Choosing to blog

Thanks to John and Matthias I am still thinking about if blogs might offer a distinctive type of conversation compared to other types of online communication and if so how are they distinctive?

A quick internet search has shown that people have been writing about reasons for blogging, and characteristics of bloggers for the past 5 years. Stephen wrote an article  about it in 2004  and more recently there have been blog posts exploring the characteristics of successful bloggers. So why would anyone want to research this now, when a lot has already been said? Is there anything new to add?

I think the CCK08 course suggests that there maybe is something new to add, because the course offered participants the choice of whether to blog or not and a range of alternative possibilities. This is very unlike the way in which many blogs are introduced to students on more traditional courses, where this choice of communication possibilities is not on offer.

Matthias has commented on why blogging might be a disticintive form of communication:

I suspect it is a distinctive place on the orality vs. literacy spectrum, on the reader vs. participant spectrum, and (especially) on the synchronous vs. asynchronous spectrum.

…and I can see that these spectra might apply to the choice between blogging and an Elluminate session, or blogging and joining a Second Life group, but I find it much harder to apply these spectra to the choice between blogging and the Moodle discussion forums, which is a choice that I made myself on the CCK08 course.

At one point – or maybe even more than once – Stephen was really encouraging people to blog rather than hold their discussions in Moodle, partly because there were some rather aggressive conversations going on in the Moodle forums, but I also got the feeling that he felt that blog conversations would be more productive (I will have to go back through the forums and check what he said).

I would be really interested to explore the reasons behind people’s choices of where to communicate on the CCK08 course and in particular why some people blogged in preference to other forms of communication, although not necessarily to the exclusion of other modes of communication. I think this might be a new way of building on what has already been written about blogging and might offer insights into how communication for learning works online.

6 thoughts on “Choosing to blog

  1. emapey February 25, 2009 / 1:15 pm

    Hi Jenny, to blog or to post on a forum? That’s a good question. You can do both. Discuss in the forum and later blog about the thread and you comments in the forum.

    As an example, my post Using Web 2.0 Tools for Teaching – Where to Start?

    I also featured in my blog, good discussions I found on the CCK08 forum, such as Who Are the Good Informants in your Network?, Connectivism CCK08

    Another good question. To comment on someone else blog or to post in your blog about the other post with your comments. You can try to comment first on the other blog. If you don’t receive any reaction or feedback, just post it on your blog

    I hope these tips help you

  2. jennymackness February 25, 2009 / 7:37 pm

    Hi Eduardo – this is really helpful. I’m going to start a quotes page on our research wiki and add some snippets from you blog posts. Is that OK/

    Now – I’m not sure if I have understood you correctly. Should I have replied to you here or on your blog? And – I know I have asked this questin before – but I am a slow learner 😉 – if I post a reply on your blog, how do I keep track of what I have said!

    Ah technology and me just don’t go together. Give me pedagogy any day. Mike (Bogle) I hope you are listening!


  3. emapey February 25, 2009 / 8:13 pm

    This is the place where you had to reply to my comment

  4. Matthias Melcher February 25, 2009 / 9:05 pm

    I was indeed careless to lump together forums with the more synchronous tools, and I cannot yet substantiate my impression that forums tend to favor more rapid-fire discussions than blogs.
    Somehow, the topical relations between forums postings tend to be more implicit and seem closer, while in blogs they must be explicitly constructed.

  5. emapey February 25, 2009 / 9:55 pm

    Mathias, forums are better for discussions. A forum is a community. Blogs are better for networking and since you own your blog you include your content there. By reviewing your blog I can learn much about the blogger. I know Jenny thanks to her blog. Thanks to her blog she was one of the popular learners at CCK08. It is nice to receive some comments on the blog, though

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