I like it when I chance upon ideas that chime comfortably with my own. If blogging spaces are more than digital – what is the more (or other) that they are? The point I am making is, that they are digital is not the point.
I like Gee’s (2004) ‘spaces of affinity’, the defining characteristics of which are:
- A common endeavour is primary.
- Participation is self-directed, multifaceted and dynamic.
- In online affinity space portals, participation is often multimodal.
- Socialising plays an important role in affinity space participation.
- Leadership roles vary within and among portals.
- Knowledge is distributed across the entire affinity space.
- Many portals place a high value on cataloguing and documenting content and practices.
- Affinity spaces encompass a variety of media-specific and social networking portals.
There are of course others ways of conceptualizing ‘spaces of affinity’. But for now, this seems useful. Gee is referring to adolescent literacy practices – most particularly gaming. I am trying to understand the pedagogic and political dimensions of educational blogging.
I am keen to explore these ‘spaces of affinity’ – and the connections that coalesce around them. ‘Community’ as the obvious connector might not be as useful as it first seemed.
Gee, J. P. (2004). Situated language and learning: A critique of traditional schooling. New York, NY: Routledge.