dave as a blogger

ee iconjanuary 2004 i took a small step for colleagial communication and a giant leap for my professional life – i started blogging with my first posts to eelearning. those initial posts were designed to share my browser bookmarks with my colleagues at gap inc. del.icio.us and the other social bookmarking tools didn’t yet exist and a blog seemed a great solution at the time.

by january of 2005 eelearning had gained enough notice that jay cross invited me to take over the reins ofLCB icon learning circuits blog – a team authored blog that he had created in april 2002. the novelty of blogs had worn off and the lcb author team had worn down to the point that posts had become few and far between. traffic was minimal at best. over the next 7-10 months i added new authors and energized some of the previous authors. and traffic began to steadily build.

beyond the blog logobut both the authors and readers were not happy with the lack of direction in lcb. i began experimenting with various ideas using wiki’s, community building principles, and flash polls to enhance the content. our biggest experiment was called “beyond the blog.” the principle idea behind beyond the blog was an effort to extend the dialogue beyond the limited time frame of the post-comment structure that still dominates blogging. the conversation only lasts as long as the post is near the top of the first page of the blog. beyond the blog was a case of a good idea that just didn’t quite work out.

a year later, after a year that saw both the authors and me burnt out from the efforts of 2005, with the help the big question logoof Tony Karrer’s ideas for a new feature we named “The Big Question” we found a way beyond the short term conversations of the post-comment structure. drawing upon the ideas and research of John Seeley Brown, Entienne Wenger, Nancy White, Lilia Efimova, and others, we crafted the big question to empower our readers to carry not a single discussion on a topic but multiple simultaneous discussions on blogs around the globe. we’d made blogging about more than just a single space for posts and comments.

eelearning wiki logoin addition, i’ve added the eelearning wiki to provide myself with more space that I can dedicate to any given topic. currently most of the content on eelearning wiki is a review of web 2.0 tools and their efficacy for learning interventions. eelearning wiki really stretched me html, css, and other mark-up skills to the point that I’m now pretty comfortable with basic website mark-up. all self-taught on an as needed basis. my own demonstration of learner-directed, informal learning.

In an act of sheer insanity, last year I played with the idea of a blog written from the perspective of my dog. I really enjoyed the idea, but life had other ideas about how I should spend my time. but don’t be surprised if you see divanet make a comeback sometime in the near future.

through e e learning and my other blogging efforts, i’ve had the chance to interact with some of the topic names in the field of workplace learning and colleagues from around the world. my comfort level with writing has increased (i leave it to others to say whether the quality of my writing has improved or not). in 2006, i teamed with loretta donovan to author an article on blogs and advanced uses and benefits of blogs in the workplace entitled realizing the collective potential of blogs. there are aspects of that article which, like blogging in general, are reflections of my personal experience. for me, blogging opened up opportunities to explore new ideas and identities. i’ve had access to expert opinions from across our field that i might not have ever had if it weren’t for blogging. being a blogger has helped me transition into the networked world culture that is evolving every day.

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