When Blogging Goes Bad: A Cautionary Tale About Blogs, Emailing Lists, Discussion, and Interaction
Steven D. Krause

Essay or Blog? Your reading choices

I originally wrote and thought of this text as a traditional and linear essay, one meant to be read from beginning to end. However, when it came time for me to put it together for the web, it occurred to me that I could offer a version of the text that was re-ordered in reverse chronological order, in the spirit of a blog. It seemed fitting to do this, though I must admit I also thought originally that it was a bit of a gimmick.

This issue of the order of the piece was debated by readers in the review process in what I thought were interesting ways. To me, the most interesting objection to the reverse ordering of things was that it did not reflect the "episodic" nature of blogs. At first, I agreed completely with this critique. But as I revised and as I thought about it more, I began to believe that there was a good reason to present a "blog" order reading option, one beyond just a "gimmick." My thoughts and practices about using blogs to teach have changed quite a bit in the time I started this essay (which was in June 2003) to now (late August 2004). The beginning of the essay and the "bad example" I discuss reflects where I was in my use of blogs in the classroom almost two years ago, while the concluding sections about how I'm using blogs currently is based on what I have been and will be doing in the near future. The beginning of the text is about the past, and the end of the text is about the present-- just like a blog.

In the end, I've set the "default" reading approach for the text is as a linear essay. But readers are also welcome to consider it more as a blog, or some combination of the two by selecting the different links in the right column.