Amy Gahran at Contentious is doing a series on different types of blog posts, and she’s broken it down into seven basic categories:

  • Link only
  • Link blurb
  • Brief remark
  • List
  • Short article
  • Long article
  • Series

    Brings back fond memories of the blogging discussion that ensued here last May, and made me start thinking about it again. I think the difference between the Amy’s list and mine is that she focuses pretty much on form where I focus more on the content. And I still think the content is the determiner as to what is and what isn’t blogging.

    That’s still what’s frustrating me about how I see teachers and students using Weblogs here. Few are actually “blogging.” It’s on my list to get with some of the English teachers and give them my pitch, the one that emphasizes the process and the benefits. At least we’re starting to see some research to carry along with us. And I mean, c’mon, just look at all these NJ Core Content Curriculum Standards blogging can satisfy:

  • Engage in the full writing process by writing daily and for sustained amounts of time.
  • Use the computer and word-processing software to compose, revise, edit, and publish a piece.
  • Critique published works for authenticity and credibility.
  • Write multi-paragraph, complex pieces across the curriculum using a variety of strategies to develop a central idea (e.g., cause-effect, problem/solution, hypothesis/results, rhetorical questions, parallelism).
  • Write a range of essays and expository pieces across the curriculum, such as persuasive, analytic, critique, or position paper.
  • Use primary and secondary sources to provide evidence, justification, or to extend a position, and cite sources, such as periodicals, interviews, discourse, and electronic media.
  • Foresee readers’ needs and develop interest through strategies such as using precise language, specific details, definitions, descriptions, examples, anecdotes, analogies, and humor as well as anticipating and countering concerns and arguments and advancing a position.
  • Use the responses of others to review content, organization, and usage for publication.
  • Employ the most effective writing formats and strategies for the purpose and audience.
  • Demonstrate personal style and voice effectively to support the purpose and engage the audience of a piece of writing.
  • Explore the central idea or theme of an informational reading and support analysis with details from the article and personal experiences.
  • Present evidence when writing persuasive essays, examples, and justification to support arguments.
  • Write legibly in manuscript or cursive to meet district standards.

    Ok, well, maybe not that last one. But you get the point. Blogging isn’t going to necessarily satisfy the need to have kids write longer, more developed pieces (even though they could do that.) But it is a great way to lay the foundation for that, not to mention a valuable genre in it’s own terms.