[R.E.M. Green in the headphones.]
Yesterday, at lunch, Andy said this about my new blog (without having read it): “You probably want to avoid building a general blog. The day of the all-knowing pundit who trails off on this and that is passing. Themed blogs are probably more successful at attracting and keeping an audience.” Okay, so I didn’t keep notes, but he said something close to this.
And this: “You should add a subtitle explaining Earth Wide Moth.”
To wit, I’ve been thinking about genre and audience. I know, I know, others have thought about it more than me and many good folks at CCCC and C&W will complicate matters with their presentations on this subject. But it’s with me now because I’m devising this new blog—without an explicit plan.
The other blog, the one for EN106 this spring, is more clearly in-line with a purpose I can articulate: pedagogical utility. I understand its aims and ambitions. I know how it will be used to fray the boundaries of the course, to disarm the usual restrictions on space and time in f2f courses, and to get students to
write. Audience? Initially, that’s easy. Initially, it will be the students in the course and me, followed by something more, maybe.
I took time out this morning to read the rant of a blog-hating student at Indiana State. Mike posted the link at vitia.org. It’s not easy to understand why the ISU student is so angry about blogging. I’ve visited blogs that I didn’t find inviting or interesting, but it didn’t make me mad. It’s kind of like being invited to dinner in a house with brown shag carpeting…on the walls. As a guest, it’s not decorous to spout off about the host’s poor taste. Could be that the medium convolutes manners, as in shared senses of decency.
Gotta get to work. Course-prepping and other admin stuff. Ack!
[Thinking about the trackback feature.]
Got the second blog working. It was, as the interface told me, a permissions error. Once I reset the permissions to the second blog’s folder, it all came together swimmingly. The other blog will be used this spring for a freshman course on technology and writing centered on Neil Postman’s Technopoly. His doomsday-ish tome will send us on our ever-digitized way.
The course is described as a research writing course. I’ve taught it a time or two; even developed an online format for accelerated delivery in just eight weeks. So I’m comfortable with the pace and workload. Just eleven students have enrolled so far, and the new semester starts happening Monday.
I’m having lunch today with my friend and colleague Andy who does a fine job keeping rhetorica.net in masterful form. He promised (well, er, suggested) a brief MT tutorial. Maybe he knows how I can craft a new CSS for this blog. After all, this design is dreadful. We’re jetting along on content, kid.
Oh, and about content. I still don’t have a deliberate schema. The category feature imposes a kind of coherence to this space, and I already feel a deep, quiet wariness that I’m chasing abstraction and glossing conceptual at the expense of attracting any passing readers.
I’m still working out the features, scratching my head about how to do this and that. The time stamp on yesterday’s post was off, for example. Like this witchy-cold weather we’re having in the heartland, it’ll get better.
I’ve racked my brain for two hours now on the finer points of creating a second blog. This whole mess all started with an impulse to supplement the comp course I’m teaching this spring with a blog. Not this blog, but the other one I can’t seem to create. This whole project wasn’t die cast to be a simple, hosted-with-ease blog, but rather a full-fashioned blog of the earth, the sort that is the richest embodiment of the media.
Still, no second blog. Permissions error.
So maybe I need to get up to speed first. Blog for a while. Drive it around the block before tying on the speedometer, kickstand, extra soft banana seat…what’s that? Air in the tires? Oh, yes, I’ll need air on this tour.
I know blogging habits can survive in unimaginatively named spaces. I’ve been scratching, sifting, chewing around the Internet for a few months, perusing blogs, wondering what they’re all about, what compels people to attempt them, abandon them and so on.
Earth wide moth. -GS
So I’m puzzling over challenges of building a second MT-powered blog for a class I start teaching next Tuesday: EN106HOC Writing Purposes and Research. I’m puzzling over the aims and ambitions of this non-teaching blog (autodidactic experiment?). Puzzling over a new web host with funky permissions. Over my son who is puzzling over adding fractions and not asking for help. Challenges.
The dinner bell on the oven says the scalloped potatoes are done.