links and invitations and curiosity

May 17, 2006

Some of the bloggers I read include a “links for the day” posting where they link to four or five sites sometimes with little or no information about why those links have been chosen. I guess if you like a blogger’s fare then you’re likely to understand why they’ve chosen this particular selection.
I’m also a member of a number of listservs in relation to my research and occasionally someone will link to an article or a site and ask others what they think about it, without saying why they have selected what they have and what interests them about it.
Sometimes, depending on what mood I’m in – I’ll get a bit grumpy and say to myself “why are they posting links? Isn’t that just lazy? Expecting me to do the finding out?”
I think of blogs as curated spaces…the selection of what we choose to talk about or link to, says something considered about who each of us are. In much the same way as walking into a gallery space, there’s the individual art pieces and then there’s the selection together – what does this say about the artist’s body of work? What does it say about the curator who gathered together this particular selection of work?
I work with a lot of arts and cultural organisations and come up against the “what does it mean?” comments frequently. I’m lucky to work with people who want to make it possible to make connections between the work, where it is shown, who makes it, what it means, and how people can make their own meaning from the experience. Part of my work is to create thinking spaces for people to say “I don’t understand that” and for it to be acceptable to do so.
While I’m initially confused by the links many bloggers post, I can choose to engage with them, follow my nose (and theirs) and maybe discover something interesting for myself. I don’t need to be spoon fed the whole way. If I know something of the blogger’s interests and work then the selection tells me something more about their interests without them having to spell it all out for me. The list is an invitation – and likewise when someone is confused in a group I’m working with, their confusion is also an invitation to curiosity.

7 People reacted on this

  1. I love that: “an invitation to curiosity”.
    You come across as a person who has a really good mind. How did you ever develop that?
    Me, being curious. I expect you to take a lifetime over your answer to that question.
    There are several of your recent posts that I have only had time to skim. They await comment.

  2. No. I wasn’t looking for an answer to that huge little question. Maybe if you get round to writing the autobiography.
    Reading again these responses, I realise that my response makes sense in the context of your original post. Take it away from that context and it looks a bit silly and over frivolous. I must remember that when I next write comments on blogs.
    I was brought up with “curiosity killed the cat, information made him fat…” But slowly I got over the debilitating influence of that phrase. And became curious: meaning ‘an object of curiosity’ and ‘a person infused with a driven need to know more’.
    Which is another strand from your wonderful “invitation to curiosity”.

  3. The google business hadn’t occurred to me Paul – but I’m a bit behind on the politics of posting…mmm maybe there’s a piece in there. Haven’t used also (yet!)….co-comment and bloglines are about as up to date as I’ve become so far…but I’m off now to see what you’re up to on!

  4. Annette, as one of those bloggers who posts “links of the day” with little explanation, I was worried about the concerns you raise. However, when I asked my readers if I should continue the links posts or ditch them, my readers convinced me to keep them there.
    If you do read my blog, I hope you’ve found some things of value. Keep blogging — you are writing some fantastic stuff!

  5. Matt – I was really trying to get at my own expectation that someone else should do the work for me – as distinct from doing exactly as it says on the tin – see links as an invitation for me to explore my own curiosity. That’s nobody’s business apart from my own and if authors like you are kind enough to put up stuff that you think is interesting then it’s my job to go off and use it!  Thanks for your kind comments about the content here…as you can imagine, it’s taking time to find my “voice” so I’m relying on the “elders” like yourself for insipration where ever I find it!

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