Weblogs as a Personal Knowledge Publishing Tool for Scholars and Practitioners: Introduction

Weblogs as a Personal Knowledge Publishing Tool for Scholars and Practitioners

Sebastian Paquet's definition from Personal knowledge publishing and its uses in research (2002):

Personal knowledge publishing quite simply consists in an activity where a knowledge worker or researcher makes his observations, ideas, insights, interrogations, and reactions to others' writing publicly in the form of a weblog. ” (2002).

Weblogs as a Personal Knowledge Publishing Tool for Scholars and Practitioners

Weblogs as a Personal Knowledge Publishing Tool for Scholars and Practitioners

A Presentation at the Conference for College Composition and Communication,
San Antonio, 26 March 04

By Charles Lowe

Moving to the Public: Weblogs in the Writing Classroom

Terra Williams and I just completed a final draft submission for Into the Blogosphere (hopefully, they will like it). Excerpt follows:

However, to use blogs merely as a tool for private journaling is to privilege our understanding of journals as private writing spaces without considering the benefits of weblogs as public writing. Whether as researchers investigating a topic, pundits championing a cause, or expressivist writers exploring their feelings about themselves and others, students can also easily share a journal, not just with a teacher, another class member, or the entire class, but potentially with any interested reader on the Internet.


The Devil Is in the Details


The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School has a detailed report on the effect that blogging had on Trent Lott, "Big Media" Meets the "Bloggers": Coverage of Trent Lott's Remarks at Strom Thurmond's Birthday Party. But I'm not writing to comment on the quality of the article, although Dowbrigade News reports that is an insightful read, but rather in relation to another point given at Dowbrigade:

The weird thing is the extent to which the authors have gone to make sure this milestone article in the academic history of the Blogosphere is unbloggable. Excerpts or selections of the text cannot be saved, or copied and pasted. The document cannot be converted to another format or saved as anything else. The words "Not to be Copied" in 92-point faded-shit brown watermark letters are splayed diagonally across each and every page.

Well, on my screen, it's "Do Not Copy" in medium grey splattered across every page. What doesn't make sense to me is that if it's free to download, why worry about people making copies, especially since it comes from an academic institution?

What I think we are seeing here is what will soon be a trend thanks to DRM: that people will enact authorial privileges, often at the expense of making fair use of a text, simply because they can. That through repeated exposure to and opportunity of using DRM, the ubiquitous use will establish its acceptability.

Link courtesy of The Importance of

Weblogs as Learning Environments

Scott Leslie of EdTechPost emailed me about Derek Morrison of Auricle who is looking at the weblog as the model for a new type of virtual learning environment. Morrison states that he's "not going to put them forward (yet) as full-blown Learning Management Systems."

Why not? Many of the full blown content management/weblog systems--such as Drupal--mainly only need some teacherly administrative tools to be comparably "full-blown" from a teacher's perspective. Add in a testing and grading module, and a good CMS can generally serve the same purposes as Blackboard and Web CT. In my experience, however, Derek is right about the scaling. Implementing and managing 1000 Drupal sites might be a little difficult, although Adrian's installation system will go a long ways toward building the necessary functionality into Drupal for setting up multiple sites simultaneously.

Web Journals? Could Be Blogging . . .

In looking through Barber and Grigar's New Worlds, New Words: Exploring Pathways for Writing about and in Electronic Environments (2001), I discovered that Nick Carbone, "Diving into the Text: Rediscovering the Myths of Our Books," deserves significant note for his advocation of public web journals in composition. Carbone never mentions blogging and is speaking about journals along the lines of academic journal publications reconceived for the web and the classroom. But Carbone was writing this before blogging became mainstream and does caution that "it is also important that these journals do not become mere imitators of print journals. . . . a Web journal should also take advantage of the unique way the web can create, shape, share, and store writing" (240).