Blogging is no doubt a rising phenomenon, but how exactly does it affect the John Carroll community? Students and faculty both blog. One example of this is Philip Metres, an associate professor in the JCU English Department.
He entered the blogosphere in 2007 by creating “Behind the Lines: Poetry, War, & Peacemaking.” His blog explains “further thoughts on the cultural labor of poetry and art.”
For Metres, his blogging seems to serve as a new, more convenient manner of expression—an online file, available to the public eye.
He affirms that the blog is a kind of living archive for himself.
“I used to Xerox or print articles and poems and stories of interest and throw them in a file, often never to be seen again,” Metres said. “The blog allows me to have an online file that I can return to, and show others.”
His blogs have enlightened an audience of around 65 admirers, and get nearly one hundred “hits” on a daily basis—an impressive 45,000 since 2009.
“I used to blog every day, and when I woke up I already started thinking about what I’d write, [but] now, it’s a once-a-week arrangement,” Metres said. “Every time I think of folding up my digital tent, I will meet someone who says something admiring about it.”
In addition to reviewing collections of recent poetry, discussing selected poetry and art on peace and conflict, and posting about political happenings in the Middle East, Metres has directed some blog posts towards the John Carroll community, which truly got students and administration more involved.
He said, “I posted a couple entries on our own university movement to articulate a policy of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation; I was thrilled by both the student response and by the administration’s ability to listen and change.”
Metres is not sure, however, that many people at John Carroll are affected by his blog.
“I doubt more than a handful of my colleagues and students even know that I blog,” he said.
Metres confesses that the blogosphere now yields to the ever-popular Facebook and Twitter “[though] both Facebook and Twitter seem to me too much social networking and not enough thoughtful rumination,” he said.
According to Metres, there is insight within intellectual and thought-provoking blog posts.
He said, “Facebook has made social life in a small college at times suffocating, and for some, utterly intolerable, [whereas] blogs are limited by the minds of those who build and write them; mine is a niche, and I expect and hope that its readers are instigated to learn more about the perspectives and work published there.”