The goal of this study is to understand factors that support or inhibit adoption of blogging by comparing bloggers and "would be bloggers". I would appreciate if you can spend some of your time answering my questions. I estimate that it should take between 10 and 25 minutes (I took me 15 minutes).
First things first. You’re going to need an Aggregator. Really. I promise. You’ll drown otherwise. [...]
There are really four big things I’ve learned in my first couple of weeks in this community, and the sooner you know them, the better off you’ll be.
This group moves fast. Like, from initial conversations to working code in one day fast. Pin your ears back and get ready for collaborative knowledge development like you’ve never experienced before.
You can only lurk so long. For “legitimate peripheral participation” to be legitimate, it should move toward full participation. In other words, you should start a blog of your own! I would highly recommend Movable Type if you’ve got the wherewithall to install it. Otherwise, check out Blogger.
It’s a discussion. Post comments on others’ blogs, link to articles you find elsewhere from your own blog, and use TrackBack whenever it’s available. Shots in the dark don’t get us anywhere… Say what you think, and check back soon to respond again.
There’s a whole new set of technologies here. In my intellectual home town, we’re doing semantic web and web services stuff. These guys (and I believe they are all guys, so far as I can tell… what gives?) are into quick and easy (trans. “actually usable”) stuff. Get over acronym fear and read up on RSS to participate in the latest go-arounds.
I find observation #1 above especially interesting. What will happen when this group reaches a size of hundreds of people? How easy is it for closed groups to compete with an open, collaborative network that can grow its brain trust virtually without limit and operates without a budget?
And observation #4 has me wondering if instructional technology isn't going to be one of the first professional fields to seriously (and successfully) embrace that marvel of nature that is known as Simplicity. Aren't "professional" and "simple" usually opposites?
Hot on the heels of the weblog survey results, here are the results for the survey on how wikis are used to share knowledge. 167 people responded, but they are not a strict subset of the sample in the weblog survey. It is interesting to compare the professional background of respondents in each survey (questions 22 and 12). Webloggers' backgrounds were rather diverse, while the wikizen distribution was much more slanted towards technologists - with double the proportion of self-described technologists relative to other backgrounds.
I think this may indicate that the mindset needed to get drawn into wiki land, as opposed to blogspace, is different and closer to "programmerthink". Two examples: first, each new page needs to be given a meaningfully constructed name that is subsequently used for referencing that page. This is reminiscent of the naming and referencing of procedures, object classes or variables that programmers do all the time. Second, most wikis still use the loathsome CamelCase syntax, which instantly alienates many of the would-be users.
"I think this is an epiphanal moment for me. [...]
That means that I can find out about a learning object, blog it (see Alan's demo blog) and ping the original object with a review or comment. It's not the peer-review that you get with Merlot, but it is drop-dead easy to do. Small pieces, loosely joined, baby!
Here's what Alan says:
"Objects can be tracked to blogs, and blogs can pull in objects, and people can be the glue between them."
That's an inspirational statement I think."
Makes me wonder whether one day everything under the sun will accept TrackBack pings - or some other kind of external notification protocol. (Of course, spam will probably follow, and authentication / filtering systems shortly after, hopefully)