I haven't blogged anything of substance for a while now and while I'm not quite slipping into the banality that plagued D'Arcy Norman last year, my recent posts have lacked that "I've got something important to say" spark. I'm not sure that blogging for the sake of blogging is a good thing in my case. Wading into current popular topics and rehashing recurring ideas is not useful unless I'm adding something unique to the conversation. But I have been reading (a lot) and leaving a lot of comments all over the place. I've also been adding some new voices to my Bloglines account by following other commenters back to their blog - a good form of stalking! I really like what I've been finding too - blogs that have the dual qualities of being relevant and original. Both are qualities I strive for in my writing but they are really hard to manage on a consistent basis. Quite often I read about an idea and then that theme seems to propagate itself in a multitude of blogs. For instance, More Prensky's concept of digital immigrants and natives is currently doing the rounds. My problem? The majority of what's being written at the moment I've read versions of before with very few bloggers currently breaking new ground on this well worn topic. Someone writing with a new, unique insight will grab my attention but if not, I'll move on through the aggregator.
There are a small handful of bloggers whose perspective is so unique that almost every post has new food for thought in it. It's the reason I chase Alex Hayes in his varying online hiding holes all over the web. Artichoke, Doug Noon, Bruce Schauble and more recently Miss Profe and Sarah Puglisi manage to engage my mind almost every time that they post. Bill Kerr always advises that to broaden one's perspective, one needs to look well beyond the circle of education. But by subscribing to his insightful mind, he filters totally unique stuff through to me. Who else would take on the role of devil's advocate to George Siemen's connectivism? (Although, devil's advocate is a poor choice of phrase for an atheist!) Don't get me wrong - there are many, many fine edubloggers out there but they are just like me in their posting, struggling to be relevant and original.
So what I am saying here as it's getting late this Sunday evening? Well, blogging topics are a real mixture of stuff just posted for myself (training session notes, ideas for classes, cool tools I've found) but my most important stuff, the stuff I actually write with an audience in mind, is when I have an idea or concept burning in my brain and writing it out seems to bring it to life. Grabbing someone else's idea and trying to make it my own doesn't seem to work. I'll pick up an idea sometimes after the scent has gone cold for others but if it makes sense in my world, then it's worth exploring, flawed thinking and all. Sometimes, my writing is ahead of the popular consensus. But that's what I'm striving for - the elusive balance between relevance and originality.