Via details of a global brain comes this post at Internet Time Blog categorizing weblogs into two distinct types: The Blog as Journal & The Blog as Reference Book. I like the reference description as a direction in which weblogs may evolve and how Jay points out how this is a particular way of looking at what weblogs provide to readers in terms of knowledge making:
If my objective is to provide my current view on a variety of topics, including those I wrote about last year, I'll be going back in to change items that have become dated, to supplement old entries with new insight, and to correct errors when I find them. Otherwise, readers might confuse obsolete opinions that what my current take on things.
I find this interesting because it changes the use of a weblog from a narrative which grows at the end of a static text to one which is more dynamic and can evolve within itself over time, always subject to revision. Revising earlier blog posts or updating them by appending new content--as long as a revision notice is included--certainly could expand the way that we conceive a weblog as a growing text. In this sense, the weblog can be more wiki-like.
This past 4C's, there were a lot of events to related to blogging, among which was the special interest group event, â€œCalling All Bloggers: Academic Bloggers Sharing Strategies and Resources.â€ At that meeting, attendees decided to create the CCCC Blogging SIG listserv (firstname.lastname@example.org): "a list of comp/rhet/lit folk devoted to exploring the personal and professional applications of weblogs and wikis in teaching, writing, and research." The list is currently being used to share our blogsites with each other, discuss possible panel presentations on blogging for 4C's 2005, and work out future goals for the SIG and the list. But we also hope to initiate many other conversations about blogging and share other resources. Everyone is invited to come participate in the existing conversations as well as to start their own.
Much like edubloggers have commented about other conferences, one of the most rewarding experiences of this year's 4C's was meeting other edubloggers in composition studies. Some F2F time only helps to build community among bloggers within the field.
In order to build a better community among bloggers in our field, I advocated the creation of a blog listserv. Jeff Ward of this Public Address agreed with me, although, I think, for some different reasons, as noted on his blog:
We debated whether to set up a blog or a listserv, and I argued staunchly for the listserv. The reason is one of signal to noiseâ€”mostly, the listserv is for arranging panels for next years conference with participants from geographically separated institutions, not for general blog discussion. Itâ€™s the â€œgated-communityâ€ aspect of listservs that helps keep conversations focused. Blogging always has an indeterminate audience, and this makes things wander. Often, thatâ€™s a good thing. Other times, it is not.
Tim Lindgren, a Composition and Rhetoric PhD candidate at Boston College, has implemented four Drupal sites which demonstrate a wide range of uses for Drupal in education:
- His personal academic website
- The Where Project: "An experiment in place-based blogging"
- First-Year Writing Seminar Faculty Resources site.
- A weblog for a First-Year Writing Seminar
Nice theme designs, too.
Many people agree that OS X or even Linux is a technically superior operating system, but it's still Windows with the lion's share of the market. Much like MT.
I suspect that he is right, too. When I first started blogging on Kairosnews, MT looked to be the best blog software available at the moment freely available for download (although MT is not open source). So it gained wide adoption early on. Today, I suspect that there are many open source alternatives which rarely get the same consideration as MT; most people just go with the flow. That being said, I would probably recommend MT or WordPress (mentioned by Boris) for the average blogger.
Anyway, Boris's post and the attached comments has some interesting discussion about some of the drawbacks of MT.
On Friday, March 26, at the Conference for College Composition and Communication in San Antonio, I'll be presenting on "Weblogs as a Personal Knowledge Publishing Tool for Scholars and Practitioners." The presentation is largely built on my experience and observations about other weblogs, Seb Paquet's initial article on the subject, and some ideas from Torill Mortensen and Jill Walker's Blogging thoughts: personal publication as an online research tool.
Rather than using power point, I've put a version up online which I will continue to revise over the next few days. We'll have Internet access during the presentation, so I'll be working directly from the text as displayed. I also think that this presentation will be an introduction for many considering using weblogs for the first time, so I would welcome any feedback so as to make this a good experience for all. Feel free to register and post comments.
Besides, for a presentation on personal knowledge publishing, I ought to eat my own dog food. ;)