It’s more fun (and more useful) to have the odd scrap once in a while…

Eric responds to my little, ahem, tirade concerning the ‘bloggers blog about blogging too much’ topic that he and Rick knocked about last week.

He tries to move on too but I’m not that easy to shake ;o)

I admit that I was a bit full-on (comes from other sources of frustration, nothing to do with Eric & Rick, believe me) but I do think that I had a point. What is particularly interesting about Eric’s follow-up though (and which got me writing this) are his predictions about where blogging is / isn’t going… and I know that me blogging about blogging related to a blogger posting a post in response to a blog post about too much blogging about blogging in blogs is a bit silly, but hey…

In summary (from here)I think Eric is trying to say that we shouldn’t concern ourselves too much with blogs because:

-Blogs are a niche application and “it’s actually quite likely that the explosive growth in blogging will soon see a contraction” (it’s been over-hyped by the media)

-“Blogs have a voracious appetite for one of an academic’s most precious commodities–time”

-Project-based blogging is OK but not transformational

Which in part reminds me of some of Stephen’s predictions but also rings true, to a degree, in my own experience and in what I hear people around me saying.

Briefly, I agree that on a wider-scale blogging will not take over the world and it may well be the case that only 0.01% of people regularly maintain a weblog for a longish period of time. That makes sense, but I think that us in education and academia are coming at this from a very different angle, that of writers, critics and reflective practices.

Which is why we’ve spent so much time, over the years, writing, reading and generally using our time up in exactly the kind of pursuits that blogging (and more importantly RSS) lends itself to most.

And I would certainly agree that there are yet (apart from some particular incidences) to be any amazing and transformational practices within the academy / teaching and learning process. But I’d argue that this is largely because blogging and RSS has been approached in many cases in totally the wrong way (I know all about this, I’m seriously guilty!) and that the technology is and has been nowhere near mature enough or user-friendly enough for the possibilities this offers to be truly tested.

More on this soon, together with some funky diagrams :o).

Am certainly not after a fight but it does make a change to have a bit of a debate once in a while… that’s one of the main reasons I miss Greg Ritter so much!

5 replies on “It’s more fun (and more useful) to have the odd scrap once in a while…”

  1. I too agree that blogging is a over-hyped. I have noted more and more heavy academic blogs going the way-side, either due to time, or maybe the fear that the ideas they are blogging about can be taken and made into research that they should have been doing, rather than blogging.

    And really, do we want people to get really excited about blogging? Blogging as a phenomenon will give way to something else, some newer piece of technology eventually. It’s not about the blogging, its about the reflection. I’d much rather get people excited about writing and reflecting daily than blogging.

  2. James, my only hope is that everybody knows that we’re fully aware of the hopeless meta-irony of having this exchange over our blogs.

  3. Evan, don’t you reckon that people are opnly really going to get excited over writing and reflecting if there’s more motivation for doing so (audience, community) and it’s much easier (technology, archiving, voice – disruptive stuff)?

    I think that blogging has the potenbtial to do for writing what the walkman has doen for recorded music, granted no-one talks about walkmans any more but what’s an ipod really?

    Perhaps I’m over-arguing that the medium is the message, but that’s still a key point don’t you think?

    Cheers, James

  4. Ah, but no one else hears what you play on your ipod (remember when it was popular to walk around blasting the huge radio you carried with you?). Everyone has the potential to see you blog. I think blogging would become more and more popular, if it was private.

    I’m not sure the academic culture will change fast enough to keep up with the technology. Not that people won’t get excited about the concept of sharing, and even try it for a little while, but the first time they percieve someone “sharing” (or stealing) an idea, the realities of academia will set in.

    Of course, I could be just be cynical and jaded at this point :)

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