In the symposium I mentioned that I use a blog client. I have used ecto, which looks like its become shelf ware, am currently using MarsEdit, but this one turned up today which I particularly like the look of, Blogo. All of them let you write blog posts without being logged into your blog, and they know about your categories, tags and so on.
Discusses the world, the subject, making, and links aplenty. This post of Monique’s is a good exemplar.
Evelyn recognising that blogging isn’t easy. No, but also don’t confuse blogging with extroversion. I’m an introvert, and blogging works very well for me as I am interested in how it gives me a place to think, and to share that thinking (introverts aren’t shy, they just get value in other ways to extroverts). I guess I’m just wanting to say that blogging isn’t really about “me, me, me” if you don’t want it to be.
Substitute ‘journalism’ for any other heritage media in this story and it is identical. The opening paragraph sums up this subject. The Guardian is doing well in the digital domain and they do not want to employ people who think the digital is just a computer. This subject is network media because digital media is now a tautology. The Guardian is doing well not because they moved to digital, but they moved to the network as a scale free, distributed network. For those of you that have started to get your ‘blogs’ you’re already better equipped for the interview here than the print journalist described. (And read what she writes about the Guardian in Australia and their success because there’s a gap in the market precisely because traditional media here does not understand this new time.)
Opinions, argument, the university and the coffee house. Read some interesting things in the blogs about the blogs and the encouragement of opinion and reflection. These are good conversations to have, and while these sorts of questions get discussed earlier in the semester they really don’t make much sense until we’re in the thick of it. (We really only learn by doing, to think otherwise is to think you can teach someone how to ride a bike by talking about it, so too with blogging, you need to do it to begin to understand what the issues are.) Anyway, the blogs. Let’s be blunt. Everyone has an opinion, and with blogs everyone has an opinion that can be broadcast. We don’t use blogs for this. As a university with you in a degree program while you can certainly happily express opinions, what we are wanting to develop, model, and endorse, is what I’ll call scholarly opinion. This doesn’t mean essays or objective third person writing (bugger that). What it does mean is to discuss things driven and informed by ideas, with evidence. This is what you do when you write or talk about things you know about. If you know about cycling you don’t just say Eddy Merckx is a better rider than Peter Sagan, but you make an argument for why. We all do this for the things we know and care about. As knowledge makers and users we need to do this too with ideas, so the key role of the blog – from the point of view of the subject – is to think about things. This means ideas, with evidence, that make propositions. This is different to opinion (I think Essendon sucks versus ‘there’s a cultural problem at Essendon because). One is (dumb) opinion, one is research, argued, and evidenced. We’re not journalists, but we are knowledge creators, and knowledge is not opinion.
Jackie has a very good reflective post coming out of unsymposium 0.3 about style, writing, imagined audiences and what her blog does. It is a good explanation if you’re still not sure what this idea of an audience and your blog is about, or who it might be. As she realises, her audience are probably people similar to you, and that this is your imagined audience. The cool thing about a blog, you can imagine this audience but over time an audience will arrive, if you have something to say to other people like you.
Writing is where and how we do real thinking. Blogging makes us write and think. As I’ve been writing commentary around your blog posts already I’ve learnt new things, from you, and from thinking about what I’m writing. It gets easier to do too. But like exercise if you stop then, you know, it’s easy to stay stopped. So Rebecca has noticed that there are things to write about. Write them.