Following a recent comment on one of my pages, I began to ask myself:
“Why DO I have so many blogs?”
“What is their purpose?”
The flippant answer is ‘who cares?” but the longer and more complicated answer is perhaps more interesting:
I’ve experimented with many and various blogging sites ever since I first came across blogging as a tool for education at the 2004 ALT-C Conference in Exeter. http://www.alt.ac.uk/altc2004/. I remember returning to work and asking colleagues to try out the idea and to tell me what they thought. As it turned out not much – only one or two really saw the point. I played with a few sites and hated them – so started to write my own ‘blog’ via html.
For many years I wrote my blog using MS FrontPage 2003 and publishing it to my own domain: http://www.village-e-learning.co.uk/blog.htm. This became much less convenient as new facilities became available via Web 2.0 and as I moved away from my XP laptop to my Vista laptop. The reasons for moving from XP to Vista are too complicated to go into here. At the same time Microsoft refused to update FrontPage for Vista and I’m too busy/slow/stupid (delete to suit) to learn Dreamweaver.
As the inconvenience became more pointed I moved over to WordPress (this blog).
I’d been playing with several blogging sites over the years, mainly to see which supported my needs and which was easiest for my learners to use (these days my learners tend to be teachers or trainers in the wider UK F.E. sector, although a fair proportion are from H.E.). Others have sought this Blog nirvana too: http://www.xlearn.co.uk/2009_09_01_archive.html
I found the change over to WordPress fairly smooth and although it still doesn’t do everything I want it to do, it is available on every machine I sit at and does ‘pretty much’ what I need. I do get irritated that the template I have chosen creates fairly small text (I have to code it slightly bigger myself when I remember) but the alternative is just another level of complexity.
* http://moblog.net/dsugden/ initially to send picture via mobile phone – but most blog sites allow this now
* http://touringfishman.blogspot.com/ (Play time version)
* http://dsugblog.blogspot.com/ (Books I read)
Both of the previous two are Google based Blogger sites, one of the first I tried Blogger didn’t fit enough of my needs to host the main blog. However, Blogger is the one I use with ‘new’ bloggers as it is simple to use and can be accessed via a Google login – which is essential for most web-based communications (another blog post maybe?)
* http://sites.google.com/site/dsugden/ This was a facility offered by Google during my visit to the USA in 2006. I experimented with it to keep a holiday diary. It (and the next) used to be ‘Google pages’ but have now become ‘sites.
* http://sites.google.com/site/dsugden/commodities This was a site I developed from the above – thinking to try and make it into a ‘learning’ web
* http://www.myspace.com/dsugden I used the blog facility here to write about ‘food’ but got really bored with it (same with Facebook – which I hate)
* http://dsugden.posterous.com/ was chosen initially as it could be authored via email and any images attached would be nicely inserted. As it developed, it became easy to ‘send to’ other social media and although I decided to make this blog my more chatty arena, it gets pushed to WordPress anyway – so it’s hard to choose between what is work and what is play.
So – again, why so many?
I tried to compartmentalise my blogs during the experimentation period, (blogger = books, MySpace = food etc.) and eventually to use Word Press to blog about e-Learning, m-Learning and teaching and learning generally; but really found it hard to separate my daily life from my daily work. I also found myself in something of a straight jacket and therefore decided to continue what I had started to do way back in 2005 with the Village –e-Learning Blog. They are all about me, what I do and who I am.
Will I open more? Will I try out other social media facilities?
Of course I will.