About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Is blogging changing?

This was going to be a different post. I was going to look at the blogs that I follow and the different ways that I follow them. However, as I began to review (and purge the links as I usually do on an annual basis) the blogs I read, I realized that blogging has really changed this year.

In fact, I still have a core group of blogs that I read on a regular basis. But their style, patterns of posting, and even the way they link to other posts, blogs, and readers has (for the most part) changed drastically.

I see blog posts now following one of three trends:

  • Blogs are more informative, reflective, and formal. Michael Hanley's posts have always fit this format. But I noticed this year that Tony Karrer's eLearning Technology become less spontanious and pondering. As a result, blogs appear to be more of a learning tool or marketing tool for an organization. It also seems to be replacing more traditional publishing venues to get research or articles out in a more timely manner. Taking a page from Andy Coverdale and Gina Minks, I have begun to blog my own dissertation research process and results.
  • I am feeling that I am coming into the middle of a conversation (or the end of a conversation) that was started somewhere else (such as twitter or facebook). It appears that blogging is the reflective or summary of those conversations. Karyn Romeis still has a very conversational style, but she will refer to other conversations she has had on facebook. Harold Jarche will refer to others at aggregated blog sites where he is collaborating with colleagues. As a result, I don't feel that there is as much "conversation" on blogs as there used to be. In addition, I have noticed that Michael, Harold, Karyn, and Tony all have easy access to Twitter on their sites. Ken Allan has moved into a different rhelm this year: 2nd life. His posts often include graphics taken from 2nd Life. In fact, some blogs that I have been reading for the last couple of years either took hyatises or have not had posts in months.
  • One thing I have noticed is a decrease in the number of comments. I'm not sure if this is because the conversation has moved to other venues or if the authors are not responding as much. It seems, though, that blogging is still being used to start conversation, but not necessarily on the blogs. There are other technologies being used for the "community". I am always surprised that there are not more comments on Nancy White's Full Circle Associates' blog or Jon Husband's Wirearchy. After all, these blogs are about community and network building!
So what do you think blogging will end up looking like in the next year? Are bloggers that don't tweet at a disadvantage? Is blogging even passe at this point?

By the way, since I listed most of the other blogs that I read on a regular basis, I think I should include the others that are on my igoogle or reader:

Visual's speak: Chrisine Martell writes a nice "creativity" blog
Lucacept: Jenny Luca is a librarian in an Austrian school
Growing Changing Learning Creating: Tom Haskins' blog reminds me of mine...it's all over the place but always thought provoking.
Digital Perspectives: I just love Kathreen's photo blog. But she's been a bit quiet at the end of this year! I hope she starts up again because her photos always make me feel good.


Anonymous said...

The communal discourse of the blogosphere is becoming increasingly distributed across platforms. Perhaps blogs are becoming more formalised because much of the 'messiness' - the personal expression and the quirkiness from which we glean personalities and social identities - is being farmed out to other channels. The real-time interaction of Twitter provides conversational discourse with immediacy, and as many use Twitter to announce new blog-posts, peripheral discussion is taking place there.

V Yonkers said...

That's what I was thinking also (you just said it better!)

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Virginia!

It was in September last year I began researching Second Life (SL), not this year. That month I did a series of posts on my exploratory first visits to SL.

I've continued to explore the interactive virtual environment of SL for it is the first opportunity I've had to network synchronously with literally hundreds of people, many of whom are educators like myself.

But you are quite right about the use I've put SL to in providing relevant images for my blog posts. My most recent post is a typical example of this.

Catchya later

Anonymous said...

Hi Virginia--Interesting observations here. As one of the bloggers who's been taking a break for what has turned out to be longer than I expected, part of what I see happening is that the people I used to "talk with" via blogs posts do spend more time on Twitter, etc., so I'm finding less that engages me in terms of the conversations. I can find good links and comments, etc. on Twitter, but the extended discussions--not so much.

A big part of the fun for me had been that sense that we were part of a community and I'm not sure I feel it as strongly as I once did. That could be me, though. :-)

V Yonkers said...

I agree Michele (yes, I miss your blog posts but understand why). I feel as if the community has moved and I don't know where to find them. I think Twitter might be like short term interest rates: something that is always on people's minds, but not really serving to move an organization forward.

Sahana said...

I am very new to blogging but have been reading/following blogs for years. I read your posts on a regular basis and glean a lot from each...

I came across this post via Harold Jarche's blog and it set me thinking.

When reading posts, I have often felt that it is a continuation of a conversation that started elsewhere. With SoME tools like Twitter gaining ground, we have definitely ceased to comment to blog posts. If we like a post, we put up a link on Twitter with a 120 character summary of the same.

The changing nature of posts had been plaguing me for sometime though I was not so aware of it till I read your post.

But I had seen my own style change from posts that were like short essays when I first began writing (formal, structured with a beginning, middle and an end) to shorter thoughts that are sometimes offshoots of something read on Twitter, in another blog and so on...

I caught myself posting scraps of thoughts too and that is when I realized I needed something between a blog and a micro-blog. So, I opened a Posterous account promising myself that I will keep my blog for more reflective pieces that are complete in themselves yet invite discussion.

Your post has made me even more conscious of the different platforms we have access to and how easy it is to confuse the purpose of each...

V Yonkers said...

Sahana, I have enjoyed reading your posts (I have it on my blog reader) and I do find them very inviting. However, as the nature of blogs change, I wonder if there will be other platforms to take its place. For example, I know of people who now use Nings or Linked in groups to engage in discussions.

What is interesting is for instructional designers like yourself to choose the tool a learner will use a certain way or expect to use a certain way. As the culture changes for the use of that instrument (such as the blog) it is important to be aware that learners might use it in different ways than we expect them to.

Nancy White said...

I'm nodding in agreement w/ Andy. I also find it interesting that the ways I found other blog posts that mentioned or linked to my work seem to be less effective than before, so I'm not only having the more "distributed conversation" but I'm losing site of the blog based streams.

And, BTW, I notice now that blog posts that have a Tweet related conversation not only are read more, but they generate more comments. So this ecosystem of tools is more complex.

V Yonkers said...

So in other words, blogs alone are not enough to engage the community. There should be blogs and then related tweets. But then blogging becomes all encompassing. It seems to me that this means that blogging will soon revert back to its origins and be left to the realm of professional writers.

Nancy White said...

Wellll, now I think you are getting into tricky territory by using the word "community." Community implies for me shared purpose and interaction over time. IN the blogosphere and other forms, we are connecting, disconnecting, reconnecting and making new connections. Like sand shifting on the beach.

I think we are engaging an ever shifting network. Yes, we can use blogs for the more focused community interaction.

Dunno. Just thinking out loud! :-)