Tuesday, October 30, 2007

So what is a blog anyway?

In the last two weeks, we've begun to use individual blogs in this class. It started with my class blog - the actual site you are reading this on - where I wrote something and asked you to leave a comment about it. It has now moved to each of you creating your own blog. For the rest of this semester, you will be maintaining the blog.

That leads me to my next point. If we are now going to do more of our writing online, using a blog, then what is it that we should know about this communication form? Writing a blog is fundamentally different than any other kind of writing you've probably been asked to do in school. One teacher in Colorado explains blogging this way: "The value of blogging, as I've come to learn, is in the way that it requires that I interact with source material, either another blogger or any other text that I can find to quote and think about. That interaction with sources is what I think is so, so, so essential in the education of students." He's right. A blog can be a strong educational tool, and I hope you come to realize that, too.

But what exactly is a blog anyway?

One plase to start is the place that provided the technology for you to create a free blog - Blogger. They have a definition here. A little closer to home, a student who used a blog for class writing assignments weighs in on the blogging process. And finally, eBizMBA.com has ranked the most popular blogs in the world. Check a few of them out.
What are the unique characteristics of a blog that make it different from other forms of writing or communication? One blog you might be familiar with is this one, which I've used to communicate to you as part of class. Take a closer look at this posting, for example. What do you notice? Write a blog posting of your own that addresses this topic.

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