A recent query on the WPA-list (hey, anybody can sign up…they didn’t ask
for credentials) reminded me that weblogs aren’t yet a
widespread or widely embraced phenom in teaching composition or other disciplines. I forget
that blogs are new-ish, that their potential for writing across the curriculum,
for bridging academic spaces and the public sphere, for expanding access and
interaction are still becoming, out there ahead of us more so than behind us.
At the same time, frustrations, abandonments and malevolent mischaracterizations
of weblogs, such as
“Why your MT blog must die” by J.J. over on
kuro5hin.org early this
week, prove a counter tide (undertow?), a critical, if sometimes uncareful,
acknowledgement of a few problematic sides to the proliferation of sites much
like this one. But I don’t want to give J.J. too much credit; instead, I want
to suggest weblogs will continue their ever-widening service of
important, fascinating functions for education, information systems,
entertainment and tech-socialization.
That said, it’s time to share the link for the weblog we’re spinning in EN106
this semester: link.
We’re approximately two weeks into compulsory posts. I’ve been talking
about refinement in asynchronous writing because there are a few IMisms–the
usual informalities in synchronous comm environs. Since this takes our
students’ writing and, inevitably, our teaching fully into view for the tech-using public, I can
imagine potential consequences, cases of quiet disaproval, as in “Did you see what DM is
encouraging/saying/allowing in that weblog?” *pinching nose* But that’s part of
the process; it comes along with most forms of critical contact. I’m
pushing against my compulsions for blogotopia (you think J.J. would like that
clunky term?), and I prefer opportunities for wide-open exchange and attention
from those who have better ideas about how to make all of this work, over the
alternatives of insularity, internal monologue, or disinterested silence. Suggestions and “what ifs,” in other words, are always welcome.