The Natural Law of Blogging

I just finished reading an interesting book about blogging, titled Who Let the Blogs Out, but a guy called Biz Stone. I’m still wondering what the name Biz might be short for, but regardless, I did find it quite an engaging read. Biz Stone was a very early blogger, was involved in created Xanga, has written a couple of books on the subject and now works at Google helping run Blogger. I guess that makes his opinions worth hearing, purely just based on his credentials.

The overriding message I took from his book was that the true worth of blogging cannot be appreciated on a small scale. A single blog post, or even a single blog, is not what it’s all about. Blogging gets it’s power from becoming a large scale ecosystem, a thriving community of people all cross linking to each other, creating connections and networks of ideas. The power of blogging is way more than the sum of its individual parts, and to gauge the power of this new medium it needs to be seen in the light of the much bigger picture that it creates.

He draws some good analogies, some of which coincidentally come from the last book I read before this one, The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki. The point made in that book, in fact both books, is that groups of people can be collectively smarter than the brightest individuals within the group, if the group is made up of diverse individuals with a broad range of views, supported by a medium that allows them to communicate freely.

Sounds like blogging to me.

Adding my Voice

I figured that since I was enjoying the whole blogging experience during our teaching exchange to Canada, I would start another blog, this time focussed on matters educational/technological. I plan to use it mainly to air my thoughts and ideas about the uses of technology, especially with regard to education, but pretty much about whatever I feel like writing about.

I can see a lot of potential for the uses of blogs, wikis and podcasts in the educational environment, but it will be interesting to see exactly how it all pans out. I did convert a largely textbook task into a podcast project last semester, and I think it worked out ok, but this semester I am going to try to push things a bit further.

If you have any ideas about interesting uses of Web 2.0 technology in the classroom it would be great to hear about them…