Blog Woes

I wasn’t going to say anything, but I think I should. One of the reasons why it is hard for me to consistently post on this blog is because of the comments, or lack thereof. We are all very busy, but when we do post, there isn’t much feed back for us to contend with. Maybe I, personally, am not writing anything worthwhile… I don’t know. Maybe I should spend more time creating better content. What I do know, however, is that this is the main reason that I have a hard time posting here. I think, though, that all of the readings that we’re doing allow for much response, no matter how drag the post may be.

On my personal blog, in which I post–for some reason–everyday, I get comments regularly but not religiously. These comments are usually the impetus for me to keep writing. It gives my writing a purpose (just like we’re trying to do with our students). Sometimes people are just too busy to comment; I definitely understand that. Maybe this is the problem with this blog. I know for a fact that we are all just intensely busy. I find it hard to locate the time to blog, let alone comment. I do think that this is a problem, a bit of hypocrisy–for me at least.

It seems that we are all just writing to fill a quota and not to create a learning community. Maybe we need to start writing about stuff that interests us more. Maybe, at times, this will be the readings, but I think that I, personally, will need to start referencing things outside of 541, expanding our learning community. We all could do this. I’m sure that this information can and will be useful too.

This is sort of a vent, and I will try to be conscious of this. I just wanted to write this post because I think that this is important for us to understand as we get ready to use a blog, or similar medium, in our classrooms. I would expect my students to try to respond a lot, and I would definitely want them to try to expand their learning community outside of my classroom. So, that’s what I will try to do here.

I’m not writing this to scorn becuase really I’m an integral part of the problem. I just figured that this was some interesting insight that I had, which, apparently, is a rare occurrence!  It also doesn’t help that I always blog the afternoon before class…

Ray H.

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10 Comments

Filed under Are You Interested?

10 responses to “Blog Woes

  1. sunyprof

    Ray, I wonder if the blog were completely voluntary if there would be more activity. Does its being “required” as part of participation grade influence posting? I doubt that’s the case with graduate students but it’s worth exploring.

    It is hard in a small class when only a few blog. I appreciate the sentiments you express here. KES

  2. rayhedrick

    I don’t think that its being required influences the posting. If it wasn’t required, then maybe no one would post… I don’t know. I think that this is just a matter of a group of overly-busy graduate students.

    I guess I was just trying to find a way to make it more interesting. I know I always find time, no matter my busy schedule, to contribute to things that I find appealing. This is something that we’ll have to do with our students, right?

  3. sunyprof

    I think there must be factors other than our all being busy. I’m sure we’ll be able to do more “research” as class members respond Ray. KES

  4. jillian24

    I found we did more discussing when individuals were asked to post. When facilitators posted first with questions, it seemed to give us a space to discuss each issue. Sometime along the way we each started making a new post to make our points.

  5. allison

    I agree with ray, I think the blog would be more interesting if we posted about things that catch our attention. It may be the readings or it may be something from outside of 541, but I think it was Donna who said tonight that sometimes the blog reads like a bunch of essays. Perhaps they aren’t a bunch of essays, but at times they certainly do read like required writing.

  6. rayhedrick

    I agree. I try to keep my posts short and separated into paragraphs. This way they become much easier on the eyes.

  7. sunyprof

    The last thing I would expect the blog to be is a bunch of essays (except for the reviewers’ work). I agree with Allison and Ray on that!

    I always expect there will be lots of blog talk after class discussion since so many points are raised that bear further consideration.

    I wish there were more sharing of resources and “discovery” on the blog–esp. on insights various readings produce or ways in which we’re continuing to imagine a classroom life. KES

  8. traverse02

    I find myself confused about the blog as well mainly because it seems to have just turned into a free-for-all instead of an organic extension of the class. These posts under ‘Blog Woes’ represent more of what a blog should be. And there are a few other posts with good responses and good dialog between the posters.

    I’m not sure if this is usually the case, but I think most blogs are usually divided up into subject areas, where the topics discussed fit into certain categories. As I look at this blog, I see a whole mess of information that is almost impossible to navigate through. This poses a problem for me because once I sit down to blog, I don’t even know where to begin and it becomes more of a task than it should be.

    I don’t know if I am wrong about any of this as I have had only one other blog and a blog on MySpace, but I can tell we’re definitely missing something.

  9. sunyprof

    Good points Raph. In a larger class I would be and have insisted on categories. With our small group, and with what I would construct as fairly light posting, I didn’t feel categories would make much difference. I originally hoped to have the reviewers and YA Lit pages be “categories” but I discovered that WordPress doesn’t offer that option.

    Even reading the blog every other day I find it easy to keep up with posts/comments.

    Generally the “front” page is new material and I find I can read and respond to all of the new posts in just a few minutes.

    Not sure where you’re getting “lost.” Our emphasis on critical reading with adolescents has been and continues to be the theme of the blog. Any experiences we have, resources we discover, or comments on discussion/readings we have fit into this broad category.

    Easy to establish a new category though. Anyone can do that on this blog as everyone is a full administrator at this site, not just a contributor. KES

  10. sofiapenna

    I’ve found all of these comments on Ray’s original post to be very interesting. While I do not agree that the blog has really become a free-for-all, I do understand Ray’s frustration with the lack of posts. I, for one, am guilty as charged. I can come up with a few reasons for this:
    1. I really cannot agree that blogging takes just a few minutes. I find myself spending an hour at a time on the blog, or more, whenever I log on. I really cannot skim a post and contribute a thoughtful answer in just a moment. After I have read two or three posts, followed their hot links and looked over that information, time has passed quickly! Perhaps that’s just my problem and others don’t experience this. But I definitely cannot read, follow links, and comment in just five minutes.
    2. We’ve had quite a bit to read in the class, and I try to make that my priority. I think at this point in the semester, many of us are feeling the usual crunch before winter break. Sometimes blogging has taken a back seat to the readings during the course of my week. Has anyone else experienced that?
    3. I also agree with Jillian that facilitators’ posts have given us specific questions to respond to, which create perfect opportunities to comment. Open-ended questions in blog prompts create the brainstorms that we need to have before commenting on posts.

    At the moment, these are my most honest answers to the blog woes issue. I’ll add more if something else should come to mind! Sofia

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