There must have been some research done on this question. I will have to dig around. I have started to think about this in response to ‘conversations’ with Mike and Lani on this blog and with John via a Skype call this morning.
Mike has commented that discussion is spread across blog comments, tweets, emails, f2f and wiki articles and that ‘All of these combine t make a really vibrant, indepth discussion, but on their own the comments on blogs may not appear to progress things very far’. I have been wondering about this. Is this true? Personally I feel that the conversations that I have on blogs can progress things equally as far (at least for me) as do conversations in other mediums, sometimes further and sometimes not as far.
For me blogging is a different kind of conversation, but I still have to sort out in my own mind why it is different. I like the ‘slowness’ of blogs. The time to reflect. I can relate to a lot of what Lani has said in her comment and in particular to the mixed blessings of having an online voice, when all we might be doing in essence is ‘talking to ourselves in an open space’, but just making this available to others if they are interested.
But then as John pointed out when I spoke to him via Skype this morning, people blog for very different reasons, for example some people blog with the intention of teaching. I suppose people might also blog to reflect, to connect, to learn from others, to share with others, to express themselves, to provide a service, to educate and so on. Why else might people blog and why did people voluntarily blog on the CCK08 course, sometimes in preference to the other forms of communication that Mike mentions? And how do some people manage to find an online voice which is listened to when others don’t? What is distinctive about blogging? And is there anything distinctive about people who feel ‘at home’ in this medium?
Are these questions only new to me or have they already been answered elsewhere?