Replied Writing to connect: knowing the “other” outside time & space (Reflecting Allowed)
Writing across each other’s blogs, I love how in some MOOCs, when people are focused on the same topic, one writes a post connecting ideas from multiple other posts, taking the ideas further, grabbing comments from elsewhere, and making something new, then recycling the ideas again. It’s a kind of “distributed” collaborative writing.
This is an intriguing reflection Maha. I like your points about writing across blogs, as well as connecting beyond ourselves. The one question I was left wondering is whether you would right the same post now? I too have written myself about the benefits of connected education. With both posts written a few years ago, I wonder if anything has changed? Would you still have the same outlook?
Bookmarked Different Approaches To Using Student Blogs And Digital Portfolios by Kathleen Morris (The Edublogger)
I have observed differences in how student blogs work in a variety of areas. There appears to be a spectrum in at least six key areas
Kathleen Morris provides a series of steps to follow when setting up blogs in the classroom. She also created a graphic to capture this:

Having said this, she is also mindful that every school has its own context and exists at a different point on the continuum of six aspects: duration, privacy, content, reflection, quality and control.

Bookmarked Managing Classroom and Student Blogs (freetech4teachers.com)
One of the questions that I am frequently asked about blogging and have included in my webinar on the topic is “do you recommend that I have just one blog or should all of my students have their own blogs?” There is not a clear cut answer to this question because the answer depends upon how you envision using blogs in your teaching practice.
Richard Byrnes reflects on his experience of blogging in the classroom. He addresses the question whether to have a single blog or several blogs, basically it depends on how you intend on using them:

If your use of blogging is going to be limited to just distributing information about your class(es) to students and their parents, one blog is all that you need. Even if you teach multiple courses, one blog is sufficient if you’re only using it to distribute information. Simply label each new blog post with the name or section of the course for whom the information is intended. From a management standpoint it is far easier to label each blog post on one blog than it is to maintain a different blog for each course that you teach. That is a lesson that took me one semester to learn.

In regards to students, for a single class Byrnes recommends a group approach:

The solution that I recommend is to create a group blog for each class that you teach. Create the blog using whichever platform you like then make each student an author on the blog. To track who wrote what on the blog make sure that the author’s name (first names only or use pen names with young students). Alternatively, you can have students label or tag posts with their names or pen names to sort out who wrote what. As the creator and owner of the group blog you will be able to see who wrote what from your administrative panel, but that doesn’t help parents who want to check the blog to see what their children have been sharing.

While if you have 25+ students in a class then use something like Feedly to manage blogs. My question about this approach is that it assumes that the blogs are private. If you use Campus Press (Global2) then there are other built-in options.

Although I have blogged about my own experiences and Kathleen Morris wrote an extensive post capturing an array of possibilities, I think that it is always useful to stop and consider other perspectives.

Replied Using Flickr to embed images (Meredith Fierro)
I stumbled across this solution when I was quickly reaching my storage quota for my website during ds106. I needed a way to upload all the images I created and didn’t have enough room on my website. So I thought I would show you all how simple it is to embed the images in posts and pages.
I have used Flickr for embedding images for a while. One challenge I have had is with featured images. I used to use a plugin that made the first embedded image the feature, but it stopped working, so now I manually upload. Not sure if you any thoughts for that?

My other concern is what might happen if Flickr were to flop or be sold off? What would happen in that situation?

