Here a blog, there a blog

One blog to rule them all? The blog to end all blogs? It seems I face the choice everytime I do something new.

When I set up my first WordPress blog on my server years ago, I faced the issue of my dual personalities: history instructor and online teacher. They go together well in real life, but seemed to have two different purposes online. I could blog about history for my students and other historians to read, but most wouldn’t be interested in online teaching stuff. Similarly, only a few people who might read my online teaching blog would care about historical musings.


So I did it separately, a history blog and an online teaching blog. They were both satisfying to write for, but in completely different ways. As time went on, the main blog became the online teaching blog, because history as a subject is so second nature to me. My main learning was taking place in online teaching and all the various ed tech web things I was doing.


You’d think it would make sense, then, when I enrolled in the Connnectivism class in 2008, for me to just do my blogging at my online teaching blog. I did one post and thought, “this will get everything mixed up — it’s out of the flow”.

Not everyone cares about flow on their blog. Maybe the fact that I do reflects more about me as a historian than a learner (gimme solid chronology, dammit). But the result has been separate blogs for CCK08, EC&I831, and now this class. The history blog is still there — I’ll get back to it someday. Then I set up a blog for the Program for Online Teaching. Then I set up blogs for my onsite classes, History 103 and 104, which I’m currenlty running as a Small Open Online Class, even though it’s on-site. So right now I’m “running” 4 or 5 active blogs.


And although I started with different themes for each blog, I’ve been gravitating lately toward Atahualpa because it can do anything, and easily too. Trying different themes and trying to make them do different themes has been an extensive learning experience. And now I know things. Such as there is no way to have students be able to edit their own replies without having them be able to edit everyone’s.


The blogs all have different purposes. My online teaching blog is for reflection, like my history blog. The class blogs were discrete, for particularly classes. The blogs for my classes at the college or for the students, not for me. They, and the POT blog, are places, where “blogging” does not take place in its “traditional” sense. I think calling them all blogs doesn’t make sense anymore – “blog” is just a format. Some are real blogs (because “logging” happens), but others are just websites. My Dreamweaver has fewer files now, and my server with WordPress has more. And more. And more.

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