Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Blogging

Today's post will be a more interactive than usual. I am being interviewed by Melinda Roeder from our local television station, Channel 36 in Lexington, about blogging, while I am writing this blog. One of my main points is that blogging is an interactive medium. So if you happen to be reading this while the story is running tonight at 11, please reply, thus completing the loop and/or introducing a wrinkle in the space-time continuum.

I have been blogging for the whole school year. I have come to welcome the daily discipline of collecting and organizing my thoughts. Francis Bacon wrote that "writing maketh a precise man," and I have found it to be ever so. I tell that to students when they fuss about the number of writing assignments in their Centre College classes. That is the glory of a small college, though – the professors can take the time to read (and improve) student papers, one by one.

There have been several stories about this blog on the college webpage and in our local newspaper, the Danville Advocate-Messenger. My Introduction to Family Life class produces a wonderful blog based on the studies we read together. My students have been reading other blogs and joining in their wider conversations. Melinda Roeder mentioned that she has a blog on MySpace.

Yet the spellchecker in Word still does not know "blogging" as a real word. I imagine in the next edition of Word, blogging will be included. According to Technorati, there are 35.6 million blogs in the world. By this time next year, there should easily be 100 million. Students take to it as a normal way to communicate. Some of them get in trouble for being too candid. They imagine, as young people do, that their friends will read what they write – forgetting that the other billion computer users can read it, too.

Blogging will shake out eventually. Many will try them, and stop. The discipline of writing regularly is a hard one, like sticking to a diet. But blogging will also become a standard way for people who want an interactive conversation about a very specialized topic to get instant information, and informed responses.

7 comments:

Paul M. said...

Since we're talking about the very nature of blogs . . .

I wonder if the blog you developed for your course and the one I launched for meditations on film (cinekklesia.com) deserve a different label since they are fundamentally *corporate* as opposed to individual ventures.

All blogs invite comment and real dialogue, of course, but there seems to be a fundamental difference between blogs where the topic du jour is governed by an individual mind, and those where multiple voices contribute equally to content. Kinda like a college course where more than one professor shares teaching duties.

btw, Tracey (class of '92) and I (class of '03) have enjoyed this blog immensely since Centrepiece ran an article on it last fall. Feels like we've a direct line to the intimate intellectual discussion we so enjoyed during our time there. Thank you.

Allan said...

I just saw you on the Channel 36 News.

I agree with your comment that blogging takes discipline. I have always tried to write every day, although the past couple of weeks, I have been distracted by other things in my life.

I plan to return to a daily writing routine soon.

Alison said...

I came here after seeing your interview just a few minutes ago, so here's a new wrinkle for the time-space continuum. My mate and fellow blogger Allan is sitting next to me, leaving you a comment as I type this.

I wish I had something profound to say about blogging; instead I'll just tell you that I enjoyed seeing another blogger's feelings about the medium. I agree with everything you said on TV and wrote here.

Oh, and your blog is going in my bookmarks and Bloglines.

J. Tyler Ward, II said...

Gruntled, I agree with you that the disipline of blogging is one of the benefits reaped. I also find it theraputic and a place where others might gain insight or be willing to give me insight. (And I too saw you on WTVQ 36)

Deb R said...

I saw the news story on Ch. 36 tonight and had to stop by and say hello when I saw the name of your blog.

I just wrote a blog entry a week ago where I wondered why people didn't use the word "gruntled" as the opposite of "disgruntled". I thought I made it up and then I see your blog on the news - synchronicity in action!

Gruntled said...

Ah, that is a lovely response. Thanks to all.
In the larger interview, only bits of which can, in the nature of television, can be show, Melinda Roeder asked me if things written now could come back to bite you years from now. The answer, of course, is yes, since memory is so cheap. This knowledge makes me write more moderately, which is a central value of the Gruntled Center anyway. As I think about my pseudonymous dialogues (with you right now, for example), I could be writing to people I know in real life. This, too, encourages moderation.

Liberal Arts Dude said...

Hello there Gruntled

My recent blog entry deals with blogging. Check it out at

http://www.liberalartsgrad.blogspot.com/

In my case I have been a blogger for nearly four years. I find it rewarding and fun but it has its own pitfalls as well.