The other day, “doug — off the record” had an article featured in Stephen Downes’ OLDaily. It’s always a nice moment to know that someone actually reads the ramblings that fly from this keyboard. In this case, the article made reference to a This Week in Ontario Edublogs post which had pointed to Brenda Sherry’s excellent letter to the premier.
One of the reasons why I do this regular Friday post (now around 317 times) is to share some of the excellent work of Ontario education bloggers and my thoughts about their posts. As irony would have it, I use Downes’ format of commenting and placing them on my own blog. I like the concept and have no intention of changing it any time soon.
In this note, Stephen shares a bit of his thoughts as generated by Brenda’s post.
Then, there’s the second paragraph which is directed at some of the things that I did in that post and, in fact, do regularly. My initial reaction was that the comments were hurtful but that went away with time. But, it did get me thinking.
p.s. and as a complete aside, I’ve been noticing how much language online is presented in the form of a command. I get this in email a lot (as in Facebook saying “you need to update your page listing” or LinkedIn “tell us whether so-and-so is a friend.” I saw some in Peterson’s post – that’s what made me think of it. “Show some blog loving to Gerry and check in,” he says in a tone that I perceive as demanding compliance. And “Make sure that you’re following these great bloggers on Twitter.” I wonder how much more we’re ordering each other about these days, and I wonder how much of that is influenced by commercial online discourse.
It was absolutely my intent to:
- get people to visit Gerry Smith’s blog post. If you recall, it was his very first post and I was hoping to help him get some readers
- let people know the Twitter handle of all of the bloggers. After all, not everyone uses RSS to follow blogs these days, but many bloggers let their Twitter followers know of a new post there. (It can be done automatically a number of ways…I sure don’t do it manually at 5:00am before my first coffee.) Hence, at least to me, it only makes sense to follow them
and I make no apologies for that. But, am I doing it correctly?
I find that Downes’ perception that I’m demanding compliance interesting. If only I had that kind of power!
I know that I’ve told my own children that it’s easy to find fault but that it’s much more difficult to suggest a solution to address that fault. Unfortunately, there was no suggestion in the reply.
So, I’ll turn to you, reader. Here are snippets from the original post.
It’s nice to get in on the ground floor of any initiative and this is the first blog post of (I hope) many from Gerry Smith.
Where do you stand? Show some blog loving to Gerry and check in.
Make sure that you’re following these great bloggers on Twitter.
Please click through and read these blog posts and enjoy.
Be my editor for a day and share your thoughts via reply.
- Did you feel ordered around when you read this?
- Should I just drop the concept?
- If no, what words would encourage people to get involved with these posts/bloggers without demanding compliance?