A Comparison of Blogs & Blogging

In a previous post about using blogging in the classroom wisely, I pointed out that – from a broad perspective – a blog is whatever the author wants it to be. Today, I would like to expand on that statement by examining and comparing blogs and blogging.

PART II: PROFESSIONALS

(DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES AND COMPLETE FRUSTRATION, THIS POST WILL BE BROKEN DOWN INTO TWO PARTS, STUDENTS AND PROFESSIONALS.)

Professionals Blogging –

Blog Site of Stephen Downes
Stephen’s Web

Stephen’s Web is the blog of Stephen Downes, a well-known researcher of new media and online learning pedagogy. He produces the OLDaily, which is really a daily collection of blogs, links, and online resources. His blog also acts as a repository for the author’s presentations and articles so that they are freely accessible to any reader. The name of his blog has (at least) a double meaning since it is located on the Web, includes content about the Web, and also forms a web with its myriad of interwoven connections and resources.

curated by Ana Cristina Pratas

Digital Delights "Connecting Online Education"

Digital Delights “Connecting Online Education” is an ongoing collection of resources on new media and online education – everything from blog posts to slide presentations to podcasts to journal articles – curated by Ana Cristina Pratas. I <3 this site! Sometimes she includes her interviews with notables in the field, but she is not the creator/author of most of the items found here. Anyone can suggest an item for her consideration. Cristina Sky Box is the site of Ana Cristina’s regular blog. Along with her posts, Ana includes a wide variety of resources for education. From reviews of ed tech tools to sites for teachers to organized support resources for the virtual classroom.

The major difference that I see between these two blogs is that while Stephen includes outside resources in the OLDaily, his blog seems to primary serve as an access port for his own work. Now, in his defense, Mr. Downes is a prolific speaker and writer in addition to being a change agent and innovator of online learning pedagogy. Ana’s blog, on the other hand, seems to serve as a library of teacher and teaching resources.

Unlike Stephen’s mostly text review of the day’s highlights (above left), Ana uses graphics, photos, and titles to represent each resource entry (above right). I find it much easier to filter content quickly and select those items of greatest interest to me when it is presented this way.

Blogs and blogging as a professional are obviously different from the blogs and blogging of students. Professionals use their blogs to create and maintain an online presence; to store their work in order to make it available for open access; to share and collaborate with colleagues across disciplines; and to contribute to the existing body of knowledge. It makes sense that professionals would demonstrate a greater level of experience in both their writing and their presentation in addition to a larger quantity of quality content. They have been working at it much longer! ;-)

2 responses to “A Comparison of Blogs & Blogging

  1. I appreciate your compliment, John. Reading a few different blogs and seeing the variety of presentations and writing styles is a great way to find your starting point. I have often said that my writing is a bit of a hatchet job, especially when I compare it to what an eloquent writer like Beth produces. Fortunately, I think blogging is less about being a great writer and more about being an active participant in life. For the sake of any person that reads my blog, I hope that is not too far from the truth. :-)

    I had such great plans for this post, but things didn’t quite work out like I had hoped. Still, I learned some unexpected and valuable lessons like length is an important consideration for both the author and the reader. Try to stuff too much into a single post – especially with images – and you may get chaos instead of clean and organized. Better to write about a single idea or topic and post more frequently, than to try and cover too much in any single post.

    I think I’ll have to come back to this tomorrow and post the summary on blogging pedagogy that I had initially hoped to work into the same post. I have been at this for about eight hours now and I need to come back to it with a fresh perspective tomorrow!

  2. Your latest blog is a confirmation on why I chose you as a “favorite”. One of my objectives is to learn about blogging as I ponder implementing a blog to discuss my industry. Your statement that it is never too early to start is so true. I am the tourist dipping my toes in the ocean rather than taking the plunge. I remember my early days on a political discussion board and cringe when I think of those initial posts. Today, my political posts are presentable and I am confident when I comment on a thread. That would not have transpired had I not started and “matured with time and experience”. Thus, after months of wavering I have decided to take the plunge and begin an additional blog. Your second comment is also appropriate to my blogging. Even though I am not in a classroom, I desire my audience to learn. I will take classroom methods or learning tools and implement those in my blog.