I could simplify things by saying that I've just seen Dean Shareski's keynote for k12online, hence post. If you hear him speak, have a notebook at hand for he can compel you to write! But that is not the origin of this post.
Let me start by digressing, which is perhaps one of the most important things a blogger can do.
I was deep in thought in my RSS considering a post from Gabriela , who had just seen Dean's keynote, mentally linking it to a conversation we had a couple of weeks ago about our stagnant blogging and then, Dean shares Alan's post pointing the missing blogging link in his preso, so I watched the vid.
Mind you, these people are all what I call direct contacts. By this I mean I do not need anyone to tweet out loud that they write well. Yet, I have been reading them today because they have the habit of sharing side thoughts the moment this intimate Internet proximity of reading each other makes them tick and learn.
Dean starts his presentation with a quick series of screenshots from a few of the many blogs he reads and learns from -or should I say "with"? I know all of them. (I recognise my fceblog, by the way ;-) Thanks!) My first impulsive reaction was: closed circles. Echo chamber. A split second, because these thoughts quickly gave way to other jaw dropping conclusion of how closely intertwined our collective ideas can be. Each of us has a distinct style. We have diverse teaching contexts. Still, we seem to move ahead together when the collective message makes sense. All of this is possible via sharing. I have never met most of my key contacts f2f; so for me, everything I've learnt informally, everything that has made a deep impact on my practice, I learnt by simply sharing.
Back on track and on the post proper.
Half way down the presentation, Intrepid Teacher tells the story of the creation of a blog for his daughter. As a side note, he mentions the blog would avoid the need to answer or send some family update emails. Then, his sharing takes off and reaches new connections. The mention of email reminds me of the springboard for my idea of a blog for my class in 2006: avoid emailing long answers with private explanations that actually needed to be shared by the whole class.
I've never been surprised by this need to shift from closed email to public blogging. However, Gabriela, who knows her colleagues at school never land on her blog, decides to write them an email to let them know about k12online! To keep her mind sane, she decides that the email can be a good gem of a post and it is. I read it, can't help writing this, you get the point.
Yes, Alan. Blogging is alive. Blogging is long term and Twitter is probably an ephimeral passion. The tool choice is irrelevant when the sharing attitude is absent. Sharing is the love underpinning it all.
Ah, the edublogosphere. Talk about an amazing story.