...
January-February 2004: 137 mentions of "blog."
March-April 2004: 172.
May-June 2004: 285.
July-August 2004: 404.
September-October 2004: 479.
November-December: 544.

And, most recently, January-February of 2005 saw an incredible 934 mentions of the word "blog" in the sources in the Infomart database. Still, in comparison, there were 21,999 mentions of the word "magazine" in Jan-Feb of 2005, so we know blogs have still not yet become mainstream by any means.

Nonetheless, I'm expecting that more of the class will know what a blog is this March than last March.

Here are some of the things I'll be talking about today:

-- Blogs and MSM: Enemies... or pals?
-- The Myth of the Democratization of the Media.
-- Blogs and the Flattening of Time!
-- Warren Kinsella!

Anyone directed here via their course outline, feel free to peruse through my archives. Older posts are more about theatre, recent ones are more about politics. And the most recent post is a strange, new foray into confusing my readership.

Oh, and the first person who asks me about "posting the cat" in class will get a prize. Really.

No comments: