Monday, December 17, 2007

The family that blogs together...

Daughter Number 1 drew the vlogbrothers (Brotherhood 2.0, nerd fighters, etc.) to my attention. She thought it would be the sort of thing I'd like. {I think she wants to try it herself - cheaper than wasting her money on texts and mobile calls to her parents after all!} I must admit, I'm not sure if it is a bold social experiment or just a couple of nutters messing about. However, it is done with care and attention and I can't help but feel impressed. For example the first video I watched (July 27: How Nerdfighters Drop Insults) included a nice riff on Shakespearian insults and a good punchline related to organising a home library. It is not a "sit down in front of a camera and record four minutes of stream of conciousness" stuff but a carefully crafted and well edited video message.

I wonder how lasting this form of communication will be. There is an ephemeral quality about electronic communications. I've been meaning to write a post on unwitting testimony for some time now (maybe this week...) and I'm sure there's all sorts of stuff in their exchanges that will be of interest to future historians but how accessible will their video be?

However, the main thrust of my wonderings has been on the nature of families and family communication in the age of the read/write web. I've become aware of a number of families that are making use of social networking tools to maintain family connections. For example Mrs Blethers seems to keep up with Blethers Boy 1, Blethers Boy 2 and more recently Baby Blethers through blogs, Flickr, Twitter and Skype. Also, the McKinlay clan are popping up on Flickr (Mister McKinlay, Master McKinlay and at least one other). As a final example, I was amused to see that Digital Katie's mum calls herself Analogue Ali and sets her daughter "Where am I?" tasks through her Flickr account. There was much speculation not that long ago on the death of the extended family. Are we seeing the emergence of the extended eFamily and is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Finally a rant... I see these families using read/write web but what do I get from my own immediate family? Grief -- because allegedly I spend too much time on Flickr! Ridiculous... especially given the Bebo addictions of Daughter Number 1 and Daughter Number 2. Pot calling the kettle... if you ask me. {I think I'll get away with that because, as although they claim I spend too much time doing this kind of thing... they don't actually look at it. :-) ...Or should that be ROLF? <-- Private family joke just to see if any of them are paying attention!}
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Chris said...

If it weren't for blogs and twitter and skype and flickr ... I'd forget I had any kids! ;-)
So you're dead right about all this stuff - and you can now add Second Life to the list.
See you there?

krysia said...

Hi David,

I only communicate with my brothers through facebook. It perfectly suits our level of nonsensical communication.


David said...

Hello Chris

I didn't think about Second Life... I think the problem is, I'm not using it enough myself so it's just below my radar.

Hello Krysia

I'm experiencing this a bit myself since Daughter Number 1 has gone off to university. If I want to know what she's up to, I have to read her Bebo page!