Expanding definitions of "blog"

One of my BIG responsibilities here at Academic Technologies is to get a Web 2.0 technology incentive grant moving forward. I’ve just about put together all of the teams that will be participating, and so next I need to organize a face-to-face meeting of these teams and figure out what they need and how we can help. These projects basically involve faculty and staff exploring and using various Web 2.0 tools in their teaching and working, evaluating their usefulness, and then becoming “New Media Scholars” for the rest of the Boise State community. Although I feel pretty comfortable with Web 2.0 tools, they are continually evolving and expanding, so staying on top of this field is a challenge. When thinking about blogs and how they can be used for education, I started pushing my experience level and thinking about other formats of online communication that might also be considered as blogs.

If you haven’t read or written a blog before, it’s really a lot of fun, especially when you have readers! And then, when you realize you have readers, you DO feel obligated to write about stuff you think they’ll be interested in and keep writing on a schedule. I use wordpress.com for this blog, which is very easy to use and offers quite a few customized tools. I would also recommend blogger.com (now owned by Google), as a traditional blogging service.

Notice I used the word “traditional.” This is because there are also other forms of blogs out there, such as photo blogs (flickr.com), video blogs (youtube.com, teachertube.com, blip.tv), and other evolving forms of multimedia blogs (flip.com, slideshare.net, voicethread.com). As you can see from visiting these sites, they are not the traditional format you would think of as a blog, but yet, they ARE blogs if you define a blog as a way to post content and get responses from others.

Since I’m in the process of thinking of other online communication tools that might be considered blogs, I would like to invite YOUR participation. For instance, would Ning (http://ning.com) be considered a form of a blog, since this social network includes blogs? How about Facebook and MySpace? And then there are micro-blogs, such as Twitter. See what I mean? Blogging is bigger than we think!

Send me your comments and let me know if you have other platforms you would consider to be a blog. I would LOVE to hear from you.


One thought on “Expanding definitions of "blog"

  1. I would like to add “Scribd” (www.scribd.com) to your list, which, according to your classification, can be considered a “document blog”. I found it very useful for embedding doc, ppt and pdf documents in my university’s VLE, because it allows my students to look up documents directly on the browser without needing to download them and, therefore, without loosing the context of the virtual classroom. And if document download is required by the student, they don’t need to have a concrete office suit to open it because Scribd provides automatic pdf conversion.


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