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What to Say the Next Time Someone Asks Why They Should Blog

Picture 1 Although WIRED is now claiming that blogs are dead, I'm not buying that. Maybe they're dead to a minuscule group of people who are easily bored and only talk in 140 character spurts, but if learning is reduced to tweets, I think we're in big trouble. It's that kind of short-term, surface discussion of issues that in my opinion has contributed to the current world-wide financial crisis we're in. Life is becoming more complicated, not less so, and Twitter comments and writing on someone's Facebook wall will not get us out of this mess.  We need more sustained discussions and reflection, the kind that's supported by blogging.

This 1 1/2 minute video with Seth Godin and Tom Peters pretty much sums up my response for why blogging is important. Seth says that it's the meta-cognitive process of reflection on what you do and the humility of explaining yourself to an audience. Tom says that no single thing in the past 15 years has had such a profound impact on his professional development:

        "It has changed my life, it has changed my perspective, it has changed my intellectual outlook, it has         changed my emotional outlook--and, parentheses, it's the best damn marketing tool I've ever seen."

Plus, as Seth points out a few times, it's free.


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This is very timely for me as our school superintendent has (finally) asked us to help her understand the tools and the how and why of their use in classrooms. Seth Godin makes a great point in the video about the metacognitive nature of blogging and the connection to others. As you say, you can't get into an indepth conversation or reflection on your own learning in just 140 characters. Thanks for this.

I can't believe WIRED said blogs were dead! Blogs as we knew them 5ish years ago are definitely dead (blogs are more specific now, and contain more relevant information), but new blogs are on the rise, I think!

Blogs are all about education, I think. Blogs are out there to teach you something, whether that's a language, some news, or something about someone's life. In terms of education, blogs are rockin :)

I'm sure blogs will continue to evolve, but in the end, it's all about what blogs teach people that make them so useful and important. Great post!

I was rather surprised by Paul Boutin's piece too and really think the clip of Godin and Peters is the right antidote for it. Godin's point about forcing yourself to be a part of the conversation is really important. It's not all about the money nowadays.

Out of left field as usual, Elin Whitney-Smith, a The Well pioneer, wrote a piece in 1992 The Vindication of Karl Marx--industrial relations It's not really about Karl Marx but about computers and is prescient in so many ways. Whitney-Smith puts these words into her imaginary Marx: "There will be economic crisis. Where decisions are made by workers who know the product, know the customer, and see the benefit of the result in their pockets, business will survive. Where decisions are made by the top of the hierarchy for the benefit of capital accumulation, business will fail."

The social networking sites that Boutin champions are great, but blogs still are a place where people can get to know others more in depth. and as Whitney-Smith pointed out "knowing" is of paramount value.

Diane, glad that this post gave you some ammo to use with your superintendent. That metacognitive element has been really critical to me certainly in my own blogging.

Koichl, I agree that blogs are evolving and I'm not sure that WIRED is necessarily looking at blogging the way that we do--as a tool for learning and discussion. I do wish that they'd explore that aspect though. It isn't just about marketing your company.

And John, great quote from Whitney-Smith. I think we're actually seeing the second scenario coming to life as we speak. Sadly.

When people ask me why they should blog, I generally tell them that I don't know if they should.

What I do know is that they can't put their head in the sand and pretend it isn't happening. They need to understand what's going on in web 2.0. They should find out how people are using blogs, wikis, podcasts, social networking, etc., in their field. Then look at their own goals - personal or organizational - and figure out if one or more of those tools will help them achieve them.


Thanks for this reminder. It's good to know that blogging is a beneficial think in itself, especially when one gets few hits. I find your blog very helpful and have added it to my GReader.

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