July 14, 2005

If a weblog post falls in the forest and no one is around…

When we write a post or even several posts with no comments, I suppose one might wonder what the value of our writing might be. Most bloggers write for personal reasons and to reflect. Yet we all love to see comments. It’s wonderful to know that what we written has struck a chord with someone else. After all, isn’t that the appeal of social software to connect. But what if no one ever comments on our work?

I read a nice post via Konrad Glogowski of the blog of proximal development reflecting on his grade eight blogging experiment. As early cliques emerged he writes:

I kept thinking about my encounter with social cliques and blogs at the very beginning of my blogging experiment.

Does this mean that my experiment failed? No. In fact, I am thrilled with the blogging community that emerged in my classroom. One of the reasons why I think it has been so successful has to do with the approach that I chose that very night when I realized that my students were not giving all their classmates a chance and that most of them flocked to their friends blogs. I decided on the only solution that seemed reasonable at the time: I decided not to do anything at all.

I like the fact that he let things sort out for themselves. Quality work after a while, found its own merit irrespective of the writer. Cliques, popularity still exists in the blogosphere, even among those we’ve never met face to face. However, Kathleen Gilroy’s students understood the value of weblogs beyond the collection of comments.

I love learning from kids.