Update

Hi there tout la gang,

We don't have much to say about research in practice at the Café right now

but we are talking policy and practice over here now: Literacy Enquirers.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Are you a blogger?

In my work world at the AlphaPlus Centre right now, blogs and blogging are very current. The AlphaPlus web site will soon feature a blog and the staff is learning about blogging by checking out blog sites.

A blog (short for web log) is a web site presented in the form of an online journal. Blogs provide reflections or opinions usually on a particular topic. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, media and web pages related to its topic. Readers can leave and read comments in blogs which can create a sense of community.

A blogger is someone who maintains a weblog, or contributes to a blog as a guest or by posting a comment to a blog entry.

I first explored blogging by setting up a free personal blog at Blogger. I learned that I could set up a basic blog fairly easily, but without a topic to commit to, my blog had no future.

I recently discovered that literacy colleagues in Toronto have blogs like this one. Finding colleagues who are bloggers gave me the courage I needed to post my first blog comments in this blog! I feel connected and now I read this blog every day. And look, now I am posting as a guest blogger!!!

Wendell Dryden, a literacy instructor from St. John, New Brunswick has posted comments here and I discovered his blog called qualities – communities – literacies, part of an action-research project where he is learning about using and facilitating online learning and networking within the context of basic adult education.

Last week I found a blog by David Warlick from Raleigh, North Carolina calledLast week I found a blog by David Warlick from Raleigh, North Carolina called 2¢ Worth. His blog banner reads: “2¢ Worth of believing that learning about the world can be as exciting as the world really is.” That’s a blog I can get into!

Tracey and Tannis in Toronto. Wendell in New Brunswick. David in North Carolina. Blogs, I have happily discovered, are places where I can meet up with like-minded people around the world and learn and share in the process.

I am beginning to feel like a blogger - just a baby blogger taking baby steps. I feel that I am in good company and hope you will join us.

Are you a blogger? Do you have a blog journey story to tell? Add your comments and take that first blogging step!

Nancy Friday in Toronto (with a lot of help from Tracey - thanks!)

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy,

Thanks for the inspiration.

I'm starting to worry that I'm becoming a blog lurker (blurker?). I frequently read blogs, plan to respond and then become distracted by something. Or . . I start to respond to something, but realize I'm beginning to rant and stop myself.

So inspired by you, I thought I would break out of my rut and actually reply. Maybe, I'll even get myself a blogger account.

Here are a couple of blogging questions: Are there directories of blogs - or blog entries? (For example, a list of blogs about literacy). Would this be too restrictive - should blogging be more free ranging and not restricted to a "topic"?

Better go before I self censor too much.

Judi Snively

Wendell said...

Hi Nancy! Hi Judy!

There used to be a directory of Canadian blogs, but nothing has happened over there for a couple of years. NALD doesn't have a listing, yet (as far as I know). We could certainly ask for one: I think they'd just want to see that some adult-learning dedicated blogs exist. Or, maybe Literacies would like to serve as a kind of link-hub for blogs?

As for free range blogging, I can only give my opinion: running multiple blogs about multiple topics (e.g., literacy, sports, family news, medical breakthroughs, life on Mars... ) is more reader friendly than one bog with multiple topics.

There are also issues around professionalism: do I or don't I talk about parts of my work; do I or don't I talk about my home life? Whose views am I representing, to whom, and to what end?

As Nancy said, my blogging is part of my 'professional development' (even though I do it outside any workplace). I blog about blended learning, adult literacy, and about blogging, and try really hard to keep personal posts out of it. In fact, when (publicly) online, I pay Very close attention to the separation between professional and private.

Nancy said...

Heh Judi,

I like that word blurker! I'll be using that one for sure.

And heh Wendell,

Good questions about professionalim - finding the balance and comfort zone in terms of expressing yourself and engaging with an audience is one of the big balancing acts in life. And working in literacy for so long has for me put audience up front and centre when considering what to say where, how and if.

The message I wrote about blogging was taken from an article I wrote for a literacy newsletter in Toronto, an audience I know, hoping they will join this blog discussion.

When I started my own blog, I was lost because I didn't know who the audience was or who I wanted the audience to be.

I guess you just have to do it for yourself and see who out there is interested enough to join you.

Lots to think about for sure.

Nancy

Action Read Blog said...

Judi - you can search blogs just as you'd search websites using blogsearch.google.com. If you have a google account, you can even set up email alerts whenever someone writes a post containing your keywords (eg. "literacy research canada"). Sorry that I'm about 8 months late replying to your request.

On another note, please check out a blog moderated by learners and 1 staff facilitator at Action Read Community Literacy Centre in Guelph Ontario at actionread.blogspot.com . We just got started, and we're in the forming and storming phase so please excuse any strange posts!

-Kimm

Action Read Blog said...

Judi - you can search blogs just as you'd search websites using blogsearch.google.com. If you have a google account, you can even set up email alerts whenever someone writes a post containing your keywords (eg. "literacy research canada"). Sorry that I'm about 8 months late replying to your request.

On another note, please check out a blog moderated by learners and 1 staff facilitator at Action Read Community Literacy Centre in Guelph Ontario at actionread.blogspot.com . We just got started, and we're in the forming and storming phase so please excuse any strange posts!

-Kimm

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