On the uses of blogs
On my own use of this blog....
I was struck by what Jean Burgess wrote about the challenge of 'finding a voice'. She writes: 'it proved extremely difficult for many students to find a writerly voice other than their most formal 'essay' voice, or a personal voice other than their most casual 'email' voice" (p.109). That resonated with my own feelings about this blog. My intention for using this space was primarily work-driven: to create a space where I could both collect my thoughts, but potentially, engage with the 'blogging community / gurus' who are 'out there'. Given that I'm starting to look at blogs in my own research, then it seemed crazy not to have had at least some experience of being part of that community.
But when it comes to writing here, I don't want to use my 'formal' 'essay writing' voice. I know the purpose is to stimulate academic debate and so on, but my initial reactions and responses that are here don't come fully formed as essay rhetoric. Maybe, because despite some claims to the contrary (my daughter decided that I was a glossary the other day) I don't speak or think in academic-ese. In that sense, then, my experience of blogging makes me recognise the immediacy of the communication. But, on the other hand, I know that this is going into the public domain (although I am not sure anyone is going to read this!). And that makes me feel slightly uncomfortable about not using an academic voice.
I think Jean Burgess is right - using Blogs requires a new form of literacy with social and textual dimemsions that take some getting used to. And it is for that reason I haven't launched into using them in my teaching yet. But I am thinking about how I could put blogging to use in the teaching workshop that is going to be part of the Narrative Symposium I'm organising. More thoughts on that here later.