Sunday, September 12, 2004

Diablogging: Reflective AND Social Sense-Making Through Blogs

Sebastian Fiedler wrote a couple of items recently about "Webpublishing as a reflective conversational tool." He concludes one recent entry:
"By explicating some of the 'phrases' we set in a verbal, retrievable, archived, and accessible way on a global network we appear to gain one more tool to 'discover the bases for likenesses and differences,' " reflecting on writing of one George Kelly.

In another entry of Sebastian's, he details his views on the idea of a reflective conversational tool.

I'm intrigued by what Sebastian has to say, but I can't help but think that the idea has to extend beyond "reflection" and into the realm of social sense-making. It seems to me that Blogs can and should serve as social sense-making tools, too. I'm certain that Stephen Downes must have some thoughts about this, and will have to go digging through his stuff about educational uses of blogs.

Earlier today, I created a new blog in which I want to offer advice about online teaching. I don't, however, want this to be one-way advice column, so I invite others to make it a "diablog" by contributing comments to my pieces of advice. I was pretty proud of that word--"diablog"--but of course have since learned that it's not all that original. A Google search for the word turns up 3,500 hits. So I guess this idea is out there--the use of a Blog for exchanging ideas, not just espousing them.

Earlier in the week, I responded to a blog article by Lee Lefever at CommonCraft on the differences between message boards and Weblogs. My read of the article was that Lefever doesn't see Blogs as social in the way that message boards are. I think they can be, though he's right that they are differently social.

In any case, I'm just doing some internal dialog here. Trying to tease out the idea of a Blog as a social meaning-making space. Of course, it can only be social if someone reads and responds. Anyone there? Care to share your thoughts? Click "comments" below!


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