Great presenation Will.
Great presenation Will.
“Turn to Press for the official record, Blog for social context and Wiki for the public record.”
Every now and then I still get blown away by how people are using these technologies, and this is one of those times. Ross Mayfield posts about the difference between the media, blogs and wikis when it comes to covering world events, and he uses the recent Spain bombings as an example. Certainly, there were hundreds if not thousands of media reports on the bombings, and no doubt Weblogs had their share of coverage and insights. But when I took a look at the Wikipedia page that had been created for the event…well…see for yourself.
I’ve always had difficulty in understanding the usefulness of wikis, but I think I’m starting to get it. Funny thing is, I’ve always thought that it was too easy for people to just come in and muck things up. (My wife asked the same question when I showed her the Wikipedia post.) And sure enough, when I accessed the list of updates, someone had done just that, blown up the whole post. But about four minutes later, someone came in and restored it. Pretty cool.
Hard to imagine that you could get a more balanced view of what is happening when you have dozens if not hundreds of people editing and updating and fact checking along the way. There’s much more to think about here, obviously, but this is a great example of the power of collaborative media.
Kaye offers up some tips on making the most of blog posts:
Use a pull quote
Adam Polselli’s unique blockquote style for showing code labels it as such (scroll down to see)
Adrian Holovaty’s blockquote style for showing code highlights it & changes the font
Put quote marks around your blockquote content
Use a different font in your blockquote
Jay McCarthy puts a dotted line around his blockquotes
According to these suggestions, I’m doing a fairly good job. But the pull quote thing is very cool, something I’m going to have to experiment with.
UPDATE: Well, that was pretty easy…
A couple of other links to composition related blogging that add to the Weblogs for composition discussion. First, Charlie Lowe at Kairosnews has put up a presentation he’s doing at 4Cs next week titled “Weblogs as a Personal Knowledge Publishing Tool for Scholars and Practitioners.” Under the writing part, he lists:
Easy self-publishing tool available to anyone with Internet access. Enables publishing of snippets, less developed ideas, or drafts of works
A narrative of the development of a writer’s ideas and memes which can make the invention process more visible. Informal writing. Can be playful or conversational in tone. Foregrounds the intertextuality of writing. Invites/encourages peer response through comment postings on site and the posts of others on their weblogs. Favors a collaborative, social constructionist epistemology in which writing is less of a solitary act. As a journal which can receive feedback and response, can make keeping a
journal more engaging and encourages daily writing.
Does not have to be conceived of as additional work. Invites the writer to share texts that they are or should be writing already. Allows expression of the personal alongside academic interests. Can be used to provide an example of the teacher-as-writer to students.
The last is something that I think is extremely important but also one that I’ve struggled to have happen with teachers who implement Weblogs. And, it makes me wonder if I should have pointed my students to my own writing here (or elsewhere) a bit more. All in all, the presentation is a great resource and is among the best I’ve seen in terms of articulating the benefits of blogging.
The second comes via Peter Ford who is participating in a research project called Web Journals in Language Education which looks to be a two and a half year study into the effects of Weblogs in the classroom. Very cool. The expected outcomes:
To popularise web logs as a medium for collaborative language writing. To produce a publication discussing the theoretical rationale of the project, its realisation and outcomes, and cite examples of good collaborative writing practice. To publish an open-source language-independent content-management platform which is reusable and easily installed and configured even by someone with minimal technical expertise. To publish a corpus of writings created by students during the course of the project using the collaborative publishing platform.
The whole project looks really interesting and well put together. I just don’t know if I can wait until 2007 for the results!