Why do I blog

Frank Paynter asks “Why Do We Blog“, well….

Me, I started trying to force students to blog before I even got round to it myself, sitting sweating over the challenge of getting learners to do e-portfolios / reflective journals the inspiring Lindon Parker (who has disappeared of late? Lindon, where art thou?) said “whatabout blogs” and then things kicked in.

It was watching the (terrible tasks by me, v. low success rate ;o) student blog their stuff, figuring out what I wanted for them and playing with the tools, installing Radio, trying out a few posts and then, bloody hell, got a scripting link (also courtesy of Lindon) and all of a sudden the miserable, empty existence within the company from hell where I had to explain to the GM that “Yes, it really is better for learners to work in groups than isolated, on their own” and “no, we can’t wipe out teachers through technology, and that’s not what you hired me for” (they’re still trying it BTW) … was gone… and there was a community of folk interested in very similar stuff to me, and they were discussing it too and I had this thing called a news aggregator and I could log in every morning and read what they’d written overnight and…. and… and….

And that’s why I still do it now, because I get to read the most interesting and relevant things from people who I may never get the chance to meet in the flesh and sure as hell wouldn’t be writing as readable / engaging / small-pieces-based stuff like this in any other medium.

And, occasionally, I get read too and people say ‘yes, but…’ or ‘cool’ or ‘don’t let the bastards get you down‘. Now that’s pretty amazing!

All the other stuff about knowledge management, becoming a better writer, opening up, sharing & giving, participating in conversations, having a voice etc. etc. is great but it’s the side story. I’m a migrant, I live and work in a country where I don’t have roots, family or a particularly wide circle of friends (of course the imploding of my personal life & legal stuff over the last 3 years hasn’t exactly helped), I am issued to the max with ‘how I appear’ and ‘what’s thought of me’ and a billion other things from when I was a kid and from what’s around me now… but through blogging I feel like I’m part of a community, one which shares some pretty important values (such as honesty, openness, freedom…) and one in which I’ve been able to explore my, pretty micro, area with others who have similar interests and who I would probably have never met otherwise.

What matters is what goes on inside and between people, and that’s why I blog.