Monday, April 7, 2014

Blogging: A Summary


This chapter, written by Paul Levinson, summarizes the different aspects of blogging and how this medium is dramatically different than traditional forms of publishing that have at least some level of interference between the writer and the audience.

He gives an overview several features that are unique to blogging, such as the way that readers can actively participate by commenting and discussing the blog in a space that the blogger can read and moderate, and the way that bloggers can edit the content of their blogs after it's been published.


Levinson is a professional blogger and this chapter is a glowing testament to the advantages of becomign involved in blogging.  His main thesis is that blogging is for anyone and everyone, and the only requirement is literacy (17). He believes that blogging is a form of journalism, and that bloggers should be protected under First Amendment rights that protect journalists from the law (40).

However relevant Levinson thinks blogging is, he doesn't believe that blogging should entirely replace forms of "old media" (54). His views can be summed up in the statement "Media survive if they uniquely satisfy a human communication need" (55). 

Background Information

Context of the Article

This article was published back in 2009. While a lot of the information is still relevant to blogging today, a lot has changed! Microblogging sites like Twitter and Tumblr have made it easier for amateur bloggers to get started with blogging right away, without knowing any HTML or formatting. 

This article also contrasts advertising on blogs with advertising for more traditional media sources like newspapers and television. This has changed to some extent as streaming videos online has become more popular. More than half of the U.S. population streams some sort of television online, and these online advertisements are more effective than television advertisements. It would be interesting to hear what the author has to say about how he deals with advertising on his blog in 2014 versus 2009. 

Intended Audience

Because Paul Levinson is a professor and this book is available most widely as a textbook (you can use Amazon's text rental service to order a copy) I would say the intended audience of this book is media studies studies. 


Paul Levinson is a science fiction author and  professor of media studies who, as hinted at in this chapter, runs a successful blog that reviews multiple television shows. His blog, Infinite Regress, can be found here. He is a professor at Fordham University and, according to his own Wikipedia page, has been interviewed more than 500 times as an expert in his field. He's quite qualified to write the entire textbook, New New Media, from which this chapter was pulled. 

From first glancing at his blog, this man seems like an extraordinary multi-tasker. He's a professor, a writer of science fiction and scholarly work, he wrties music and blogs....and he somehow has time to watch a ridiculous amount television. His blog is a great place to look at examples of some of the blogging features he highlights in this chapter, like widgets and advertising. 

The layout of his blog is a little overwhelming, but if you scroll down you can find more of his credentials, like "The Thinking Blogger" award. 


This textbook was popular enough to warrant a second edition! It get an average of four stars on Amazon. Its positive editorial reviews come from various types of sources, like Bradley Wiggins for a discipline specific journal, and Joan Walsh from MSNBC. 

A fellow blogger posted to review site Blog Critics with an insightful review that had many choice quotes, like "Expertly conversant on the mechanics of blogging, Levinson presents not just a scholarly survey, but also a how-to for aspiring bloggers." 


Moses, Lucia. "Online Video Ads Have Higher Impact Than TV Ads,"Adweek (2013).

"Book Review: New New Media," Blog Critics (2009).

Levinson, Paul. Infinite Regress.

"New New Media, 2nd Edition," Amazon.

Levinson, Paul. "Blogging," New New Media (2009). 

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