I’ll admit that I’m not a very good blogger. This is the longest that I have ever stuck with a blog, which means that somewhere out there are several abandoned blogs floating around the Internet attached to one of several email addresses. I can never seem to stick with them.
Part of my problem is that I’ve never really understood the purpose of blogs. Sure, I could use it as a journal and record interesting moments in my life. (There aren’t many – this is southeast Ohio, after all.) I also could use it as a way to express views on a particular subject, but I don’t feel strongly about anything enough to create a whole blog around it.
I’ve always admired the people who can create a blog with a really strong sense of purpose and keep up with it over a long period of time. One of my favorite blogs is Hyperbole and a Half. (If you like hilariously bad drawings and making fun of poor grammar, it’s a must read.) The blog works so well because it’s funny, sad, and most of all, cohesive. The author has a really distinct voice that comes through in each of her posts. There also is a purpose – to make us laugh.
While reading George Siemen’s “The Art of Blogging”, I was surprised at the many different purposes of a blog. I have always thought of them as an online diary, but according to Siemen’s, they can also be used for interactive journalism, customer service, community-building, storytelling, and more. I also like the idea that blogs can eliminate barriers. This is especially important for education.
When using a blog in an educational setting, I think there are some benefits and some drawbacks. Creating a blog can give quieter students the chance to express themselves in a way that they may not be able to in class. Reading a blog can remove barriers to students. For example, in my corner of Ohio, many K-12 students never travel outside the area, so they may never visit an art museum in Chicago or watch a Broadway play in New York. Through blogs like Two Coats of Paint, students can view great (and not so great) works of art and read reviews and background information about the works. In some ways, blogs can make the reader’s world a little larger.