Saturday, March 25, 2006

Why aren't we all blogging?

Will's post here about people who choose not to blog or who don't get why we do this, and I had to think back to the presentation I made last week. The woman who was in charge of the technology portion of the program said that she sees blogging as a "lifestyle choice" that she isn't willing to make. She is young, a PhD, and very technologically inclined. But I think she is right: blogging is a choice that affects all the other aspects of your life to one degree or another. For me, it is all positive, but I can see that some might not see it that way.

I wonder if she and others don't see blogging as too "passive", to disconnected from life. This woman, for instance, compared blogging to her mother's need to leave a family gathering to journal about it. Of course, we who blog know that it is anything but passive or disconnected. But I wonder sometimes if people don't see it as the adult equivalent of playing video games -- an artificial online world that keeps us from socializing and being socialized in real time. I don;t know if it is possible to convince people of the value of blogging if they can't see it right off the bat.

Will also made me think about my classes. One of my students has really taken to posting on the class blog much more than his classmates have. This man is the one I would have least expected to embrace blogging, but he really has. I have seen him become much more involved in what we are doing on the blog than he ever seemed to be before we were blogging. He may not always do his other homework, but he always makes his blog posts. He checks the blog frequently to see if there are new questions for him to answer. I am not sure why this is so. But it has really made me think about how to capitalize on this interest that he has.

Will asks the question of whether or not "getting blogging" is really a generational thing. I don't think it is. But I am not sure what the difference is between those of us who blog and those who don't. Part of it may be that some of us are more comfortable with writing than others -- although I have seen my very non-writer husband take to blogging.

So why is it that some of us blog and others don't? Any thoughts?

And I guess I should also ask another question: Do we really want everyone to blog? Is that a desired outcome? If so, why?


stephen lazar said...

I'm not really sure why some blog and others don't, but I have been thinking about whether everyone should blog or not a bit - at least whether or not everyone should blog with their students. And I think it depends. Blogging is a time commitment. Is it worth it for all students to commit this time? I'm not so sure. Chris points to a post by Miguel Guhlin that raises a lot of interesting questions about whether new technology, given the cost and the time, is worth it if the same objectives can be accomplished with more traditional forms of technology (like pen and paper, for example). If we look at blogging is a tool, then it seems that it is only one of many tools that can accomplish the same objectives.

Matthias Melcher said...

I agree about "blogging as a "lifestyle choice"", but it's also a matter of cognitive styles. Among which the following ones seem most salient: preference for incrementally maturing thoughts and reflections vs. preference for completed, rounded artefacts. Perhaps connecting vs. integrating.

Charles Nelson said...

Asking why some blog and others don't is like asking why some play sports, like music, etc., and others don't. But I doubt that it's guided by cognitive styles or maturing, reflective preferences. Valerie Strauss ("Blackboard Blogging, Washington Post) mentions in today's paper reasons why educators blog. They're quite varied, and this is just for one group of people.

Brent said...

You moved me with your questions and your point of view. Thanks for opening this line of discussion up. I puzzle and think about this a lot. Blogging is a change in behaviour in the way we think and learn. I think for some, it happens instantaneously and others it evolves over some time.
all the best,
Brent MacKinnon