Just realized that I have had my blog up for almost a year (it will be 1 year exactly on the 31st). Who knew it would last so long? It was meant primarily to be a way of keeping in touch with my friends in the US after I left, but it has evolved into so much more. Or so I’d like to think (ha!).
The rise in the popularity of blogging reminds me of a period around the late 1990s to early 2000s when it felt like everyone had a website. The availability of free web hosts and easy-to-use tools like those on Tripod and Geocities meant that everyone and their grandmother could have a web presence. Many people did, though not a lot of the websites (IMHO) were much good. Still it was a lot of fun to read peoples’ stories and see photos of their friends and families. I linked-up with a few long-lost friends through these personal sites. I got my own personal home internet connection for the first time in 2000 when I moved to Boston and I went totally crazy. Most of my time (outside of school and work) was spent physically in my bedroom, but in reality miles away somewhere in cyberspace.
I devoured all the personal websites I found, eagerly scoured their favourite links and gobbled those up too. I start frequenting discussion boards (perhaps my social downfall?). My favourite was on a website called ChickClick and it was really my home away from home. It was a sad day when they closed down. I stayed up late so many nights, not because I couldn't sleep but because I could not tear myself away from my computer. I kept saying "I'll check just one more page." Before I knew it, I had been up almost all night with just a few hours before I had to get to work. When my friend Y told me that her sister was going through the same thing, I TOTALLY understood.
Over time though, after the initial excitement had long died down, many of these sites fell into a gradual state of stasis and eventually disappeared altogether. I suspect the same thing will happen with many of the blogs around. Blogging is also, of course, evolving. I know many people think of it as a frivolous waste of time, but they perhaps aren’t thinking about how it can be adapted for use in a myriad of collaborative learning experiences. In some Western countries, teachers use blogs to discuss homework or classroom teachings with students. Blogs are also used by teachers to keep parents updated on what is being taught in the class. I’m pretty excited about the possibilities that the future will bring, not just for blogging but also for online collaborative learning.