What does it mean to reflect in real time?

By Mark Carrigan

After the first day of Undisciplining, Pat and I are sitting in a hotel bar discussing what it means for a blog to be ‘live’. Early in our discussions about this project we moved away from the idea that live blogging must simply be a matter of reporting. It should imply something more than this, a reflective moment in which we confront a reality outside of ourselves and relate our own experiences to it. This reflection might involve different experiences of immediacy. Pat finds it hard not to work on blogs as texts, inevitably revising syntax and word choice in order to make the expression something pleasing. Whereas I often find myself writing in a scattergun way, enthralled by immediacy because it leaves me feeling in direct contact with the ideas I’m trying to express. We share a commitment to blogging but our blogs have different purposes and audiences. This has left us with different relationships to the practice of blogging, finding different pleasures in the activity in spite of the similarity of our enthusiasm for it.

We felt it was important to start here because the reflective moment in liveness entails a relation to the self. We have to know where we are coming from, what drives us and motivates us, if our live blogging will avoid reiterating our existing views and positioning. That at least is the hope. It should be reporting plus reflection. Or reporting in order to reflect. Even if we’ve begun this project by interrogating our respective senses of liveness, we’ve done this because we felt it was a necessary precursor to what comes next. At 9am tomorrow morning, the live blogging research team meet for the first time and we’re excited to see what follows.

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