I’ve recently been thinking/reading about blogging, and reflected on the main reasons that others list, and the things we want to achieve here on www.elearningworld.org
- To express thoughts and opinions
Bloggers usually have something to say (although not always!) and blogs provide a place to say it. However, I really don’t like blogs that are self-absorbed nonsense, with people just trying to show off what they know, or thinking they have something to say of value, when they actually don’t. So, we need to try and ensure that our thoughts and opinions here are potentially useful to others, and not simply a personal diary, which has no real value to others.
- To market or promote something
Blogging is a way that some people us to market or promote themselves or their business, product or service. In some ways we are using this blog to let people know more about us, and what we do, at a personal level. We have amazing feedback on our courses and services, and word-of-mouth recommendation is really strong. But I feel we’re not giving others enough opportunity to understand the depth and variety of our knowledge, or understand our team and our values.
- To help people
Some blogs are created to help others who may be going through similar situations and learning curves that the blogger has experienced. That’s definitely true for us – we’ve seen just about everything in Moodle (good and bad) and have a staggering amount of knowledge around all sectors of education and e-learning. If we can help people in some small way here then that’s definitely a success indicator for this blog.
- To establish yourself as an expert
Blogs are tools that can help individuals establish themselves as experts in a field. To be honest, as a Moodle Partner, and with a combined 100 years in education and training, I don’t think we need to use this blog to prove our credibility! lol
However, I’m hoping it will allow others to learn more about the amazing people we work with, because that isn’t always obvious from a company website or short training course for example, where you may only deal with one or two people within our team.
- To connect with people like us – our readers and other authors
Blogging can bring like-minded people together. Moodle doesn’t allow comments on blogs by default (although we are working on ways to achieve this). So connecting right now is really more of a one-way experience. But that’s OK, because readers can contact us in other ways anyway. On a different level, this blog will help our team members see what else is important to colleagues, and with an international and culturally diverse team I’m sure we will actually learn more about each other too.
- To make a difference
Some blogs are issue-based and the blogger is trying to provide information to sway people’s thinking. If we are going to make a difference here it will be in terms of helping teachers use e-learning technologies such as Moodle in a smarter and more productive, and creative way. So if we can help e-learning teachers, designers, and administrators achieve best-practice then that’s got be a success.
- To stay active and knowledgeable in a field or topic and practice our craft and discipline
Successful blogging seems to be partially dependent on posting frequency and providing new information. Our team goes through huge evaluation and learning curves every time there is an update to Moodle, Camtasia, Articulate, etc. and using this blog is one way we can document this learning between members of our own team, and allow others to benefit from it too.
- To stay connected with friends and family
The world has shrunk since the Internet has become more accessible. Blogs provide a simple way for family and friends to stay connected from different parts of the world by sharing stories, photos, videos and more. I think this applies to the casual blogger, creating a diary for friends and family to read when you are traveling abroad, but perhaps thee days Facebook and Twitter have become the primary instant and wide communication pathways.
I think a blog can however still connect us with colleagues, professional friends, in an interesting and indirect way. Working with e-learning, meeting many people at Moodle Moots and e-learning conferences, it’s an easy and yet potentially valuable way to “keep in touch” after the event.
- To make money
Although making money may be the aim of some bloggers, I think there are so many now that it’s difficult to make money. We certainly don’t want to make money through advertising or other income-generating activities here – hence our “Fast, Simple, Essential” motto for this blog.
To be fair, it could be that some people who do not know about our e-learning services and online training courses, and we will mention these in blogs, so we might increase interest in these, but it’s certainly not the primary aim.
- To have fun and be creative
Many people start a blog simply for fun. All our staff have a passion for the work we do, but being totally honest, none of us write prolifically about it. By combining our blogs into a single central point we hope to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts, so our own shared sense of fun and creativity becomes shared and useful for others too.