For business and for pleasure. Who reads blogs anyway?

It occurred to me that I don’t actually read blogs “for pleasure”, which is a shame, as I often hear about interesting blogs from the media which I would love to read but somehow forget about in the whirlwind of everyday living.

Yes, I do explore some eLearning blogs but I only “lurk” and explore the resources. I rarely contribute. So, whether we read blogs for work or pleasure I thought I would conduct a simple poll in a 3 pronged attack! Firstly, it would be interesting to note if anyone even responds to it which would be an indicator as to how blogs can be used to “gather information”. Secondly, I wanted to “explore” this polldaddy thing-a-me-jig to see if it works and thirdly it is a useful exercise to find out whether it is just myself who isn’t a community blogger. How many of us actually do read them? With the accessibility of 3G phones I wonder if blogs are a more inviting prospect and therefore something that more people would get involved with in the future. I remember hearing about some fascinating blogs written during the Arab Spring but I knew I would never log on late at night after the daily grind of work, commute and family committments to enjoy reading them. However, now I have my phone with internet access what a joy to be able to read a blog on the train every day! I shall find a few!

In the meantime, tell me what your favourite blogs are?

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9 thoughts on “For business and for pleasure. Who reads blogs anyway?

  1. I read blogs everyday for business, and one or two for pleasure. I never go directly to the blogs though, I usually go via their updates on Twitter or Google Reader RSS feeds.
    Therefore I believe it is extremely important that you set up a blog to automatically update twitter or RSS AND you must get the first sentence right, as it is this that will draw the reader in.

    • Get the first sentence right? Just like a book. When we open a book for the first time, we read the first sentence and make a judgement then and there whether we can be bothered to continue reading it.
      I will keep this advice in mind when speaking to other tutors and learners when they start up their blog. The name of the blog itself is also crucial. I struggled with finding a blog name that didn’t cost me $17.00 so came up with this old hat!
      I do find RSS useful but a bit overwhelming. So much information coming into my TweetDeck (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn). Need to filter. Thanks so much for your comments.

  2. I’m kinda with you here on this one Beth. The thing that I find hard to manage is the constant bombardment of information. Twitter, I find particularly hard to cope with, and because of that, I often find myself shying away from eLearning blogs, as I just can’t assimilate any more information, or try out any more tools. Perhaps we just haven’t found the right blogs yet. Perhaps what our problem is, is discerning who is really worth following (blogs, twitter and other social media). Who has something genuine to say, and isn’t just using social media as a means of self promotion. I need to fine hone my filter mechanism.

      • Fantastic! I have seen his blog before and kept it in my favourites somewhere BUT….and there’s the problem.
        I will do as you suggest and put it on as a link.
        I have taken this quote from his blog and I hope it comes to fruition for us undertaking this MSc blogging activity.

        A ‘wisdom of the crowd’ emerges, as each individual member of the network applies his or her own personal expertise and tacit, specific knowledge to solve a generic problem (Surowiecki, 2009)
        Taken from Steve Wheeler’s blog at: http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.com/

    • I agree and perhaps that’s what we need to do on this course Andy. Find a blog we really like – for pleasure not for business. Have you seen the idea about being “freshly pressed”? I think it means that they are the best blogs on the block. I did try to read one yesterday using my new wordpress app on my new 3G phone but I still didn’t quite see the attraction. I guess, it’s all about “belonging” and “community”. Why do so many people follow Britney Spears and other (interesting??) celebs on Facebook?
      Also, taking differentiation into account, some learners just might not want to be contribute online. It just aint their thing! How would we, as tutors, engage the “silent ones”?

  3. Hi all,

    With comments like “constant bombardment of information” & “.. in my favourites somewhere” there seems to be a real feeling of information overload in relation to online information related to education technology. Is that too many blogs, too much information on Twitter and/or too many RSS feeds? In the real world there is way too much information on all kinds of things, yet we manage, as we have adopted our own tools/filters in order to deal with it.

    I think this module is an excellent way of assisting us explore the different electronic tools and filters which are available and can assist us with managing all this online information. Blogs themselves are a great way of passing on qualitative information to a community of readers, while social bookmarking sites, such as Diigo, are a good way of aiding collaboration as they enable highlighting and sharing, not only of the website address but also of information on the web page too. Similarly hashtags in Twitter act as a filter as they are used to highlight the focus of or intended audience of a tweet.

    To strike while the iron is hot, I have created a Diigo group where we can share all our recommended blogs, you can join at http://groups.Diigo.com/group/MScelearning its a closed group but you can invite anyone to join I’ll just need to okay their membership.

    If you haven’t used Diigo before you can find a useful guide here http://bit.ly/qVNtcH

    Paul

    • Paul, what a good idea! I have been thinking about exploring Diigo to replace my old Delicious account as there seems to be browser problems with Delicious. You have given me a great excuse to get started.

      I am beginning to think we should all bow down to your greater wisdom and perhaps a short presentation in class might be called for – although we never seem to get the time to showcase technologies any more. Diigo – here I come 🙂

      I still haven’t got my head around Twitter either although I do use it and can actually tweet from my phone. Perhaps I don’t use it because I honestly feel I don’t have much to say. It is a smorgasbord of excellent links though! I admit to being a “lurker”.

      • I’ve added you as a moderator on the Diigo group so you should also be able to approve members, which should speed up the process.

        I’d be more than happy to demonstrate any of the technologies people aren’t used to. As you will see from one of my older blog posts moodlemckean.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/the-world-of-twitter/ (which I have yet to start writing again since returning to work) I have not been a full blown user of Twitter for that long, just over 12 months. As you say it provides a “smorgasbord of excellent links”, however, depending on the number of people you follow these can become excessive and difficult to differentiate, which is where I use the hash tags as my filter.

        I note that I haven’t mentioned my own use of blogs. I regularly read blogs often reading 10 or more each day. Given my use of Twitter (@moodlemckean), I am directed to lots of journals/blogs/web articles every day from the tweets I read from members of my online community (Personal Learning Network – PLN). I use my own filtering systems, made up of the Twitter hash tags and my knowledge of my PLN to determine which links I follow. I then use my Diigo account (www.diigo.com/user/moodlemckean) to bookmark blogs/links which I want to save, while sharing the blog/journal articles I feel my followers would be interested in, adding pertinent hash tags to identify the subject matter to them.

        Paul

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