In her blog post, What is the point of blogging? Mandy Froelich explains why she finds blogging to be valuable and worthwhile. After reading her post, are you convinced by her argument? Why or why not?
Froelich makes some valid points when describing to her viewers that blogging is a worthwhile endeavor for both herself and her personal learning network. I always thought you must be an expert in something to start a blog about it. Some of the points that Froelich touches on made me further my understanding as to why it is a good activity for professionals at any level. When she explains how blogging helped her to solidify her core beliefs, that drove home the importance of blogging for me. She explains how her thoughts in her head can be all over the place, and once she gets them down in writing it helps clarify her thoughts. I notice this as well for myself. I find myself coming up with ideas or thinking about future actions and if I don’t write them down, I tend to keep going back to them in my head. Writing these ideas help to organize my thoughts. I like that she said she refers back to her blog posts to help her clarify her core beliefs. Once they are written down and repeated in future posts, it gives the viewers, and the writer a firm understanding of what the blogger is passionate about and believes in.
I do think it is a good idea to have a theme for a blog. Writing about all different topics that have nothing in common with each other might cause confusion to the readers. She mentions a colleague that writes a blog about using technology in the classroom, and that she really admires her work. I think that since she picked a theme, it most likely will increase the amount of followers she gets. I think that having a theme that connects each post in some way would be beneficial. For this course our blog will all be related to new technology and how it can be incorporated into learning. Having this blog will give our classmates the opportunity to learn more about each other and our views on presented topics. Creating this environment for like minded professionals could present opportunities for collaboration or creation of new ideas. I know that I always enjoy reading how my fellow classmates interpret assignments and like to see how their ideas differ than my own. This gives me the chance to grow in my thinking and learning. Many of our classmates work in different fields, so seeing how they use technology in their own careers is very interesting. Teachers have a captive audience that is used to incorporating technology into the learning process. People working in the corporate world have the challenge of varying skill levels and knowledge among learners of technology. During this course we will all contribute to a blog on our course related topics and be able to analyse how each of us view things differently. This is just as Froelich explains that this activity will help us confirm our core beliefs. As professionals, having a firm understanding of what you believe in is essential for personal growth and development.
From one of our other readings, Clive Thompson also makes the case for the value of blogging. He, in part, argues that thinking in public accelerates idea dispersion, which facilitates the growth of knowledge. Which of these arguments do you find most compelling? Why?
In Thomson’s writing he talks about what social scientists call the audience effect. The audience effect is when the quality of someone’s writing improves when they know that an audience is going to read it. They also apply the theory to other events where an audience is present and how it can positively or negatively affect performance. In the examples, in referring to writing, improvement was shown when given the assumption that an audience would read their work. Thompson also explains the magnitude of going from an audience of one to an audience of ten. He said this jump has the most significant impact on the writer. After the numbers move past ten, it doesn’t have the same feeling as the first big jump in numbers. Once you see your audience starts growing this also puts your ideas and thoughts out in the open for anyone to read. Like minded people with similar interests could begin to follow your posts. Thompson makes the argument that thinking in public accelerates idea dispersion and I do agree. If you are following multiple blogs on similar subjects feeding off of ideas and possibly collaborating can increase production of new ideas. In Thompson’s writing he talks about how Ory Okolloh had a passion for writing and blogging about the political crisis and violence in Kenya. She gathered many followers who were also passionate about getting the word out there about the evolving crisis. She ultimately was approached to write a book on the topic. As her followers expanded, she attracted more and more people with similar interests who wanted to help improve communication and awareness of what was taking place. In one of Okolloh’s posts she theorized a tool that could help disseminate information to the community where violence was taking place using a virtual map. Her post caused two fellow followers Erik Hersman and David Kobia to respond and eventually collaborate on this idea. The team had created a groundbreaking tool that would allow users to report violence and pin it to a map of Kenya via text, email, or web. They named the tool Ushahidi, the Swahili word for “testimony.” It was almost like fate, with this team coming together to produce something so groundbreaking and impactful for society. This really sends the message that blogging could lead to amazing collaborations and achievements. Having ideas just sit in your head leaves no room for growth or expansion. I think the Thomson’s argument really solidifies the benefits of creating a blog over Froelich. Although Froelich has good points, Thompson gives examples of how blogging can be a catalyst for creativity, collaboration, and change.