Thursday, 23 October 2008

Is blogging dead?

Well, mine has only been started a week and already people are talking about blogging (and all web 2.0) as being passe. I read in comments to this post ( about a medicine and web 2.0 course) that we are already moving on to web 3.0. Someone mentioned it to me in an email and 30 minutes ago my husband mentioned reading something about blogging being dead on the BBC. Well, I don't think it is yet. I think that is ways it's potential is only just starting. I'm also being asked more about Twitter, but I haven't really figured out microblogging yet. My Facebook status updates are going to Friendfeed and I have even joined Twine. Surely enough connection for one day and to ensure that I can keep up with things if blogging is dead.


  1. I'm pleased to see your blog- more work needs to be done to harness the technology in relevant ways.
    I recently started one to reach medical students who are studying away from campus and it has had quite a lift off.

    I'll be checking in to see how you are doing with it!

  2. Thank you MariAnn. I really like your blog and have learned a lot there since finding it!

  3. Hi Anne Marie.

    I don't think blogging is "dead". It may not be quite the latest "hip" thing to be doing, with Twitter, Facebook and Second Life seeming to vying for that status at the moment. But blogging still has its place and its uses, as does Twitter etc. It really does depend on what you are trying to achieve and matching that to the right technology for the job. We're currently looking at adding a Twitter-type (144 characters) interface into the eportfolio to encourage snap capture of thoughts and experiences during clinical placements that could then be reflected on at a later date.

    Like the blog btw.

    Nick Webb

  4. Thanks Nick. Do you know any good best practice guidelines for the use of blogs in education?
    I think the micro-blogging idea is interesting. I don't understand twitter tools yet but it sounds like a possibility!

  5. Best practice? Not sure of anything hard and fast, but Gilly Salmon's work on eModerating and eTivities are a good starting point.

    As with all educational activities I think there is a need to be clear on the purpose of the activity and make sure the students are clear on that. There is a need to be sympathetic and supportive of students as you introduce them to these tools, particularly in an educational context, and, depending on the activity, there may well be a need for the tutor(s) to be involved in a moderating capacity, particularly in the early stages.

    It may also be worth looking at community building approaches (Online Communities by Jenny Preece is a good starting point) because blogs are often seen as communities of authors and commentors, with discussion between both parties and often discussion between blogs. As such the need for the tutor to actively engage in these communities and provide comments on students' blogs is very ipmportant during the early stages of the community building in order to maintain or generate student motivation and enthusiasm.

    Of course, one of the key technologies behind the success of blogging is RSS, which allows new content to be pushed out to interested readers, rather than them having to keep checking for updates. Blackboard does support RSS in its blog tool, though this does then make blog content public (without the need to log into Blackboard), and unfortunately it appears Blackboard published the whole post to RSS, while some third party tools allow you to create a summary for each post for the purposes of RSS, which would allow content to be sanitised in the RSS feed.

    To use RSS you need and RSS feed reader - I personally rather like Google's Reader, but there are plenty of others. In fact, I think Internet Explorer 7 has a built-in RSS feed reader.


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