This Blog in '08

Wednesday, January 02, 2008 | 4 comments »

Okay, now that 2008 has begun, I've decided to take a look at this blog and try to figure out the direction it's going to go. When I started the blog, I picked the title Teaching, Technology, the Library, and Other Stuff. My intention was to write about all of those things and I think I have done that. In addition, I wanted to learn about blogging so I could use it with my students. From writing about what's going on at school - frustrations and excitements to projects my students are working on to my son's eBay adventures to things I've learned about Web 2.0 stuff, this blog has covered a lot of topics. I wonder if this is a problem. Are people looking for certain topics when they visit a blog? Are they disappointed when they visit a site and don't get something they're looking for?

I'm blogging for the conversations and the communication. I feel I have a couple of consistent readers who comment more than others - thanks Rookie Teacher, Mrs. Whatsit, and Happy Chyck. I know there are others that I missed (sorry) - please comment and tell me you're reading. I really value the comments. I guess it validates the blogging for me. I visit my site to see if I have comments and I'm happy when I do and a little bummed when I don't. If I'm writing and no one is reading, should I continue? I have so far, but sometimes I have my doubts.

I read a lot of blogs. I'm doing more professional reading now than I ever have, although some would argue that reading blogs may not be as professional as reading a book. After about 9 months of doing this, I've realized there is a ton good stuff out there, but you already know that. I have my favorites and am finding more by the day. If it wasn't for Bloglines and Google Reader, I'd be lost. I use Bloglines for education related blogs, library related blogs, and other blogs where people express their thoughts. I follow 32 blogs here. Some post almost daily, others not so often. I use Google Reader for Ed. Tech blogs. Most of the blogs I follow there are more serious. I follow 22 blogs here. Rather than blog about a frustrating administrator or student, some focus on a conference they spoke at or attended. Much of the discussion is about Web 2.0 and where it's headed. Some of the discussion is way above my head. Perhaps I'll be ready for more of it some day, but not yet. Is 54 blogs too many to follow? I do know that I'm way behind on my reading. I'm wondering how many other blogs people follow? Please share your answer to this. In addition, one of the problems (althought it's not really a problem) I'm finding with the more serious blogs, is that I read about great Ed. Tech ideas and want to jump right in and do some of those things myself. However, for a number of reasons, I can't. To me, it's frustrating reading about the great stuff teachers are doing and not having the means to replicate the idea myself.

So what should I do with this blog? I'm leaning on continuing doing what I've been doing - blog about whatever I feel like, mostly related to education. However, if anyone has any suggestions, I'm willing to listen.

As far as this blog goes, here are some things I hope for:

I hope to write decent stuff
I hope someone tags me with a silly meme
I hope regular readers visit often
I hope readers comment
I hope to read great blogs
I hope to comment a lot
I hope to create meaningful conversations
I hope to gain friends and colleagues
I hope to learn

If you can help me with this, I would appreciate it.

4 comments

  1. HappyChyck // January 2, 2008 at 2:42 PM  

    For crying out loud! I didn't know you hadn't done the
    7 Things Meme or I would have tagged you. Go to my blog, and you'll see you've been indirectly invited. Memes are fun, but by the time I get them, the people I think who would participate already have!

    I subscribe to about 140 blogs, and that is waaaaaay to many to keep track of. I lurk on a lot of blogs because I'm interested in the information, but I do not have anything to contribute to the topic. Oh yes! Some of it is totally above my head, too, but I try to keep an ear out for when my district decides to get with online learning with other progressives!

    I am by no means an expert in management, but I noticed that you use more than one feeder. I use only Bloglines, but I do sort different types of blogs that I read into different folders. In Bloglines you can make your account private or public, as well as specific feeds that you subscribe to, and you can post different feed lists to your blog. I subscribe to some personal finance blogs, but they are in a different folder than the education blogs, so I don't post them on my blog. I know many people do use more than one feed service, but I don't understand why, other than to try to figure out which one they like best.

    If I used more than one feeder service, it would just confuse me even more. Using so many online services just about does me in sometimes. So many places and passwords to remember...(I do try to keep user names and passwords consistent, but it's not always my choice why is used.)

    I agree with you that I do more professional reading more than I ever have--and it's basically free! Ongoing professional development is a pretty big deal at my school, but I am unable take courses right now. I told my administrator this and told her about the educational blogs and sites I frequently visit, It seemed to be acceptable enough to her that she included it on my evaluation! Do you feel like the blogs you follow are written by professionals? What separates them from the professionals who have published books? I certainly don't think it is experience or knowledge! In terms of using technology in the classroom, have you seen books with as up-to-date information as you read in blogs?

    Your journey in using technology in education is interesting. Keep reflecting and making choices to go down one road over another. It's all a journey!

  2. Pissed Off // January 3, 2008 at 7:55 PM  

    Sorry I don't ocmment more often, but I do read everything you write.

    Although my subject area and students are quite different than yours, I enjoy what I read here.

    Blogging is a great way to get by. The blogging community really helped when my mom was dying and it helps me validate my everyday complaints.

    I'll try to comment more often.

  3. Joel // January 5, 2008 at 9:10 PM  

    If you are blogging just to have your stuff read by others, than it's the wrong motivation.

    Sure we as teachers love to know that we are actually reaching people but you know as well as I do that most of the questions students have go unasked and unanswered. If they're not commenting, it's okay.

    I have been getting quite a few comments lately, but that's because my blog has been around for over 6 months. I didn't begin receiving many until October or so. Even then, when I ask people to comment, they usually don't. It's when I just write what I write and lay it out there that I get the most feedback.

    Try focusing more. I primarily have found that classroom management, personal effectiveness, and organization have been some of my best subjects. So I try to stick with those.

    This year, I plan to venture out and actually write about what I do best in the teaching world. So expect to see one or two music education articles each month. We'll see how many people that chases off. ;)

  4. IMC Guy // January 7, 2008 at 7:26 PM  

    Happy - I started using 2 readers to see which one I liked better. I also keep track of different kinds of blogs on each reader.

    Pissed - Thanks - I don't expect a comment for every post. I certainly know how hard that can be.

    Joel - I appreciate your thoughts.

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