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Is this a blog?

(On blogging in the OU Student Blog)

I think not. You can keep it private, or share it with the OU community or the wider world, but you can’t personalise it.

Nor do you get to keep it afterwards.

Perhaps the OU should offer a blogging platform along the lines of EduBlog or WordPress and treat it as a worthwhile piece of PR, marketing and goodwill.

Afterall, why encourage people to blog for the first time and quickly lose them to another platform? So what is this? I don’t mean for this to sound derogatory, but dwelling on this through the night, as you do (it is 02.53).

I liken this to writing on a piece of loo roll.

OK, it lasts a little longer (two years) and can be re-ussed. Well, I won’t stretch that analogy any further. Scroll is the world I am looking for. Like a papyrus scroll from Egypt 4000 years ago. Slung up over a line for all to see (or not).

Not a blog though.

Few, if anyone, posts an entry every day, as you would in a journal. Even if you go down the private route, it doesn’t feel private, somewhere to disclose private thoughts, health, financial, family and political problems and views.

A learning journal?

Part of the e-portfolio package? For reflection. Yet again, if I am holding up a mirror to consider my experiences this public arena is surely NOT the place to do it? Somewhere to paste stuff that is over 500 words long … somewhere to link extended musings when you approach the 500 word mark in a Forum?

Some think 200 words in a Forum is about right.

So how many words for a blog entry? Blogging mates from a decade ago struck on 1,000 words per entry. We also ran with the idea that is must all spew forth in one go. So in some respects perhaps my lavatorial analogy was the correct one. I know exactly how you academics and intellectuals and non-obsessive journalers view this kind of thing.

How many characters in Twitter? I forget.

Perhaps the OU should set some parameters in forums and Blogs, as it does for assignments and limit us to 300 words in a forum entry and 600 here? Or not. Parameters serve a useful purpose. Give a sculptor a mountain and look what they do.

Give me an e-scroll and look what I do.

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