Teaching Examples


What you should know about blogging
March 14, 2007, 1:00 pm
Filed under: blogging, blogs, online

If you’re going to do it, you must have something valuable to say, and you must have passion for your subject. Otherwise, why bother?

Those are two of the 9 Lessons for Would-be Bloggers from Joshua Porter of Bokardo. Actually I fudged that a little, because the passion part is an adjunct to having a schtick. If you’re not used to Yiddish, you can translate “schtick” as a gimmick or a set piece that glues everything else together. Of course there are diary blogs, journal blogs, and the only schtick they might have is life, in general — a bit too broad to work as a schtick, really. But then, the blog format can be used for all kinds of purposes. (Some educators use a blog simply as a live syllabus.)

Read/Write Web published some interesting stats from the Technorati Top 100. For those of us outside the Top 100 (that would be 71.1 million blogs, according to Technorati’s count), these numbers are more interesting for their curiosity value than for any practical guidance. (It’s not like I sit around plotting to become the next Daily Kos.)

One thing I find interesting (although not at all surprising) is that most of the top 20 blogs are about technology or politics. You know perfectly well that plenty of people are not a bit interested in either one of those topics. And what do we know about people who are? Well, maybe they tend to be obsessive in their interest in technology or politics. Just the type of people who would flock to a blog and check it compulsively about 100 times a day.

As in many lists of the best or the worst, the most popular, etc., this one has a sweet little puzzle embedded in it. Post Secret has been around for years, and it’s about the furthest you could get from technology or politics. It has a quirky appeal, like Harry Potter books or marshmallow Peeps. It also challenges us to question our convictions about truth. Do people like it because they believe it is true? Or because there’s no way to tell?

The bottom line: You really can blog about ANYTHING, as long as — like Porter says — you do it with passion.

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