Blogging Goes Bad: A Cautionary Tale About Blogs, Emailing Lists, Discussion,
Steven D. Krause
(1)My thanks for the advice and feedback from friends, colleagues, and the assigned readers/reviewers for Kairos. I found all of their different pieces of advice to be extremely interesting and helpful, and in several places in the essay/blog, I comment on their insights.
(2)In the original version of this essay/blog, I placed a great deal more emphasis on the word "collaboration" in the sense of comparing the "collaborative" writing experiences of emailing lists and blogs. Yet, when I went to revise with the intention of explaining what I meant by "collaboration," I found that most of my essay focuses on blogs and emailing lists for the purposes of discussion and interaction. While the "bad example" of a blog assignment was a collaborative one, this essay is less about collaboration and more about comparing blogs and emailing lists as places where students can interact with their writing and audiences in different ways. True, this interaction is itself collaborative in a sense. But I think both the "turning point" in my cautionary tale and my subsequent assignments using blogs are more about discussion and interaction than they are about collaboration, especially as individual student writing finds an audience.
(3) The student who wrote the example I discuss here gave me permission to quote her work in this essay. She read the conference presentation version of my essay and agreed with my basic premise as well.
(4) It's worth noting that at the time of this incident, commenting was not a feature included with Blogger. I don't believe an active commenting feature would have changed the results of this "cautionary tale" because I think the student took advantage of the emailing lists superior interactive and conversational features of the emailing list. Still, it is interesting difference between blogs then and now.