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December 20, 2005

Making the dance blogosphere bloggier

Slowly but surely, the dance blogosphere is picking up steam. A few dance bloggers have been having a conversation via email regarding multimedia blogging; Ed McPherson suggesting video blogging and Doug Fox talking about podcasts. I think both ideas are exciting, but not ones I’m going to take up. What I’m doing here, particularly relating to dance, seems to be oriented towards dance writing and the written word. I hope Ed and Doug will follow up on their ideas.

What else can we do to stimulate the discussion? Individual blogs have a clearer focus as the discussion and topic can be under closer control, but group efforts are what will make the conversation grow. Artsjournal’s roundtable about New York brought new voices into the arena. Assuming my role as resident crank of the dance blogosphere, I thought the results were mixed; there was some interesting discussion and some bloviating. There’s no sin in that – blogging arose in the first place as a place for people to mouth off. But if there’s enough of it in what’s supposed to be a discussion, a roundtable becomes a circle jerk.

The point I’d like to make to dance bloggers out there is that without the web of links that interconnect and cross-reference, it isn’t really a blog; it’s a diary or a column. Use the medium. Comments and especially trackbacks can be a hassle because of spamming but without them people don’t know that you’ve referenced their blog (This means you, Mr. Wright!) and there’s no feedback. If you’re using Movable Type, upgrade to version 3.2; the spam control is significantly improved. I got rid of most trackback spam with a single plug-in, TBPingLinkLookup.

If you can, make an effort to read other dance blogs and continue their discussions. This won’t suit everyone; Rachel Howard isn’t blogging for the same reason as Rachel Feinerman. But that’s what will build the web that keeps bloggers like Ariel from feeling like they’re out in the wilderness.

Posted by Leigh Witchel at December 20, 2005 11:54 PM

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You make good points! Thanks for mentioning me too :-)

Posted by: Ariel at December 23, 2005 9:39 PM

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