Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Blogging about Blogging

So it's been awhile. A long while. Despite my assertion that I would try to post a few times a semester It's been almost a year. But I'm here now, and that's what matters, right? So why am I back almost a year after my last post? Well, mostly because homework made me (It's always homework's fault), but it's a good thing. this poor blog has been neglected and it needs some love. So my blog thanks you, IST611, for forcing me to post here! So onto the assignment...

For class this week we were tasked with using a blog to discuss a few topics regarding blogging. So yes, as the title of this post says, I'm blogging about blogging. So lets get to it. 

The short answer is that I love blogging (even if it isn't evident by this particular blog). I either run or work on 8 blogs. 2 book blogs, 2 writing blogs, a photo blog, online portfolio and 2 blogs which are event specific (and also related to books). Just today I set up a blog for one of the elementary classes I'm working with the semester. So in other words, I'm of the mind set that a blog is ALWAYS a good thing. There are so many different sites that you can use to get the job done. I use Blogger for this blog and some others, Wordpress for one book blog and my online portfolio, for my classroom/student blog, Weebly for my writing blog and have used Edublogs in the past for other projects. Sometimes it takes a little legwork to find which one will work for you, but it's worth it. It can create such a dynamic space online that can only reach more people. 

Part of our  discussion this week is supposed to revolve around how you can use blogging to address the AASL Standards. In my opinion you can do this is so many different ways. By having links to the different Web2.0 technologies you have access too and some ideas for how they can be used in support of the curriculum and AASL Standards you are giving your patrons, both teachers and students, instant access to what is there. By embedding vlogs you can make announcement on what is new or upcoming without having to call or email everyone. You can create a separate page on your blog that houses links to journal articles regarding why using technology in the classroom is a good thing. In other words, use your blog to share what you know. Don't wait for people to come to you and ask "What can you do for me?", instead make the blog a place where people can go and find out all the new and exciting things you have available and how they can support the projects in the classroom. Make it a place where you can share your ideas as well as the end results of the collaborative projects. 

Now the other half of this weeks discussion revolved around RSS feeds. I love blogs, I hate RSS feeds. I've tried using them, but for me it just creates one more spot I have to check, and I already have enough places to look. Most sites I follow either have a follow function or have a twitter or facebook page. New posts almost always are linked to one of these sites. Essentially making twitter or facebook my feed. On facebook these blog updates show right up with all my friends wall posts so it becomes a one stop shop for me. Why would I want to go somewhere else? Now I know many others love their RSS feeds, my husband being one of them, so I don't think they are dead on vine, but they aren't the thing for me. 

So what say all you? Am I too much in love with blogging? Am I being unfair with my hate-fest of RSS feeds? Sound off in the comments. 

Happy Blogging!

In case anyone is interested... here are links to my three main blogs (of the remaining 4, some are more dormant then this one has been (we'll ignore those), and others are part of my fieldwork and private to the classes that are using them)

A Reader's Ramblings (book blog)
Eve's Fan Garden (book blog)
The House that Books Built (writers blog)


  1. Kate, I went back and checked out one of your first posts for this blog. I thought it was terrific and commented on it. Now, for this week's assignment, I am anxious to hear how your colleagues in class will respond to your RSS opinions. You are sure to get reactions on both sides.

  2. I'm sure I will! I am noticing that a lot of my classmates do NOT have the option to have followers. That's where the RSS feed really comes in handy since there is no other option. For me though, if I can't just follow your site and have your posts show up in my blog roll, chances are I won't visit your site anymore. Oh, and that list of feeds I follow there on the right hand side were an assignment for 511 I believe. I can honestly say I added them to an RSS feed and completely forgot they were there!

  3. I guess RSS feeds are great if you do not use Facebook to check out blogs. I for one do not. I always forget to check Twitter and when I do I have about 50 tweets to comb through, which I just do not have the time to do. I use Plurk mostly anyway as I find the interface more friendly and readable. I have way too many friends on Facebook to keep track of their blogs. If they did a blog post the announcement would get lost immediately among the other updates. This is why I use RSS, because it only shows me what has been updated that day, which is usually not overwhelming (except LISNews which updates 10 times a day)

    But if you are good with keeping up with Facebook and Twitter than I completely understand not liking RSS feeds. It's kind of useless by that point. As for blogging, I love blogging. I really do. Except it is so hard to keep up with it! I just have a blog for library science and a blog for writing and I still have trouble updating them regularly. How do you handle so many blogs? Any advice would be welcome!

