The Lost Post

I wonder who will read this post, maybe no-one immediately but just in case someone somewhere still has their aggregator pointed this way I can tell you that this is probably one of the trickier posts that I have written since I have been blogging.

If you check back on the Recent Posts list you will see that it has been almost six months since I last posted. Prior to that I had been quite a regular little poster. I was also quite chuffed to check the stats and see that I had built up a reasonable level of readership. Six months ago though I managed to slip the gate and the posts dried up almost overnight.

It wasn’t like I didn’t want to post; things just got very busy. It wasn’t like I had given up on blogging; blogs and other things Web 2.0 are still a big part of my work. It wasn’t like I didn’t have things to share, thoughts to explore, ideas to try to explain, feedback to seek; it’s just that I got out of the habit. Worse than that though I also neglected the feeds from other bloggers that I had so carefully assembled.

After a couple of weeks of missed routine the blogging behaviours became supplanted by other activities so that it sort of became a little embarrassing contemplating that my blog was idle yet others continued to grow and flourish. Yes, I have checked back on my RSS feeds list every now and then in this past six months, (though admittedly not as assiduously as in the past). I have also often thought throughout the days that have past that “I should post about that…..” though until now I haven’t committed. I’ve also composed this post numerous times over, (often somewhere between 2-4AM in those sleepless hours). Alas though the keyboard was not next to the bed, (probably just as well my wife might suggest).

It does have me thinking though whether blogging can wear off. Is it going to be “faddist” for many nascent bloggers including our students? Are we going to commit the same ‘error’ with blogging etc that we have done with so many otherwise great educational initiatives/approaches, that is turn them into orthodoxies or universal panaceas that we insist on our students being involved in. Worse still if in prescribing and dictating the manner and format that we wish the students to use we extinguish the vital spark that can make blogging an enervating experience.

Hmmmm maybe I did need the rest, maybe I was captive of a self imposed orthodoxy that said I had to post each day? Only time will tell and maybe I will find time to post tomorrow 🙂

Oh in case you were wondering, some of the reasons for all this neglect include, moving house to a great new location across the road from the beach, deciding to cash in my role as a classroom teacher and heading into the role of educational consultancy, trying to finish off a book that a colleague and I have been writing, plus the usual little indulgences along the way.

A quick update……. It seems like it hasn’t just been me that has taken the blog hiatus, checking the feeds I find that Paul has also had his attention otherwise diverted.  Doesn’t make me feel quite as bad :).

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6 Responses to The Lost Post

  1. Hey there. I do know how you feel. I am one of those people who still have you in my bloglines and it nice to read from someone else what I have been thinking. I haven’t posted much either on my own blog and I was starting to think maybe it is a fad. There is something about the connection though and I do still read and (comment when moved to) a number of bloggers. Not as many as I used to though.

    I think you are right that we may see our students lose interest in blogging if we make it prescriptive. They will get hooked in to some other form of communication. There is still something magic about connecting with people in different places. I think there will still be power to motivate pupils to blog/podcast/wiki etc if we can get people to give them feedback. I know with my own children they started out being really keen to have their own podcasts but have lost a bit of interest as the feedback has dried up.
    Writing with a sense that you are only taking to yourself doesn’t hold the same motivation as when you know there is an audience listening. And if you then get feedback I think it motivates you to continue.

    Anyway. Thanks for the post.

  2. johnp says:

    Hi Paul,

    Welcome back :). I definitely agree that feedback is a huge driver, especially after the first blush associated with the power of publishing fades. Despite that I’m still not sure that having a strong readership base with lots of feedback is THE major motivator either, (in truth it’s probably a mix of lots of factors). (Readership and the feeling of belonging associated with it is pretty powerful.)

    Before I dropped off the read-post loop I was achieving quite a reasonable level of readership and feedback yet this was not strong enough to make me get back on the keyboard. If anything after a couple of weeks this feeling of letting down my “readership” tended to make it even more difficult to post again because of the level of embarrassment associated with me not fulfilling an unspoken contract.

    Maybe there comes a time when the expectation of readership, perceived or otherwise becomes a little overwhelming.

    Hmmm I sound a bit pompous with all this talk of readership base don’t I…… (now I know that I’m not that well read). 🙂

  3. Sue Waters says:

    Heya John

    I been thinking about you lately and wondering how you are going? Glad to hear all is okay and can totally relate to where you are at. Life has been busy and writing a good blog post takes time. Would love to hear more about what you have been up to and where you are at?

  4. AllanahK says:

    You are still in my aggregator. 🙂 The novelty of blogging is still burning in me as I have new places to visit and things to say that hopefully people are interested to read about. Twitter is a new place to connect and sometimes I pick up on people’s new posts before the even get to Bloglines.

    Although I say it doesn’t- it does take time- and other things do get in the way- for me it is the feedback, the conversation and the Clustrmap that keep me coming back for more.

  5. johnp says:

    Thanks Sue and Allanah,

    I guess time is the big one and I have yet to dabble in the Twitterverse maybe because I fear what time it might stealthily filch away :). I do have things to share however and now I am back on the horse so to speak I might as well hit the range.

  6. Kim Pericles says:

    Welcome back John – missed you!
    I know where you’re coming from – my blog remained ominously quiet for months over summer. I’d got myself in a rut with trying to read too many blog posts and I found i was just thinking “yes, I agree with that” and moving on to the next post to read. I wasn’t connecting – i was overwhelmed and “lost” my voice. All very sad – boohoo 😉
    As you suggested, maybe we all need a rest to step back and have a look at the bigger picture ( or the picture from a different angle) “only time will tell……”

    Hmmmmm your “indulgences along the way” sounds interesting 🙂

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