Monday, April 14, 2008

Joining the Conversation About Why Bloggers Blog

On April 10 Jon Becker started quite a ruckus in the blog-o-sphere about education bloggers and conversation participation with his blog post Reflections of a New-ish Blogger. It is with a bit of hesitation that I've decided to join this conversation. Mr. Becker wrote that he feels like he is on the outside listening in to closed conversation being conducted by a handful of well-known education bloggers. Mr. Becker says this because he has been blogging for three months and has only had a few comments left on his blog. Of course, he now has many more visits to his blog and comments because he seems to have struck a nerve with many bloggers. Part of my hesitation to even write about Mr. Becker's blog was because it seems to be just a complaint about not having a lot of blog traffic and by wording the complaint correctly he's increased his traffic immensely. (Prior to last Friday, I had never heard of Jon Becker) The complaint did start a conversation, but a lot of the conversation has nothing to do with education and a lot to do with the purpose of blogging.

Education blogs should be about education not about increasing blog traffic, visit Mashable, TechCrunch, or ReadWriteWeb to learn about increasing blog traffic. Yes, it's fun and an ego boost to see your visitor statistics increase, but that shouldn't be why a person blogs. As Seth Godin pointed out today, trying to make money from blogging is about as easy as trying to make money selling orchids. Sure, some people do it, but not many and even fewer get rich doing it. Case in point, this blog has consumed hours of my time, I have more than 10,000 unique page views, and I've made absolutely nothing. The purpose of blogging should be to provide your readers with something that has value to them and to you.

The value of this blog for most readers lies in finding free technology resources and finding quick, succinct thoughts about using free technology resources. This blog is not a place to find a large collection of my ramblings about education, plenty of people much more eloquent than me already do that. The value of this blog for me, and the reason I started it in the first place, is finding free resources that I and other teachers can use. I love exploring the web and writing this blog gives a purpose to my explorations. In an effort to continue to give this blog value to readers I try to refrain from sharing my ramblings and musings. That's not why I blog, but if that is why you blog then keep doing it because someone is listening, just don't get hung up on the number of comments or visitors you have. In time (a long time, years not months) if what you're writing is good, people will read it and share it.

And now... a Free Technology For Teachers: check out Qik.com. I'll be doing a write up of it in the next blog post.