Its ironic that having said that I don’t see blogs as a discussion tool…
“I don’t see blogs as a discussion tool, for the average person like me. They might be a discussion tool for people like Tony Bates, Stephen Downes, George Siemens and others who have a well-recognized reputation and likely a lot of hits and comments on their blogs. But for people like me, my blog is not a discussion venue.”
……there has actually been some discussion about The Selfish Blogger Syndrome, which I would like to respond to with this post.
Heli has challenged me by commenting:
I greatly disagree, why can’t you be a better facilitator in discussions than whoever? It is not the number of hits that matters and reputation is not same in everybody’s eyes. So my focus is: why that hierarchy? Who needs it, to whom you speak? I was astonished about those words
This made me sit up and think. When I look back over my posts, some of them have generated discussion, but not many and not much depth of discussion. On reflection I find blogging just a bit too distant for discussion. I value it for reflection and thinking things through, but for me discussion – in the deeper sense – happens in smaller more intimate groups away from the public arena. So my most valuable discussions happen via email or on the research wikis I am working in. Very often a question might be raised in a blog post or an online session – but the discussion continues elsewhere out of the public eye. So Heli – to answer your question – I wasn’t really thinking in terms of hierarchy, more of depth of discussion – and for me, rightly or wrongly, that tends to happen in locations other than my blog.
What’s for sure is that you can’t just apply good learning management system approaches to the looser structure of a MOOC. We need to find ways to better exploit this looseness
I do think that postings in small isolated blogs *can* be integrated into larger discussions. And I would go further to add that if we believe in open, networked learning then we *should* strive to make that integration as effective as possible.
I think Tony’s comment is probably worthy of a research paper and certainly further thought and investigation. And Alan – Yes I always allow for pingbacks on my blog; I also subscribe to comments RSS feeds and I try to provide links to other people’s blogs within my post – but I find myself in a dilemma in the striving for integration. If I am writing about an event that needs (in my mind) to be advertised, then I am happy to click on the FB, Twitter, Google+ links at the bottom of the blog post and broadcast it. But if it is just my post, simply for me, like this one, then it doesn’t feel right to broadcast it. I get feelings of ‘who am I to push this post out into the webosphere?’ It makes me feel uncomfortable. So I don’t do it, but I am very happy if someone ‘visits’ me here. I just don’t want to push myself on people. Blogging alone feels like enough of a push.
And finally, brainysmurf has written:
Overall, I don’t think I would enjoy this mooc (change11 ) nearly as much if I only used one tool to ‘discuss’. To respond to Nancy White’s question during the #socialartist live session yesterday, I seem to use five sources and that’s as much as I can manage (The Daily everyday plus Twitter, FB, SharePoint and my blog less frequently).
And that brings me back to my starting point. How much of this, i.e. Twitter, Facebook etc. is really discussion. For me a real in depth discussion takes a considerable amount of trust – especially if I am ‘discussing’ with people I have never met and have no physical gestures etc. to get a sense of them. My experience has been that in depth discussion usually takes time to develop and for me has extended long after the MOOC ends. Some of my CCK08 discussions continue to this day. This reminds me that Etienne Wenger writes about the shared repertoire of a community of practice and that community members need to develop a shared history. I definitely need a sense of shared history to feel comfortable with in depth discussion.
Thank you to Jaap, Heli, Alan, Tony and brainysmurf for prompting me to dig deeper into my understanding of what it means to be a selfish blogger and the extent to which discussion can be promoted through blogs.