To Blog or not to Blog

One of the challenges to blogging is my internal editor who claims that I need to ‘save-up’ until I have something really substantial to blog about. The sort of inner voice that says, “I’ll pull together a blog when I have more time . . . more information . . . have thought it through a bit more etc., etc.” However, I think blogging benefits from being considered a practice. You show up, you commit, you publish and some posts are great and others not so great and thats OK, because you are practicing! I had a blog-dialogue along these lines with fellow blogger and Australian¬†PLN scholar, Tanya Lau (btw Leo – my poem that she is alluding to can be found in the comments section here)

I like what Chris Lema has to say about blogging regularly.

Any writing benefits from consistent time and effort being paid to the craft.

About Maureen Crawford

I work as a researcher and educational consultant. My undergraduate degree is in industrial design so design thinking has long been part of my process - emergent connectivist learning resonates strongly with me.
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3 Responses to To Blog or not to Blog

  1. tanyalau says:

    Maureen – what’s this?! Another blog??! How many do you have now!? Do you prefer to keep different interests on separate blogs, or is this just experimenting with WordPress?
    Anyway, I’m glad you wrote about this, I have the same thoughts about blogging too. One of the things I have been thinking is blogging – or adapting – comments I write on other peoples’ blogs into blog posts – as was suggested by Helen Blunden in response to a comment I made on one of her posts recently http://activatelearning.com.au/2014/01/how-to-build-your-peer-learning-network-when-you-dont-have-time/#comment-375

    I think it’s a good idea – killing two birds…
    I find it a lot easier to comment on others’ blogs than to sit down and write my own posts – commenting is a form of writing right? I wonder what Chris Lema would say (thanks for the link btw!), I guess commenting doesn’t necessarily help you develop the discipline he is referring to, which I need to do – even just to make more effective use of time.

    • Yes, Tanya another blog! Why? Well, one of my grad courses requires that we create a WordPress blog. To be honest it did not take much to convince me. I have been wanting to become familiar with WordPress for a while. Harold Jarche is a big fan of WordPress and the whole philosophy of the group that run it. I think it is probably better to be a bit more independent of the whole G-sphere! So far I really like it. I think I am hooked. I am still thrashing through trying to figure out whether I should try to combine blogs or run several separate ones like I do now. (I am thinking of having one dedicated to my poetry)

      You hit the nail on the head regarding your insight into where your writing strength and passion lie! You are so talented at commenting, using your comments as a way of expressing yourself and assisting others by extending the thinking surrounding their post. Why not think of commenting as your art form and then challenge yourself to commenting with a certain frequency. It seems to me that would fit Chris Lema’s model.

      I was in one of Stephen Downes’ live sessions where he was very clear that commenting on other people’s curation was the most important and significant thing you could do in the realm of connectivism! Being a ‘commenter’ fits perfectly with Jarche’s PKM model of seek, sense-make & share.

      The only concern I have with a focus on commenting is that then so much of your material is dispersed across the Internet. Bruno & Helen had a discussion a while back regarding the idea of an app to harvest all one’s comments.

      • tanyalau says:

        Hey Maureen, yes, since using it I see some definite advantages of wordpress: namely lots of bloggers (and in particular it seems – writers) are on it – and they make it so easy to link out, comment and find other wordpress blogs (e.g. through the ‘like’ feature, notifications, pingbacks, ability to follow comments, blog reader, tagging, recommendations of similar blogs based on follows etc) – they have effectively created a network of blogs. I was surprised to see a number of ‘likes’ from completely random strangers on some of my posts when I first started using it – and realised they probably ‘found’ it because wordpress recommended it to them based on the tags I used – writing, blogging. I’ve noticed since that tags like ‘writing’ and ‘blogging’ are popular on wordpress – which indicate to me there are lots of writers and bloggers on wordpress who are interested in connecting with other writers and bloggers. It’s great to have that initial early support when you first start blogging too.

        Blogger has some pros too – namely I think the tight integration with G+, so if you’re on G+ a lot this could provide an advantage. But from what I have seen wordpress seems to offer more in terms of features (including as you mentioned design templates etc) – but I think the biggest pro of wordpress is connecting with the network of other wordpress blogs and bloggers – of which there are many! The other reason I chose wordpress over blogger as well was that most of their templates were mobile optimised. As a blog reader I find this essential, as I do often read blogs in transit. I’d seen some blogger (or perhaps blogspot?) blogs that were really not mobile friendly before to the extent I”d given up reading them on a mobile device altogether. Also wordpress have really thought about their UX design – it’s so easy to use.

        Anyway, that’s probably enough of a promo for wordpress ; ).

        In terms of separate blogs, I think that’s fine if it works for you; I’ve seen a few people with different ones – might just get a tad hard to keep track of though! Also you want people to be able to find your various blogs as well – and certainly as a reader I like to know if people have different blogs. I’ve seen people link out to their other blogs either via a page accessed through their menu or via their blogroll section.

        yeah re- commenting: it’d be great if someone created that comment collating app!

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