It's perhaps a journey from notions of atomised individuals to those of collaboration, sharing spaces and places - the deal is that you give up some of those old notions on the way (to where...?). Good thing? Bad thing? It's happening, like it or not! Comments?
Yes, I find the whole notion a bit odd. Do we want to be too open and 'chummy' with our students? Will we not lose 'respect' if they find out more private details about us?
And there's the rub. I think what is clearly happening all around us in the online world is beginning to further erode notions of classroom authority such as the sage on the stage - even of learning, which becomes rather referencing (don't know my mobile number, but I know where to find it). In some way, what makes blogs, wikis, social networks work is that they do mix personal and professional, making them more authentic.
Also, there are a lot of different kinds of blog. Not all are confessional self-exposures. You can do neutral professional discourse, for instance. Or anything else: it's a big blog universe out there! My own blog, which I've been running daily for nearly two years, is just poems and photos: http://www.unask.com/photoblog/.
I take Tom's point that blogs aren't necessarily confessionals and Bill's one about collaboration. However, to go with it because 'it's happening, like it or not!' probably isn't cruscello's circle's style ... Does the 'big blog universe' and Firefox's superb tabs (downloaded Friday)create the problem of excess - too much choice and not enough time for reflection. So instead of thinking about something deeply, are my students just flicking to have a look at one thought and then opening another tab into another universe, soon to open yet another tab? And this apparent searching - is it really searching, or just evasion and clutter? I'm going to have a look at your blog, Tom. (she says, opening another tab)
You know what I don't like about blogs, these names that don't mean anything. I know who Billus and Tom is but who is cruscello. Billus and Tom, I still don't find blogs useful tools for communicating/collaborating. They are very time consuming!
I think blogs should probably replace academic papers. This is something I came across the other day (in a blog...), writing papers is just too wasteful. Many ideas can be expressed much shorter, but in order to warrant publication they have to be blown up with what the author called 'basically spam'. I'll try to find the original reference.Blogs would be much more current, interactive, etc. Shame they don't count for the RAE!
Here it is:http://www.academicproductivity.com/2009/luis-von-ahn-on-doing-research-vs-writing-papers/
Following this, I share a lot of the reservations but maybe this is just a habit I've not got the hang of yet (good grief, I'll find myself on facebook soon). As for blogs replacing academic papers - there is something to throw about the academic world. Will check out your link.
Clodagh go and see the comments to the namefame game (Tom's Blog) and do the self googling exercise suggested by Bilus!!!XXM