xblogs: the road less traveled

16 10 2006

while checking out the social networking weblog,  a new-to-me blog, i stumbled across quite a gem.  the escape plan by kim and jason kotecki is an xblog (short for experiential blog).  while the escape plan is a great xblog journey through 40 days to free yourself of adultitis, it’s the underlying instructional design of an xblog that captured my attention.Lesstravel

As Kim and Jason explain it on their xblog alley page;

an experientialblog (or xblog) is a blog that inspires active participation in eventsor activities, leading to the accumulation of knowledge or skill. youmight think of it as a community self-help or how-to blog.

the general design of the xblog, as they have created it is simple yet  powerful:

  1. it has a finite number of posts, each of which constitute a specific step towards a stated goal.
  2. community is created by readers (voyagers) who share comments on their experiences.
  3. it is written by an individual or team of sherpas, who lead the experience and guide voyagers in the journey.

while it might be a whole heck of alot of fun to learn something using this approach in a group, it really has it’s power in being an individualized journey that draws upon the wisdom of those who have walked the same path before you.   as long as the tasks in each blog post are kept open enough for the individual to interpret how they will fulfill the task this becomes a potentially powerful way to use blogs to drive informal learning.

i’ve had a number of interesting ways to us xblogs for workplace learning bubbling in my mind as i’ve been writing this.  in fact, if you happen to be reading this and are intrigued about giving it a try in your organization, drop me a note.  i happen to be available these days!

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