I got quite a bit of conversation out of my Blog’What post from earlier in the week, from some really smart people. I had to get my dictionary out. People made my questions much more and much less than what they are or what they were intended to be, and made me think about them in ways that I wouldn’t without this conversation.
There are problems with blogging. It is a new and potent form of communication that can be harnessed in many ways, used, abused, seriously taken, dismissed, and it can be polarizing.
That last one bothers me the most, how bloggers and blog readers will connect themselves with other bloggers and blog readers who agree with their personal world view. Universal journalism and self-edited news are great, except for this one disastrous weakness, that we make our own world, and can too easily dismiss and even villainize the rest.
My questions were intended to be very simple starters of much larger questions, which were eloquently expressed by the commentors, and those who continued the discussions in their own blogs.
- What did you read in order to write this blog?
This is certainly not limited to reading. The broader question is what preparations did you or the blogger you are reading make in writing this entry, or what stimulus provoked the writing? This question seem useful on many levels, not just for academic assessment, but simply in being a responsible communicator in an increasingly networked digital world.
- What do you think is important about your blog entry?
These questions are worded in the way that they are so that they can be answered in many ways from many perspectives. What was the goal of the writing? Did it seem to have a goal? Are you considering saving this blog for any reason, and if so, why? Would you recommend this blog entry to others, and if so, why? It may not be important. It may be entertaining. Or it may not be anything. But this needs to be thought about.
- What are
both the other sides of your issue?
I think that this could be the most important question, and it is a question that we need to somehow make it our students’ habit to ask. It is a responsibility of literate people, in this astoundingly democratic information landscape, to see, consider, and, in most cases, respect both sides of the issue.
- What do you want your readers to know, believe, or do?
This probably points back to the previous questions, and asks the readers how successful the blog entry was, or the blog writer, how success will be indicated. We communicate for a reason. We want to convince people to help us, respect us, believe the same things that we believe, know the same things that we know, or a multitude of other goals for our writing. We may simply what to make people laugh or cry.
- What else do you need to say?
>Well, my original post is a perfect example. The conversation continued, and that’s what blogging is about, and to varying degrees, what all communication is about — conversation. There is nearly always something else to say. Some people make it their mission in life to find something else to say. Some people say it plain. Others use big latin sounding words.
These questions may well be the wrong questions. But I do believe that we need some sort of very simple device that creates a context for our blogging that places it in a world of ideas, a world of voices, and a world of opportunities.