In their paper Farmer & Bartlett-Bragg (2005) quote Krause (2004) and call blogs “individualistic” rather than “collaborative”. I assume here that t go on to he writing of the blog itself should be by the individual rather than being a produced by a group. Blogs are individualistic; people express themselves not only through their own writing but through customising their blogs appearance and functionality. The blog is a representation of an individual’s “digital-identity”. Also key to this is the use of an individual aggregator, which I take to mean RSS, where individuals (blog readers but not necessarily blogger themselves) decide whose blogs that want to be kept informed about new post or comments on that particular blog. Google Reader does this and I’ve been using it for about 18 months to follow blogs that interest me (see my blog roll) even though I wasn’t blogging myself.
In the paper they mention “river of news” aggregators , which I’m not sure what they are. They might be the OPML file that Cormac emailed us that gave us a list of all the .xml feeds from the blogs of everyone on the EmTech. (Can someone help me out here?). This would be the pushing of information out to us rather than us deciding what information we want to pull to us and go against the ethos of blogging, according to some.
They also state that blogging can be backed up by the following learning theories:
- Social Constructivism (Vygotsky and later Wells (2004)) – all learning is socially constructed through language even when F2F interaction is absent.
- Social Learning Theory (Bandura) – through observing and modelling participants learn the codes of behaviour and acceptable communication formats. In a educational setting it could also be learning about blogs themselves.
- Situated Learning theory (Lave & Wenger) – facilitates personalised collaborative learning networks
I like this quote from Mortensen & Walker (2002) about the private vs public:
“Blogs exist right on this border between what’s private and what’spublic, and often we see that they disappear deep into the private sphere and reveal far too much information about the writer. When a blog is good, it contains a tension between the two spheres, as delicate a balancing act as the conversation of any experienced guest of the French salons of the 19th century.”