Finding our voice

My fellow PhD students and I have spent a lot of time talking about voice in relation to the HUMlab blog. We all blog on our own, so having a blog voice is nothing new, but for some reason we are all having trouble on this blog. Today Jim and I spoke about it at some length. We discussed how blogs illustrate a process rather than a fixed point. We come from so many different backgrounds (yet all research something to do with cyber theory) that finding a link in our processes can seem simple, but can also be deceptively tricky. Another possibility for the proverbial cat holding our collective tongues has a lot to do with the concept of the word ‘lab’. We are looking at this concept in two different ways. In one way, we are representing a lab that means a lot to each of us. It is a space that we feel free to think outside the box, to be creative and innovative. It is a special place where people from a wide variety of disciplines can come together and find common ground. We want to represent lab itself in a way that does it justice. Jim and I talked about feeling the need to think analytically, write profoundly. Capture the essence of this space in such a way that was not necessary in the Jokkmokk blog project (mainly descriptive/creating an experience). Nor is this style necessary in our respective blogs. Combined with the need, the second meaning of ‘lab’ comes into play. The blog itself is a sort of lab; an experiment. We are constantly learning in this space…learning how to write, how to criticize, how to review. It is an intense verbal environment where we are testing out new theories and pushing the virtual boundaries of our physical space. 

We will continue to write, push the process and find our collective voice. It will be very interesting in 6 months time to take the archives of this blog and run it through a program (such as Sigmund) which will give us an idea of the topics we center on, the conversations we initiate and participate in. Perhaps such analysis will help shape our voices. I tend to believe, however, that our voices will be shaped more from practice and from feeling that we have a something valuable to say in this space than from word frequency. Tools like the above will be useful for tracing the paths of our combined trains of thought and for initiating new projects.