Use of Weblogs

Blogs are used for…

Professional Development – people who share their experiences related to their livlihood or profession in a reflective and critical, but often informal way.

Teaching and Education – often educators will use blogs as a learning space for their students. In addition to some that we’ve already listed in the Weblogs in EFL/ESL section, below are some more that lie outside of language learning.

  • EduBlog Insights – a former school teacher who now is an educational technology specialist at Georgia State University. She runs a number of different weblog projects with students, particularly young learners.
  • bgblogging – a university teacher at Middlebury College who has been blogging with her students for years now.

Grassroots Journalism – Many people use weblogs in a journalistic style, lending personal voice to important issues while cutting out corporate structure and influence from the process.

Causes and Politics – Weblogs provide a perfect platform for those of a political nature to voice their concerns and opinions, and also to invite (and get) contributions from readers very quickly to provide an exciting “live” feel.

  • Daily Kos – One of the most popular blogs ever.
  • Talking Points Memo – another widely read blog of a political slant, by a smart young political journalist, Josh Marshall.

Personal Journalling – quite a few social networks of (mostly) teenagers and young adults are built around the use of weblog technology, which many youngsters use as a form of journaling or diary writing. Much of the content is personal and reflective; many of the communities have built in privacy features. Below are some of the most popular examples. Will Richardson is one educator who roundly states that journalling is not blogging (see here, for instance, and here and here and here and here).

  • MySpace – the most popular social network online today.
  • Livejournal – similar to MySpace, but with less advertising and better social networking features.
  • Mixi – a Japanese social network that is currently the rave amongst university students. If you teach in Japan, get an account and see what your own students are writing about you and your class. Accounts are available by invite only.

Marketing – Blogs are also well suited for promoting people, ideas, and business interests.

  • Hugh MacLeod – a cartoonist who runs Gaping Void, which promotes his work.
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