Not I But We…

Keep Out

Michele Martin posted an interesting question this morning on Day 9 of the Comment Challenge: Should We Be Commenting on Blogs. She was reflecting on this based on a post from Sameer Vasta in his Eloquation blog: Rethinking the Blog Comment Policy. Sameer had shut down comments for a year in his blog.

Sameer stated three core reasons behind his decision at that point:

  1. My blog was a personal publishing platform
  2. People had other places to respond
  3. Nobody was leaving comments

Others have noted as well that blogging is meant to be a personal journal – and if one wants to comment, she or he can do so in their own blog.

I thought we were getting away from the “Me Generation.” One of the things I have learned in the past year of swimming in the Web 2.0 stream is that 1 plus 1 equals a lot more than 2. Bud Deihl mentioned in his post that ideas are in the air, and networked conversations occur in multiple venues. If someone wants to disable comments, that is certainly their prerogative. For myself, I gain value when others comment to me and when I comment to others, because the thinking that moved me to blog in the first place is now being stretched and validated.

“I” may blog, but I firmly believe in the “we” that takes those thoughts, analyzes, adds to, and sometimes refutes in ways “I” probably could not do on my own.

[Photo Credit: MonkeyC.Net]

6 comments to Not I But We…

  1. Ken Allan says:

    Kai Ora Britt!

    The great poets – you can name some of them – say the same thing. It’s all very well writing great stuff. Many people do and throw it away. John Keats did just that when he happened to have scribbled one of his greatest poems: To A Nightingale.

    A friend of his (he had many) who consolled him over the crisis he had at that time pulled out the scraps of crumpled paper on which was scribbled the legendary piece that same day. Keats had stuffed them behind some things on his mantlepiece.

    Keats sure did have a crisis that day and we may never have had the opportunity of appreciating what has since been claimed to be one of the great masterpieces in English literature.

    Cheers from Middle-earth

  2. Britt–

    The idea behind the purpose and audience of a blog is one I wrestle with briefly–and then move on because I feel impelled to write or I will forget what I was thinking.

    My blog has multiple purposes and audiences, but I have just left it under one umbrella for my own sanity.

    1) I write for my students to show them models of how to blog, how to summarize and respond to research, and post screencasts for “how to’s”–mostly technical stuff.

    2) I write for my students’ parents to explain my rationale and keep them informed.

    3) I write for my colleagues (known and unknown) who might be interested in adapting the project.

    4) But it seems mostly I write for myself to get down the teaching reflections that sometimes find their way to a post-it note (and sometimes not). I’m trying to be deliberate in my reflections.

    5) And the added bonus is when someone I don’t know does read my blog and adds insight that I would never have had if I had just written in my journal.

    So while I don’t expect to become a world famous writer, it’s nice to know there is the possibility of a wider readership than just me.

  3. Britt says:

    Great comments, Ken and Melissa – I like the thoughts behind the words!

  4. Sameer Vasta says:

    Britt,

    Thanks for the link. Just thought I’d give you some context as to my thoughts revolving around trackbacks and pingbacks.

    After blogging for over nine years, sometimes you need to re-evaluate things. Part of the reason I stopped allowing comments is because I was around when trackbacks and pingbacks were still nascent technologies and were promising big changes in web conversation. They didn’t really end up doing everything we all had hoped them to do, but it was worth trying it out at the time.

    I do, now, offer commenting on my blog, but we’ll see where that goes once new tools and new ideas keep coming up in the web world. That is, in fact, the power of the blog, right? To adapt and change as necessary?

  5. blk1 says:

    Hi Britt,
    I love using this month to really think about this issue and like you for the longest time I loved just writing on my blog for myself. I wrote movie reviews right after I saw something, while it was still fresh, I reflected on my work and life and brought cool resources on as well.
    And then I got a great comment, just one to start, someone was out there reading me and I started responding. Simple start and now I like you, see the power of this web network.
    I am obsessed with it actually. I can write and share in my pjs, how perfect especially when the camera is not turned on.
    Bonnie

  6. blk1 says:

    Thanks for responding to me so quickly and so thoughtfully. I am newer to this place and just in the short few years, I have marveled at how edublogs has been able to deal with spam thankfully.
    Like you, I am willing to be out here open to what’s new and worthwhile.
    Glad we connected in this challenge.
    Bonnie

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