Replied Not Dead, Just Hibernating (colinwalker.blog)
Maybe it's just because I have put myself in a particular position - with micro.blog and the Indieweb movement - but I see a thriving community of individuals, bloggers, looking to retake control of their online presence.Adam described the interview as "hard going" and on my first read though I only got as far as the following quote about talking to a high school class: "When they ask...
I wasn’t there in the halycon days and only really started blogging after blogging supposedly died, but I like your point Colin about hibernation. I POSSE now, but I imagine a movement where people use their blogs to connect and communicate with other blogs.
Replied I relished Om Malik's post by Colin WalkerColin Walker (colinwalker.blog)
Having blogs as places to think out loud we can pool our resources. By following blogs we outsource the gathering of these snippets and they are buffered for easier perusal in the outboard memories of others, ready to be raided at our leisure. But, in doing so, we should not forget our own, not forget to load up our memories from time to time to keep at least some of them fresh that we may be inspired.
Nice reflection Colin. I find it interesting the way that focuses and intents associated with blogging develop and evolve over time. Although I do sometimes go back to my Twitter feed to find past conversations, I agree with you that it is a bit of dumping spot. For a long time my habit has been to save links to Diigo and shared on Twitter. Is Diigo my ‘Commonplace Book’?

Bringing my processes in house and then POSSEing has actually made me a lot more mindful

  • A. of what I share
  • B. the notes, quotes and tags associated with this

It has also led to a lot more internal linking. I think that this practice is a continuation of what I started with my Wikity and curated newsletter. I think that the challenge is to continually “apply what you learn“. In the end, I wonder if an element of blogging is located in the present. As Clive Thompson suggests:

Having an audience can clarify thinking. It’s easy to win an argument inside your head. But when you face a real audience, you have to be truly convincing.(wired)

Replied Find a Doorway That Fits Us Both by Tom Barrett (The Curious Creative)
As King suggests the first line is an invitation. As a teacher this might be the first interaction in a school day, or the opening activity of a period of learning. Crucial moments to draw learners in and engage their curiosity.
I think that this counts for blogs as well. With the statistics suggesting that people rarely read beyond the first few lines, it is important to make it count. For the last year I have been starting each post with an ‘excerpt’ that hopefully helps readers know if it is of interest.
Replied 50 blog post ideas for educators (thecompellededucator.com)
Sometimes it can be tough to come up with ideas on what to blog about. As a regular blogger, I get asked the question alot... "What should/will I blog about?" Here's a list of 50 blog post ideas for educators.
This is a great list Jennifer. Along with ‘100+ Ideas and Prompts for Student Blogging’ from Ronnie Burt, Sue Waters and Kathleen Morris and ’10 Blog Post Ideas for your School Blog’ from Richard Byrne, they provide a useful place to start for those unsure where to start.
Bookmarked The True Power of Technology (pernillesripp.com)
the true power in technology is not just the readiness. The skills. The playing around with tools to create something impossible. It is the power to be seen. To not be alone. To feel that in the world, someone values you. That someone out there gets you.
A like your point Pernille. My only concern is that connections are not always guaranteed. As Bill Ferriter explains in regards to audience, connections are not a given, especially when we expect them to have certain comments. Here I am reminded of Clive Thompson’s argument about it being harder to write for ten than ten thousand:

Going from an audience of zero to an audience of ten is so big that it’s actually huger than going from ten people to a million.

Although connections are powerful, it is important to not over-hype the hoped for outcomes. All that we can do is create the conditions for comments. A point Kathleen Morris makes.

Replied Has the meaning of “blog post” changed? by Tom Barrett (The Curious Creative)
I would still say that a blog is primarily a space for a person to process their thinking and do the messy reflection Ferriter suggests. We might be inundated with the polished self-help style articles that panders to a dependent audience but that doesn’t stop every writer forging their own rationale for creating their own digital space.
Thank you Tom for taking the time to respond. I am well aware that blogging has changed and enjoyed your story shared on the Design and Play podcast.

There is one point in your post I wish to clarify:

Davis ponders on whether we should [still] be promoting blogging as a way to connect with an engaged community of thoughtful contributors.

I am not questioning the act of blogging or microblogging. My work associated with the #IndieWeb surely demonstrates that. Rather, I am concerned about the idea of modelling such an intense pattern of writing as means of introduction for those who maybe uninitiated. Just my opinion I guess.

The irony of it all is that I love your writing and always get so much out of it, so I guess I should be grateful for #28daysofwriting as well as your newsletter.

I am left with a thought, maybe the newsletter not micro engagement that has been the ‘death of blogging’? Anyway, enough for now.