  4. I'm always impressed that busy people also manage to maintain numerous blogs. My one lonely little blog was dormant for ages until we got this assignment! On the other hand, like you, I do love blogs. I'm an avid cook, so I lurk on various blogs maintained by other busy folks like me who like food and want to share it with others. I don't subscribe to any RSS feeds. I'm not really opposed to them, but as you note, it's just one more thing to check, and I'm already too much a slave to my computer. Teaching Thoreau this week. Trying to simplify, not complicate!

  5. When reading someone else's blog post (I forget who! #Blogfail LOL)there was a discussion on RSS v. Twitter and the writer made a point that it's too hard to scan backwards through their Facebook wall or Twitter feed, which I suppose I did not really think of because for the past 6 years I've had jobs where I sat in front of a computer all day. Tweet Deck is up and I see new tweets as they come in. Same with Facebook. If something catches my eye I take a quick minute and check it out. This might all change when I'm in a library and don't have that same situation any more. RSS feeds might suddenly feel like the best thing that has ever been created- but for now it doesn't do it for me. Also, on Facebook and Twitter I have my contacts broken into lists like SU, Family and Bloggers. This allows me to just view my blogger contacts making it much easier to see new posts.

    As for keeping up with all the blogs- I have to say I don't. Some, like this one, get lost in the woods as other things take center stage.I have two blogs that I keep redesigning, but don't actually have any posts on them (I have big plans though!) The one thing I can say is advice I got from other bloggers. Write for yourself and only post when you have something to say. If you do anything other then that it becomes a chore and then it loses it's fun. It's hard to not compete with other bloggers who post brilliant things 5 days a week, but when I tried to keep up with that pace I began to hate it. Now I maybe post once a week to my book blogs. More if I've read multiple amazing books in a week and feel compelled to share, less if I'm in a book-slump or if school work is keeping me too busy to read and blog. The goal should never be to get free stuff or become famous (I won't happen), so if you keep it stress free and share the most important stuff that you really want to talk about it, some of the stress gets taken off and it becomes easy.

  6. Kate-

    I think you are referring to me (re #BlogFail) ;) I will respond on my blog!

  7. After reading your blog I have been inspired to develop mine. It is well organized and you have great ideas. I understand the delay between postings. I find myself using mine sporadically I think because I haven't quite developed a purpose for it yet. But you have given me inspiration. Thanks, Sarah

  8. Kate, I agree with you on RSS feeds - they work for some people, but not for me. I think I explored the idea briefly during 511, signed up for one on Google, and promptly forgot about them. They would work great for my boyfriend though, who spends hours surfing the web and really likes keeping up to date on current events and politics.

  9. To echo Amanda, I don't look at Twitter or Facebook enough to use them as my blog feed. Also, the point of RSS is not to add "another" place to look, but to have it become "THE" place to look for updates. I check Google Reader for blog posts, and I only check Facebook and Twitter for those posts.

    I will sheepishly admit that the whole reason I got into RSS feeds to begin with was that I used to be unable to see any types of blogs at all at my "day job" office because of filters that were in place, and I sneakily discovered that Google Reader was a back door into a few of my favorites. In the past few years, I've added more and more and more blogs there and I've gotten very loyal to some podcasts as well, but I use folders to narrow down the updates so I can take a 10 or 15-minute "mental break" a few times a day to see what's new. I also use RSS feeds on my iPhone and iPad to kill time on long lines, on the bus, or even at the laundromat.

    At the risk of sounding like a shameless plug, my post for this week \talks about the 5 features of Google Reader that I think make it valuable and time-saving. In particular, I talk about scanability and searchability, which relates to your comment about backwards scanning above, and may be worth another try for you in the future. Until then, different strokes for different folks!

  10. Mary- I do think that if I was in different circumstances and wasn't on my computer 24/7 I would probably be more into RSS. Which is why I don't say that it's dead on the vine. For me I just haven't found that I need it yet. The more I think about it the more I realize that at some point it will probably become the place I turn, especially if I am in a school that filters out certain sites (do you think I can get to The Bloggess?). It will be interesting to come back to this question in a few years to see if I'm still NOT using RSS or if I've jumped the dark side ;)

  11. Kate, I could get to just about any blog that was filtered out using Google Reader (including The Bloggess!). While this is helpful from the teacher point of view, it might be something to keep in mind in terms of students! The only trouble I ran into was when a blog chose to allow titles only in their RSS feed. Some blogs do this so that people will still have incentive to generate page hits to their page.