What is a blog for, anyway?

Blog community

Hughes Syndrome (2012) Blog [online]. Available from: http://www.hughes-syndrome.org/news.htm. [Accessed: 14th October 2012].

For about a year or so I have taken an interest in various different blogs. I have found them an interesting insight into a whole paraphernalia of stuff – topics ranging from ancient history, to technology to rating school dinners. But that’s really as far I’ve gone with considering the idea of blogs. In other words: I’ve been a consumer not a producer.

However, last week this started to change.

You see, this was the week when I started the last series of ICT sessions during my final year studying BA (Hons) Primary Education at the University of Northampton. During our first lesson we were asked to start a blog on our experiences of ICT in education.

My first reaction to this was positive. I found setting up the blog a straightforward process, although I must admit that I tried about sixty different themes for the blog… and hated them all.  I have finally found a theme that I like, although this may change!

With the mechanics completed, I’ve spent the last few days considering what a blog actually does. I watched an interesting TED speech by Mena Trott that really got me thinking. In her speech she asked her audience to:

think about blogs, think about what they are, what you thought of them and then actually do it.

So this is why I am thinking about what a blog actually is. From looking at other people’s blogs I understand that they present information, but I had a feeling that they do more than this. To shed some light on my concerns I decided to look up “blog” in the dictionary. This being an online project, I felt it would be pertinent to use an online dictionary, so I looked up the term on Oxford Dictionary online.

I was presented with the following definition:

A personal website or web page on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc. on a regular basis.

I thought this was a good definition to start with and it reassured me. I’ve written about my opinion before and had people deem it good enough to be published. But I did feel that this definition was missing something.

So I turned to the Collins online dictionary, which provided this definition:

A journal written on-line and accessible to users of the internet.

This definition completed the jigsaw for me. Blogs are not just an individual’s opportunity to put stuff online, but they are a chance for the blogger and readers to share ideas and interact as a journey unfolds.

For some people this journey will be about their experiences as a polar explorer, for others it will involve documenting selling records without being signed to a record label. For me this journey will primarily be about ICT in education, mostly reflecting on issues touched on at University. But, I plan to also bring in other things I’ve found out about education or information from the use of ICT in the wider world that I find interesting.

I hope you enjoy the ride.