Personal Publishing Environments

My thesis Personal Publishing Environments was defended at NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) 21. August 2009.

Through this thesis I try to extend our understanding of personal publishing in the context of learning and education, and in a broader perspective, contribute to a more precise vocabulary that can be used to describe publishing activities.

I use "personal publishing" as a term that include a variety of digital publishing solutions, like blogs and wikis, reflecting that there are no clear cut distinctions between many of these solutions. Different technical solutions work together and create "environments" used by professional media, individuals and collective groups in various and changing ways.

The diverse use of personal publishing environments leads to what I consider my main contribution: The nine communication patterns described in chapter two and in the trial lecture "Critial vocabulary in the analysis of an eLogg case".

The communication patterns became the core chapters of the book Tekst 2 Null (in Norwegian), written with Ture Schwebs.


    • The main objective of the thesis is "to extend our understanding of personal publishing in the context of learning and education, and, in a broader perspective, contribute to a more precise vocabulary that can be used to describe personal publishing activities".
    • It should be noted that I use the term "publicists", not meaning "press or publicity agent", but following Jean Chalaby's The Invention of Journalism (1998): A publicist is understood as an actor occupying several roles, being content producer, redactor, editor and publisher.

    • This chapter discusses openness in computer media applications and how technical artefacts made for communication purposes facilitate different "communication patterns". The point of departure is a model by Bordewijk and van Kaam, which is expanded to a model with nine communication patterns. This part is based on an essay in norwegian: "Digitale læringsomgivelsers kommunikasjonsmønstre" – Report from Dramaturgy in Distributed Learning, and "Openness in Communication", First Monday Special Issue on Openness.
    • The second part of the chapter continues to develop a vocabulary using Michel de Certeau's differentiation between strategies and tactics. I argue that applications that facilitate "adaptive communication patterns" are likelt to be most satisfactory for the users. This is based on "Strategies and Tactics in Education: Influence on the Design of eLogg", published in Digital kompetanse vol.1, nr.2.
    • The trial lecture "Critial vocabulary in the analysis of an eLogg case" is a more condensed presentation of the communication patterns.

    • This chapter discusses six technical solutions (following John Walker), which aims to reduce the openness of the use of Internet.

    • In this chapter I compare different attempts to classify personal publishing technologies. I also account for the stages of the publishing process (selecting, redacting, posting, and re-editing), and how personal publishing can be seen in the light of role-play and self-presentation, drawing on Erving Goffman's notions of "backstage" and "frontstage."

    • This chapter accounts for the ways that personal publishing continuously works across established borders between the public and the private spheres and different kinds of online and virtual communities. I also discuss different user roles, and how the users are contextualising content in various ways.

    • Here I present and compare a selection of technical solutions that support personal publishing. I compare weblogs with wikis, and account for some publishing solutions and services that inspired us when designing the blog based learning environment eLogg.
    • This chapter is partly based on an article in norwegian "Personlig publiseringssystem som læringsverktøy" (written back in 2004).

    • A short chapter were I look briefly into the learning theories of Lev Vygotsky and Jean Lave & Etienne Wenger. Against this theoretical background I discuss some strengths and weaknesses of existing virtual learning environments.
    • Parts of this chapter is based on "Personal Publishing and Media Literacy", presented by Ture Schwebs at IFIP World. Conference on Computers in Education (WCCE 2005)

    • This chapter describes the design principles that were followed when developing eLogg, and present eLogg's different interfaces and communication patterns. I also discuss the functionality of eLogg, drawing on the discussion of educational strategies and learning tactics in chapter 2, and how eLogg facilitated self-presentation.
    • Parts of this chaper draws on an article in norwegian: "Selvfremstilling i personlige læringsomgivelser", Norsk pedagogisk tidsskrift 3. 2006.
    • The trial lecture "Critial vocabulary in the analysis of an eLogg case" gives another presentation of some of eLoggs features.

    • Summarises the main findings of the thesis.