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.