Saturday, November 13, 2004

Blog Love

I really love blogging. I know it sounds silly, but now I'm really sorry I didn't start blogging when I first discovered it two years ago. I read the occasional blog back then, but not the way I have for the past year. I'm so glad I forced myself--wasn't hard really--to blog every day. And actually, I have three blogs now so I'm blogging sometimes 3 times a day in three different blogs.

I also like reading blogs and the experience of hyperlinking all over the internet to other blogs, to newspapers, magazines and photos. It really does kind of feel like a journey.

In 1997, I really discovered the internet and jumped in feet first. I created my first web site, I joined a virtual community of other tech-savvy parents, and hosted two IRC chats for that community. It was so much fun. I had been "on the internet" long before that, reading newsgroups and using e-mail but I was not immersed in it the way I became immersed in 97.

Then I went away from it. Our virtual community was bought by a huge company who required us to use chat software that included ads and those of us (purists you might say) who had been around for a while and felt some measure of control over the situation, all left. Some of us had met IRL and I kept up a relationship with a couple of people through ICQ for awhile. Eventually, though, I was jaded. I focused instead on my literature studies and though I didn't remove myself from the virtual world completely (joining several e-mail lists related to my field), I had lost my immersion in it.

In 2001, I began my slow movement back towards immersion. I had been using technology in the form of web sites, discussion boards, and computer classrooms for teaching since I went back to school in 97, but after moving to PA, I began really thinking more deeply about using that technology. And I now had students who regularly used e-mail, chat rooms, and IM. In 1997, I had to explain what a website was. Now I was having students create their own. In the summer of 2002 as I prepared for my fall classes, I set up a Blogger account--which I ended up not really using. I was afraid of overwhelming my students with too much technology if I required them to participate in a group blog. I had intended to keep a journal of the class and how the technology was working for myself, but I didn't. I made maybe an entry or two.

Interestingly, we ended up having something similar to a blog inside of a Course Management System and it was that aspect of the course that the students liked the most.

So, flash forward to 2004. Finally, I jump back in. I had been talking about blogs at work for a year, but had not been practicing what I preached. So here I am. I knew I was hooked when I was at my son's soccer practice and I was reading Bitch Ph.D.'s blog on my Treo. And I couldn't wait to get home and get to my own blog. I guess that's true love.