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What’s going on in there? How do bloggers react, respond and coalesce?
Anjewierden, A. (2006) Understanding Weblog Communities Through Digital Traces: A Framework, a Tool and an Example.
My own interest was sparked by an article in the Washington Post on Ellen Levy who had spent 1998 keeping a journal and putting it online.
Druckerman, P (1999) Ellen Levy Has Got The Write Project For the Internet Age — It’s a Year of Scribbling Down Almost Everything; Ah, Yes, It Was a Raisin Bagel
This ‘user generated content’ has value to its author and the community that reads it. This is a key outcome of open, collaborative and connected learning, where the blogger is a ‘produser’.
Efimova, Lilia (2008) Bloggers and ‘produsers’
Having blogged consistently since this period it is interesting to understand that as it encroached upon student and academic practice, as it was impinging on journalism, that it was considered disruptive.
Fiedler, S. (2004) Introducing disruptive technologies for learning: Personal Webpublishing and Weblogs, Part I
While my passion felt like a niche practice it has been of value to see blogging recognised.
Kaiser, S. (2007) Weblog-technology as a trigger to elicit passion for knowledge
Why MAODE students blog (Kerewella et al, 2009) depends on their perceptions of, and for:
- an audience
- the utility of and need for comments
- presentational style of the blog content
- overarching factors related to the technological context
- the pedagogical context of the course
Kerawalla, L, Minocha, S, Kirkup, G, & Conole, G (2009) An empirically grounded framework to guide blogging in higher education
Knowing the practice to be of value personally as part of a number of specialist groups made research on blogs as wikis, Sauer (2005) or as e-portfolios of interest.
Sauer, Igor M. (2005) “ Blogs” and“ Wikis” Are Valuable Software Tools for Communication Within Research Groups
As Smolkin (2007) points out it is about creating or finding and then sharing your niche – in this case the niche being personal stories of participants, witnesses and combatants in the First World War.
Smolkin, Rachel (2007) Finding a Niche. (cover story)
This is a key outcome of open, collaborative and connected learning, where the blogger is a ‘produser’. Efimova (2008) It has taken over a decade, but blogging is now considered to be a valid, scholarly activity. Weller (2012).
Weller, Martin (2012) The virtues of blogging as scholarly activity
Bishop, D. (2013) ‘Blogging as post-publication peer review: reasonable or unfair?’ LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog. 21 March.
impactofsocialsciences/ 2013/ 04/ 15/ blogging-as-post-publication-peer-review-reasonable-or-unfair/
‘As with writing, blogging is not simply formulating in words an idea already developed in one’s mind. It is also about connecting, developing and redefining half-baked ideas. When writing, I often go through the weblog archives to explore connections with what is already there. Reading and rereading what I wrote before shapes and changes what I’m about to write: I often find something unexpected or see patterns only in retrospect’.Efimova (2009. p 70)
Fig. 1. Dr Lilia Efimova – her Phd thesis is on blogging to support knowledge management in the workplace.
- Somewhere to “park” emerging insights until the moment they are needed. Efimova (2009. p 75)
- Doesn’t require much effort
- Somewhere to park ideas
- Reading and engaging with others to become aware of issues and themes
- Topics accumulate and connections grew and things become clearer.
- A set of sense-making practices
- “Everyday grounded theory” Efimova (2009. p. 75)
- Connecting multiple fragments
- Getting into the writing flow
- Strengthened by readers’ feedback
- A channel for distribution
- Publication additional motivation to document emergent ideas
- A legitimate place to share thinking in progress
- -ve when the need is to be extremely selective and focused. Efimova (2009. p. 80)
- To collect in one place the fragmented bits relevant to my thinking Efimova (2009. 3.5.4)
- Clusters of conversations
- Conversations unfolding
- A personal space and a community space simultaneously.
- A personal narrative used to articulate and to organise one’s own thinking. (conversation with self. p 90?) around 4.3
- An example of hypertext conversation. Efimova (2009. p. 129)
- Weblogs provide a space that helps both to develop one’s own point of view and discuss it with others.
- Bloggers present their ideas to the world, readers learn from them. Efimova (2009. p. getting things done. staying in touch)
- low-threshold creation of entries
- a flexible and personally meaningful way to organise and maintain them
- opportunities to retrieve, reuse and analyse blog content
- opportunities to engage with others.
- fitted in while working on something else
- providing a way to keep abreast of others ideas
- capturing ones’ own emergent insights
- clarifying matters for a public
- over time ideas on a topic accumulate and connections between them become clearer.
- feedback from readers turns blogging into a sense-making practice
- eventually an ideas is ‘ripe’ and ready to become part of a specific task.
Efimova (2008. p. 208)
Autoenthnography Or, how to write something of substance.
From Richardson (2000) via Lilia Efimova (2009. p. 39)
I’ve taken the view, with a lifetime of keeping a diary and 14 years blogging that I write whatever comes to mind as I put pen to paper or fingertips to the keyboard. There is a better way:
Does this piece contribute to our understand of social life? Does the writer demonstrate a deeply grounded (if embedded) human world understanding and perspective?
Does this piece succeed aesthetically? Does the use of creative analytical practices open up the text, invite interpretive responses? Is the text artistically shaped, satisfying, complex, and not boring?
How did the author come to write this? How was the information gathered? Ethical issues? How has the author’s subjectivity been both a producer and a product of this text?
Is there an adequate self-awareness and self-exposure for the reader to make judgements about the point of view? Do authors hold themselves accountable to the stands of knowing and telling of the people they have studied?
Does this affect me? Emotionally? Intellectually? Generate new questions? Move me to write? Move me to try new research practices? Move me to actions?
Does this text embody a fleshed out sense of lived-experience? Does it seem “true” – a credible account of a cultural, social, or communal sense of the “real”?
Richardson, L. (2000). Evaluating ethnography. Qualitative Inquiry, 6 (2), 253-255
- In what way(s) will I be a knowledge worker in my field of interest in the future (aaronvbblog.wordpress.com)
- Blog Cases from 2005: Jack Vinson on Knowledge Management (billives.typepad.com)
- Mathemagenic blog networking study (billives.typepad.com)