June 19, 2005

I, Isaac Compare My Blog to Those of Other Gay Men
During the next several weeks I will write several entries that detail my exploration of gay male web logs, and I will compare them to my own, Isaac Stolzfuts’ Journal. These entries will not be in sequence as I may place other entries I deem politically necessary as they relate to current events. However, they will appear sequentially in time.

Why I Created the Web Log

Through this project I have come to visualize human sexuality as a three dimensional paradigm that readdresses the faulty cultural binary understanding of human sexuality as either homosexual or heterosexual. The journey leading to the new visualization began on July 3, 2003 when I created Isaac Stolzfuts’ Journal on line.

Reports in the literature, news, and on the Internet itself about the importance of the Web Log, (“blog”) to contemporary culture have grown over time. That importance is directly related to the number of blogs, which have grown exponentially from approximately 10,000 in 2001 to over 8 million this year. These reports suggest that blogs do everything from shaping the news, “Web logs come of age as source of news,” (Kopytoff, 2005), to providing the opportunity for teachers to help students learn to read and write, “How Educators Are Using Weblogs” (The Intel Innovator, 2003). Nick Denton, reporting on the handling of the destruction of the World Trade Center in “The Atrocity Through the Eyes of Weblogs,” said, “In weblogs, the web has become a mature medium (Guardian Unlimited, 2001).”
As part of my on-going study of gay male sexuality I thought it necessary to explore the demonstration of this “importance” in gay blogs in general, and how these “important” gay blogs compare with my Journal. In order to identify such blogs I used the following criteria, and list in order of importance: First, visits (hits) viewers make to a blog over time; Second, the multiple indexes or listings of blogs; Third, for those blogs that allowed comments, the number and types of comments viewers made about blog entries.

How does My blog compare to those of other gay men?

I also needed criteria that would allow me to make comparisons among gay male blogs and my journal, so I created a list of things that I do as I write my journal. I used the list as a reference as I looked at all other blogs, asking myself how many of the items in the list were accomplished by each blogger. The list is hierarchical, and I have named it the Blog Performance Scale (BPS).
Once the list was constructed, I began to examine other gay male blogs because I devised the Blog Performance Scale in order to record the results of my search of gay blogs. I wanted to know if other gay male blogs did things similar to mine. Blogs were rated on a scale of 1 to 6, based on the “BPS” as described above. It was possible for blogs to receive multiple ratings, that is a blog might receive a “2” because of its design and a “3” because it reported the minutia of the daily existence of the blogger. Most of the blogs were basic reportage of the writer’s daily activities or the activities of friends and/or events surrounding them. There were few if any attempts to analyze any facet of that daily activity or to form an understanding of the author’s own identity, sexuality, spirituality, politics, and/or the inadequate binary cultural understanding of any of these, including the homosexual versus heterosexual dichotomy. I don’t believe that all, or even most, gay male blogs must or should do these things. However, I expected that more men would wish to examine their personal existence with greater intensity. I will include in the next entry examples of gay blogs discovered that fit into the various categories as described above.


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