Blogs were a relatively early technology adopted by a few practitioners in education. The informal nature of the communication that takes place in blogs, and the removal of the filter for publishing, meant they appealed to some educators. Ideas could be shared easily and, because blogs tend to link to each other and users comment on each other’s blogs, they soon gave rise to a community of ‘edubloggers’.
This type of exchange seemed more personal and intimate than the formal publication routes, and the publication route more immediate. This made blogs a useful medium for experimenting, sharing ideas and connecting with a global network of peers.
The software entrepreneur and blogger(2005) suggests the following social norms for blogging, which are summarised below:
- A willingness to share thoughts and experiences with others
- A recognition of the value of input from others, with the blogger asking directly for input or feedback
- Willingness to collaborate
- Gathering information from a wide variety of resources
- Control and personalisation of news feeds
- The emergence of a ‘common code’: a vocabulary, a tone, and behavioural codes
- Importance is placed on the ability to feedback and participate
- A culture of speed and currency
- A need for recognition
If these are indeed values that constitute a ‘blog culture’ then they provide an interesting counterpoint to the cultural norms of academia. The result is that blogs appealed to a group of practitioners who came to share some of the values above.