Jumping In

Imagine walking into a cocktail party that has been going on for a few hours and jumping in to the conversation. Blogs are like that. They flow along and different people join in the conversation from time to time. I monitor about 150 blogs and even if I don’t read each post, I have a general idea of what’s flowing by, so that I can jump in when I feel like it.

Behind most blogs lies the story of the writer and the community.  Shawn, at Anecdote, has this to say about stories, “Stories only have meaning in the context of their telling. That is, you need to tell and listen to stories to transfer (not capture) tacitly held knowledge. It’s a social process. You need to be part of the conversation.”

To use blogs for learning effectively, you have to jump in and go with the flow for a while. Understanding what is behind the writing as well as the conversations around each post then gives the necessary context.  Learning with blogs isn’t just about finding a useful fact here or there, but more of engaging in multiple stories that flow by, sometimes mixing and other times diverging. Following these flows is an acquired skill. It’s a meta-learning skill for the internet age that just might be worth developing. Jumping in is the first step.

3 Responses to “Jumping In”

  1. Kelly Christopherson

    Harold, I completely agree. The great thing is that you can also see what comments have been left and what others are saying via links. You can start your own thread on your own blog or continue the conversation via comments like this. What people have to understand is that no matter where they join the conversation, their input is important. The whole RSS option makes it possible to keep up on what is going on in multiple places, bringing things together so that you can participate in more than one conversation. Like this.

  2. Tom Haskins

    Harold: These are wonderful insights into learning from blogs! You’ve captured one of the reasons I enjoy this so much that I had not articulated myself. It seems like an unfolding story to me when a new post is added from someone I read consistently. I have some context from their previous posts, perhaps even comments I’ve made on their blog, or they have made on mine (like you for instance). With that context, the latest post relates to many other posts and makes the blogger more fascinating and enticing to follow further.


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