Saturday, February 7, 2004
Why Your Blogotopia Must Flourish
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.Posted by Derek Mueller at February 7, 2004 4:02 PM to Dry Ogre Chalking