Monday, February 28

Do blogs offer a plattform for the "ideal speech situation"? II

6.) Conclusions

In this paper the weblog has been defined as ‘a webpage on which the author publishes pieces with the intention to start conversation.’ From this definition one can derive the technical tools that need to be added to a web page in order to become a weblog: comment and trackback functionality to cater for conversations, and a RSS or Atom feed to encourage others to read your blog.

The weblog is a form of communication that integrates three information patterns, consultation, registration and conversation which makes the weblog really a new medium. The weblog forms a bridge in the spectrum of communication channels on the internet between traditional web pages and an internet forum.

The main research question in this paper is what form of communication is made possible through weblogs. Combining the communication theory of Habermas and the communication capacities of Van Dijk, we have seen that weblogs offer a platform for the ideal speech situation.The high accessibility of the communication, the equal power distribution between publishers on the internet and the fact that acting truthfully can be judged on offered context, are the conditions that make this possible.

The weblog can be used for reflection on three domains: on the subjective domain for selfexpression and –reflection, on the objective domain for sharing knowledge and on the intersubjective domain for criticism on society.

Because of its high information complexity, the weblog can be used for sharing knowledge with others. [...] Finally, the highest potential of added value in blogs will be in the intersubjective domain since it offers the opportunity to increase political awareness.

From a communicative perspective the weblog can best be seen as starting point for discourse, a communication hub. The weblog is a fixed marker on the internet that offers readers multiple communication channels to choose from to enter into conversation and participate in or start a discourse. By using multiple communication channels, like chat and voice over IP, discussion will grow more intense and social ties will become stronger. Finally, from the different domains networks of people with shared interests will emerge, who will thus create a communal space for their discourses.

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