Wednesday, December 21, 2005

For Your Own Amusing Thoughts

While I'm off to the gym to work out, I'm attaching an article written by Thomsen Young regarding the growing phenomenon of Deaf Bloggers.

On another subject, Alex Abenchuchan is right on this subject. After a heavy workout, I have this insatiable appetite for drinking lots of H20. It is becoming my drug choice these days.

However, back to the subject, the article will be featured on, administered by Communication Services for the Deaf for December/January edition.

I think it is decent. Yes, they got my location wrong. But nevertheless, I'll be back in the City sooner than you think. Har har!
Written by Thomsen Young

For the technology aficionados, the world has been transformed by the power of the Internet, especially with a new concept known as blogging, or blogs. Within the last few years, there has been a rising popularity of blogs within the deaf community, yet, something quite different or unexpected has occurred. Deaf blogs are beginning to unify the deaf community in an unprecedented way.

There's Ricky Taylor's "Observe But Do Not Interfere", David Evans' "Sound Off! DeafView from the Left Coast", Keri Ogrizovich with "The dream you are living is your creation...", Meryl K. Evans' "Bionic Ear", Mike McConnell's "Kokonut Pundits" and about a hundred and forty known deaf blogs on the internet.

Only a handful of 'web logs' or blogs existed during 1998 and most of the bloggers knew each other and would refer each other by linking their own sites to other people's blogs. The media didn't take notice of blogs until 1999 when Rebecca Blood wrote a book called The Weblog Handbook, in which she explores the rapidly growing trend through a collection of 34 essays. By late 2002, there were over 750,000 users posting blogs on the Internet. While there is no exact date of when deaf bloggers began developing blogs, it is reasonable to assume that soon after 1999, deaf blogs began to pop up.

The purpose of blogs is that it can be use by virtually anyone, any age, anywhere, all the while presenting various topics and issues that the writer feels is important to address. Experts estimate that there are close to ten million blogs, with a recent Technorati portal reporting that about 12,000 new blogs are being created daily at about one per 7.4 seconds. Keri Ogrizovich is one of these 10 million bloggers. Her blog, "The dream you are living is your creation..." presents a more family-oriented blog where she keeps her friends and extended family in touch with what is happening in her life, starting with the birth of her son, Lochlan. Keri explains that her interests in blogging came about from a friend who also blogged about her family as well as her pregnancy. "I had just found out I was pregnant. A friend blogged about her pregnancy experience and I enjoyed reading her blog on her pregnancy so much that I wanted to do the same. It was also a
good way to share my experience with family and friends."

Yet, Keri still wanted to share her pregnancy experience with everyone, specifically deaf women, because, "our society has a medical view of birthing whereas it is not. It is a natural part of life. Unfortunately, many women do not realize that they have choices when it comes to birthing. Women, more specifically, deaf women are not educated on natural birthing and how the epidurals used to relieve the labor pains can be dangerous for them and their babies, as well as most likely leading to a C-section."

David Evans and Mike McConnell write about political savvy topics that range from captioning to opinions about the French riots to Netflix. Evans, a resident of Los Angeles, Calif., believes that there are pros and cons that blogs bring the deaf community closer or further away from each other. "The deaf blogs I've seen so far are, for the most part, rather personal. They do bring people together in the sense that those who enjoy reading, writing, and being online are brought together and able to connect to one another...the ideas or topics bandied about may filter down and benefit the entire community eventually- who knows?"

McConnell, a native of New Mexico, believes that deaf blogs brings the deaf community together. "The Internet is a powerful communication medium, whatever the source of information that is passed on whether its e-mail, instant messenger, video-phone, blogging, or personal web pages, both deaf and hearing communities benefit greatly. It actually brings people a little closer enabling them to understand each other better." McConnell uses, a free hosting internet website that give step-by-step instructions that makes it simpler to self-publish on the Web.

Known as one of the most notorious deaf bloggers is Ricky Taylor's "Observe But Do Not Interfere," popular, in part, due to the high shock value of this blog. In an e-mail interview, he acknowledged that his blog was not really intended for the deaf community, but rather one that is willing to share experiences. "I think my blog, unlike many others, is brutally honest in almost everything else." Ricky Taylor, who currently lives in New York City, goes on to explain his perspective of other deaf blogs on the Internet. "It irritated me to read many blogs written by deaf people that talked about their menstruation cycles or new pants that they just bought at JcPenneys. Why can't they say something interesting about ... say, politics, lifestyle, sports or even ... sex? I guess you could say that I'm a fan of shock value. I try to touch different bases that might jolt readers to respond or not."

Whether we want to admit it or not, deaf blogs are showing strong support in unifying the deaf community in an unprecedented way on the Internet. Evans concludes: "But aside from rare instances, I don't think blogs and blogging necessarily speak directly to the deaf community- I think blogging and blogs transcend deafness, and allow the readers a chance to listen to various individuals on their respective soapboxes. Also, blogging is fairly new. As blogs mature across the board, it may evolve and have more of a sense of accomplishing something positive."

Not bad, eh?



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