May 16, 2007

Productive Labor According to Blogpulse: Total identified blogs: 46,879,636 New blogs in last 24 hours: 105,957 Blog posts indexed in last 24 hours: 949,712 The blogosphere doesn't have a size. It isn't finite or bounded. It's a changing space, with blogs coming into being, going dormant, dying, with some born again in new places with new names. There are abandoned blogs, alone, persisting until their host wipes them away so that their remnants persist in the hard drives of an internet memory project somewhere. Most blogs aren't read--at least not by many people. Many don't allow for comments. Some are now fake, corporate spaces that simulate interaction. But, if we think about blogging, about cat blogging and snark and fandom and mommies and hobbiests, we can't help but be struck by the enormous amount of creative, productive labor expended. Think about the hours and hours of labor time. Creating, making..what? Contributions. Contributions to the flow of ideas, opinions, and impressions. Marx reminds us that the more labor the worker expends, the less the value of his product. I always think of this in terms of the amount of labor in any individual item that comes off a factory assembly line. But, it's also applicable, in a way, to blog posts. The more collective creative labor power goes in to each one, the less the value of each. Yet, maybe this is the wrong way to put the question. Perhaps what is at stake is a different account of value. Capitalists are working...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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