Blogging Practices

Barbara Ganley’s recent presentation at Faculty Academy about “slow blogging” has me thinking a lot about the practice of blogging.

It occurs to me that we all talk about blogging as though we’re all engaging in the same practice, but I suspect that’s not true.

Let me try to be clearer. I know people have analyzed the genres of blogs before: the link blog, the reflective blog, the cat diary.

But that’s not exacthy what I’m interested in. Maybe the easiest thing would be to pose some questions that get at what I’m trying to understand. If you’re interested in this topic, feel free to comment or pingback your answers.

Generally, are you an impetuous blogger? Or do you mull over an idea or post for hours, days, weeks before hand? Do you draft a post and then let it sit until you’ve had a chance to revise it multiple times, perfecting your language and point?

Do you “collect” the references in your posts before you write them (if so, describe your system)? Or do you blog with 15 windows open, copying and pasting quotes and URLs, as needed?

Do you blog in the admin panel of your blog? Or do you use some third-party tool? If you use a tool, what features does it have that hooked you?

Do you automatically consider placing images in your posts? Or does this not even occur to you, usually?

Do you write posts and then delete them before clicking “Publish?”

Or, by extension, do you have draft posts that have languished for days, weeks, months waiting for you to pull the trigger?

Do you feel compelled to blog on a schedule? Do you feel guilty when you don’t?

Do you “craft” the experience of your blog, adding sidebar widgets and custom graphics to lure readers into your space?

(I think there are more questions I wanted to ask, but I can’t think of them. I’ll update if they come to me later.)

What’s the point? Well, aside from the fact that I want to know everything about you, I actually think it might be revealing to pull apart our blogging practices. Not only does it make us potentially more thoughtful about our own blogging, I think it might change the way we talk about blogging to others — particularly students? How often do we talk about blogging in the context of a class but not talk about the practice. It’s easy to assume that blogging should come naturally — after all, it’s just “writing online.” But, I don’t think it’s that simple. Blogging often represents a presentation of oneself (sometimes personal, sometimes intellectual, sometimes both) that doesn’t come naturally to everyone. And it occurs within a networked context.

Eh. Maybe I’m over-analyzing all of this. . .tell me if you think so.