EdBlogger News – I Respectfully Disagree

Will Richardson posted recently about getting a digg-style site for edbloggers that gathered together posts from the edublogosphere and ranked them on popularity amongst readers. It seems to be popular with a lot of well known and well respected edubloggers (or should that be edubloggers) but I am not sure that I like the idea or will be making it part of my regular reading. Why not? My hat is off to people like Will who really make things happen and his influence is well earned. But a couple of key phrases that I've become familiar in my brief stint in the blogosphere seem to be at odds with this concept - the long tail and the echo chamber. I said as much in my comment on his blog:

If you take the long tail approach to the blogosphere, then much that is of immense value to a smaller pockets of educators will get ignored in the “most widely read gets pushed up higher in the rankings” type of reading that a Digg style site would promote. This could be a very echo chambery place to use another cliche, and one of the beauties of blogging is finding the nuggets of thought that can only be discovered through “connective writing.”

Actually, I was only following on from what Sean Fitzgerald originally stated in his comment at the same post (two insecure Aussies, maybe?) but his words really rang true for me.

Sorry to be the naysayer here, but I think the CrispyNews idea and the wiki are just going to end up in unnecessary duplication of resources.

Wikipedia works because it covers everything. The minute you try to narrow down a field you get problems - someone sets up a resource about Education 2.0, someone sets one up about Educational Technology, someone sets one up about Elearning, someone sets one up about Edublogging and before long you have mutliple projects with each garnering a bit of support for a while then sputtering out.

This goes against what I thought Web 2.0 is about - decentralisation of resources, rather than centralised repositories.

I think you were heading in a better direction when you were talking about creating a common del.ici.us tag - but even this approach suffers from the definition problem - what’s edublogreading-rated and what’s not?.

I think we are better off finding ways to aggregate existing resources, rather than build more resources (which only point to other resources anyway). And it should be up to us a individuals to decide how we aggregate existing resources, not use a tag someone has nominated.

Also, can this site prevent against self promotion (although no-one I've ever read gets paid per reader) and an entrenchment of a edublogging elite whose words and wisdom are held to be of greater value than others? I'd rather that blogging be a great leveler and a way of different stories being heard. Maybe I've just got hangups from not being in with the popular kids when I went to school! I'm beginning to really understand where Mark Ahlness was coming from when he declared his revamped blog reading list. Like Sean said, let the individuals decide how to aggregate their own choice of resources. Maybe EdBloggerNews will be a great success and get a lot more educators blogging and reading. That's a good thing. But it doesn't have to make it my thing.

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2 thoughts on “EdBlogger News – I Respectfully Disagree

  1. Miguel Guhlin

    Thanks for making these points.

    However promising a practice, I find myself unwilling to participate at this point. I’m not sure why, but you’ve touched on some of the issues here.


  2. Alex Hayes

    Rank, order and file is nothing more than preparing bloggers for war and we are seeing lots of that emerging in the blogospherecity.

    Why is it then Graham, knowing that this “open” practice of speaking ones mind invites comment do certain individuals in their pursuit of professional practice choose to build their own networks using web 2.0 tools and spend so much time inviting others to join in ? It’s a bit like teams. Gladiators.

    Perhaps the whole idea of community as a online network or online print-down resource is dead. Perhaps wikipedia is reaching a zenith and will become something that someone (I darent say who) mention high in the VET Ed. research world called “the bastards model of knowledge authenticity”.

    Individuals do indeed seek ways to distribute, aggregate, collate, disseminate. What they choose to use to do so with decides their fate in my opinion.

    Have you chosen the ‘right’ venue in which to express your views or will your feeds now judge you in the future ?

    I’m not unwilling to state what I feel and that will be my fate.

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