Thursday, September 24, 2009

The art of blogging

Well confession time, I thought that I knew what blogging was and I am learning all the time. In my mind: If you are willing to expose yourself and you thoughts/opinions/ideas to public scrutiny you must be a confident person. Either that or have a great ego. Not sure about facilitation of blogs though. Right that off my mind, let’s get on with blogging. Does that make me a hypocrite or egotistical?

There are some great blogs out there, I was introduced to edublog by a colleague but that was a few years ago and I didn’t have the confidence to join. The first time I blogged was for the Graduate Certificate in eLearning course Evaluation of Best Practice for eLearning. I have just read the Problogger article twitter versus blogging. I have not used twitter so cannot comment. I use Facebook though, there’s a story behind my memberships of Facebook. I was moving from the UK to NZ so my children who were travelling/at uni at the time ‘allowed’ me to set Facebook up so I could keep track on them and they could keep up to date with what I was up to. They made it quite clear that it was only because I was moving to the other side of the world! Does this mean that Blogging is an age thing? Take a look at this one grumpy old people I do notice that the last post was 2005, make up your own punchline. Here’s an interesting article, on blogspot, regarding the changing facebook demographics or perhaps you would be more drawn to pensionbook. Bloggapedia has a similar format to youtube so other people’s blogs are ranked for most popular and new blogs.

As I was surfing through the blogs and reading the articles, I noted that spamming cam up as a downside of blogging and found a link to a wiki site only see an example of the spam in the form of lots of links on the opening page. So is this price of blogging? It’s the wild, wild wiki link Sarah, unless it’s an intentional demonstration!

Ok, so having re-read this blog I feel as though I have a narrative style and wonder if I would have such a narrative on a discussion forum. I do not know my audience so I am writing to the unknown and this probably affects my tone. On a discussion forum I know who I am talking to, well not really but, there is that online community of shared interest feeling that gives me focus.


  1. I think you might be onto something when you talk about the discussion forum - if it has a critical mass of members making comments you will have a feel for who you're talking to. But in the blogosphere, where there are millions of us earnestly sharing our thoughts, the audience leaves barely a trace - in fact, it takes quite some effort to actually generate and sustain an audience, particularly along the lines Sarah talked about.

    If you see my post on 200 blog posts you'll see a link to an article where one pundit suggests blogging by individuals in a personal way is dying out. Facebook, soup,io,, twitter and other services/ places give offer more potential for people to express themselves and long posts with conversation are somehow less relevant. I don't necessarily agree.

    Aha, perhaps all the talk about blogging over emphasises the writing side of things rather than hosting of conversations or stimulating dialogue. This is something requires skills of a different sort.

  2. Hi Debra- i tried the links you gave us- they all link to the same website (the grumpy old people)!
    I may have said it before, but its getting interesting to see the discussions on how the Web 2.0 platforms are getting used for maybe different purposes than originally intended, hence maybe we are seeing changes in how blogging is used, and/or percieved.
    Better go back to my reading....

  3. What would involve facilitation of blogs?
    Are you using Twitter? I have not been tempted as I cannot see the purpose of it.I have not had very positive readings about it so far. It seems to me like a tool for people with short concentration span, and it feels like another source of information to cope with.
    Information overload!
    It will be good to find a comparison of the Web 2.0 tools available and compare what use we can make of them/ how they work best for educational purpose.

  4. I know there have been many discussions, studies and surveys about the whole issue of blogging, and whether it is dying off in the face of other media & forms of communication. I would say that it depends on what you blog about, and what networks you belong to. I blog about education and am part of a large education blogging network. I don't see it lapsing or dying off. People are using blogs for sharing ideas & information, having a rant, connecting with other educators.

    But as I have said on someone else's blog, it takes time to make connections & you have to e proactive about it - make connections, link to people, follow people, leave interesting ad constructive comments, be organised about how you follow blogs and comments.

    the 31 Day Blog Challenge and 31 day comment challenge is very helpful in getting you to look more closely at how to blog:


  5. could you say such terrible things about's my next best learning/teaching/communication tool next to my blog :)

    ...and I thought the short attention span was due to old age setting in LOL

  6. Debra, my first experience of blogging was also during the Evaluation of Best Practice for eLearning course, and I remember experiencing that feeling of hesitance over the initial blog posts, as I was uncertain how to write the post, with regard to tone etcetera, I'm still nervous in FOC09 with writing blog posts (infrequent as they have been!)although my intended audience is other participants in the course I guess I also write it for myself (if this makes sense), I have that wee fear (I guess) that it will be read by others out there ... or that my posts will come up if someone did a google search of my name ... and my thoughts and musings will be scrutinised and judged .... (yes..I admit it I'm a bit paranoid!) However Having had the experience of blogging I can see it relevance to an educational context. But I agree with Herve's opinion of Twitter (sorry Sarah) I can't understand how people can be bothered to update their daily activities several times a day. However Sarah you are not the only person I have come across who thinks Twitter is a great tool for communication in Education. As Herve said, perhaps it would be good to have a comparison of Web 2.0 tools available and each one's use, which works best for what....

  7. Here's a good presentation that's just come out - the second half is about Twitter:

  8. I'm an retired academic and until last year when I left the building I'd used Web 2.0 tools, particularly blogs with students as a collaborative, research tool on projects, to encourage reflection on their own work, and as a journal of my own to encourage peer interaction. I found far more engagement (global too) on scholarship and research via this medium than I would on a daily basis without. I'm an enthusiast! As for Twitter, like you, Hervé I was a sceptic. Not any more. It has refreshed and rejuvenated my blogging by extending former networks and creating newer ones, providing a quick way to a huge potential audience to look at my work and to comment, and finally and on a personal level, by and giving me a social outreach beyond the garden wall of retirement! Very important this one, and I suspect will become more pertinent as the population ages ... think mental health issues. And before I go, doesn't matter what platform you use, a blog is a blog, though remember if it's self-hosted, you own the content. You don't on Facebook.


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