Assignment Two: Wandering the Blogosphere in Search of a Space of Spaces

According to the standard “accepted” way of finding something online, I immediately jumped on google and typed in, rather specifically, “Amsterdam urban space blog.” This yielded nothing, and so I tried numerous shorter combinations of the words, even “architecture”, in my original search.  This however, also yielded nothing special until I tried “urban spaces blog.”  I scanned down the list of possibilities trying to find an obvious match for what I was looking for, clicking the few that looked promising and then saving them in separate tabs for when I inevitably broke down and decided to use one of them.  This continued until I found “Jude Galligan’s Downtown Austin Blog,” six links down.

This generically-titled blog is headed with a big blue banner proclaiming the title, then as you move down past some tiny links to significant parts of the blog, you reach the blog’s description, essentially boiling down to “[this neighborhood/real-estate blog] focuses on life and things to do in Austin,” and finally to the posts, with links and other miscellaneous items on the right side.  In terms of its use of space, this blog fits with every social norm I can think of for web layout.  The only slightly out-of-ordinary thing is that the text is displayed over a light blue background instead of a white one.

The blog makes good use of the standard individual-posting-dominated-home-page-with-miscellaneous-information-and-links-on-the-side…*deep breath*… format.  It seems custom designed with the posts taking most of the space in the center, but with very little deliniation between them, as though they were all a running post.  However, the author doesn’t seem to consciously use this facet of the website’s organization to much effect, writing each post as a discrete entity that doesn’t really ever refer to any others.  The real way the author  uses the customized formating is in the side bar, which give large picture-links to his contact information, blog facebook page, a rudimentary blog search option, and then recent posts and recent comments sections.  He makes the blog layout facilitative to getting ahold of him personally, and in this way, the blog directs its traffic toward him with its organization.

Of course, very little Concerning the blog’s content, the images and text focus primarily, not on any structures within the urban space of Austin themselves, but rather on those structures’ and spaces’ utilities and interactions with the people of Austin.  For example, the 4/29/10 post begins with a large schematic of a viaduct, but the actual text of the post begins with “downtown Austin’s stretch of I-35 will receive some much needed improvements,” indicating a focus on how the structure’s presence will affect the people interacting with it rather than the structure itself.

Finally, I think the biggest way I “played” in this exploration was through challenging myself to find a blog that matched my original explectations of what I was searching for most completely.  In this way, the play becomes, socially, a method of finding an object to meet one’s immediate needs and context.


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