lisbeth AT klastrup.dk
This is the research diary of Lisbeth
Klastrup, sharing her thoughts on life, universe, persistent online
worlds, games, interactive stories and internet oddities with you.
Fellow research bloggers
Jill Walker's blog
Torill Mortensen's blog
Hilde Corneliussen's blog
Anders Fagerjord's blog
Gonzalo Frasca's blog (URU, US)
GrandTextAuto (US, joint) Anja Rau's blog (DE)
Elin Sjursen's blog (NO, US)
Frank Schaap's blog (NL)
Adrian Miles' Vog blog (AUSTR.)
Mark Bernstein's blog (US.)
Other Related Blogs
Dust from a Distant Sun
Two Years in Denmark (DK,US)
Future Dr. Karlsbjerg (DK)
Game Girl Advance (US)
Fellow Researchers, non-blog
Troels Degn Johansson
©Lisbeth Klastrup 2001-2003
The Blog Birthday Interview
AE: So Lisbeth, Sunday the 15th 2004 was the third birthday of this blog. I know people in the audience have wanted to ask you these questions for a long time, so thank you for agreeing to this interview as a way of celebrating this anniversary.
1. People say that by blogging professionally, they get to know more about their own research interests and passions. Looking back, can you today tell us more precisely what the main topics and themes in this blog are?
LK: Looking back, I think in general I have blogged much more about games than I thought I would and less on online communities. But I think overall the blog testifies to the fact that my research interests are pretty eclectic. If the terminology wasn't so broad as to mean almost anything or nothing, I think I would give Klastrup's Cataclysms the subtitle: "a blog on digital media culture and aesthetics". But that's lousy branding, isn't it?
Trying to be more precise, I think what interests me are all forms of fictional universes and all forms of digital media which consciously or unconsciously play with the thin line between the real and "virtual", the imagined and the "existent". These are often also media works which try to exploit the possibilities of the computer and the internet through the way they work or in the way they are put together. Finally, the concept of "interaction" on all levels and in all forms remains an important keyword in my vocabulary.
2. Have you noted any significant changes in the blog genre during the time you've been blogging?
LK: Definitely! During the last year or so, blogs have really caught the attention of the media, also here in Denmark. A blog like Where is Raed has played a major part in this break-through, I think, as it demonstrated (along with the September 11th blogs) that blogs can also been used in a 'serious' way, as an alternative way of reporting "live" from the hotspots of the world. In addition, the boom in the number of bloggers in itself should/would naturally catch the attention of the media. For instance, when I started blogging, a rough estimate told me that there were less than 40 Danish bloggers. Now we are nearing 400 known Danish bloggers (cf Spontek.dk). A growth rate of more than 300%!
Also, a lot of tools have been invented to make the blogs appear more "connected", more "alive" and more dialogical. I'm thinking here of the comment boxes, the trackback and ping functions etc. Recently, a journalist told me that she had talked to some bloggers who thought that a blog without a comment function isn't a "real" blog. Well, when I started blogging, to my knowledge the comment box hadn't been invented yet. You invent tools which suit the genre and then the tools start to change the perception of the genre. However, I still think that the basic characteristic of a blog (short of web-log, btw) is that it is a dynamic webpage, updated often, with dates attached to the individual posts - which as a rule are presented in reverse chronological order.
3. But why don't you use the comment function, the trackback function etc, now that these functions exist and are easy to implement?
LK: I have been considering adding a comment function for a long time - as well as switching to the Moveable Type software. I'd actually like to have more of a dialogue with people who read this blog. It's mostly lack of time which have made me linger. I do feel, that if I apply a comment blog, I should also have time to enter into dialogue with the commentators. And I find it difficult to find that time, since often I post within a short time span (say within the limit of one or two hours) and then stay away from the blog for several hours or perhaps even a few days. Not a very encouraging behaviour if you want to be friendly to the commentators.
4. You write in English. But do you think of this blog as a Danish blog nevertheless?
LK: Yes, I do think of my blog as being 'Danish'. With regular intervals I make references to Danish culture (Danish language, Danish poetry and literature, major events in the Danish media); Danish Media (Politiken is a favourite as faithful readers may have noticed); the Danish Educational system etc. And to the trained eye, my English writing style is probably somewhat "Danified". However, I prefer writing in English as a way of practising my English writing skills and my English vocabulary. And as a way of communicating to and with peers and fellow nerds outside of Denmark.
5. Finally, I know a lot of people don't like to talk about this. But will you disclose anything about the number of people who read this blog on a regular basis?
LK: I'm currently tracking my readers with two different stat programs (one comes courtesy of the webhotel which hosts the site and is pretty elaborate). Numbers vary, but it appears that between 50-150 people are currently visiting the website (including archived posts) each day. In the beginning I had less than 10 readers a day, almost none in the weekend. Readers come from all over the world, though clearly most readers are from either Europe (Scandinavia) or the US. I should add that I know quite a few of the regular readers in RL as well.
LK: Lisbeth Klastrup. AE: Alter Ego.
Dust or Magic
Internet Research 5.0