Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Ten Years a Blogger

Coming up is an anniversary of sorts.  I actually started writing posts for this blog in February 2005, but for the first few months I had a very small audience - the bulk of the comments were from Burks Oakley, who got me started with ALN way back when, ten more years before that, and was one of the handful of people I alerted about this blog. 

The particular event I'm referring to is a post by Scott Leslie on his Edtechpost site announcing my blog and recommending it as a worthwhile read.  From there Stephen Downes picked it up.  Suddenly I had a bunch of readers. 

What has changed in the way I go about writing for the blog over those ten years?  One big thing is that I was much more connected to the profession then, the profession being educational technology or, if you prefer, teaching and learning with technology.  I am quite disconnected now and maybe that makes me less interesting to read.  Another thing, style-wise, I was quite conscious of running two or three parallel threads in each post that I would "weave" together.  I thought of it then as a way to make the writing richer and also as a way to imitate my role model in writing, Stephen Jay Gould (his writing for the New York Review of Books).  I no longer try to do this explicitly, though it happens now and then.  I now simply consider the blogging as a think aloud exercise and aim for coherence in the argument. 

The last thing I will mention about what has changed is that I'm much less interested in the technology itself now.  When I started the blog the campus was just beginning to roll out its enterprise learning management system, which we called Illinois Compass (the software was WebCT Vista), and at the time that was my baby.  Looking back at the history, the technology part of that project crowded out the learning part to a large extent, in a way that seems inevitable to me now.  Then I wanted to be mainstream and pull the campus along, with technology the hook for doing so.  Now I prefer my own idiosyncratic ways even if they don't generate any followers.

1 comment:

shamim ahamed said...

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