Monday, October 5, 2009

Looking for online community: Blog networks

Wikipedia describe the blogosphere as being made up of all blogs and their interconnections and a collection of interconnected communities. But are blogs communities?
A blog consist of one or sometimes several writer , passive readers  and readers actively commenting.
What can be a blogging network? I followed the link for Blogscope then BlogPulse. The idea to be able to search specifically for blogs about a certain topic is new to me. Does it mean that the blogs found concerned about the same topic constitute a community?
The first search was for eLearning. The two search engines are a good source to find blogs about a  specific topic, but it did not meant that the blogs were interconnected together.  It fact it did not seem to be many inter-connection between them at all.  There are  communities of blogs in Tumeke (thanks Rachel!) and KiwiBlogs (thanks Stephen!) These are concerned about NZ politics, but it does not seem to be much cross-references between these blogs either.

Organising blogs seems to be hard work as explained on (thanks Sarah!). The paper on which this blog entry was based made for very interesting reading.
Would someone complete such a task without financial incentive? I doubt it.

 A good example of a blogging network would be the FCO9 blog network. Several platforms are used for the blogs, but there are linked by
- a common interest
- links are interconnecting the blogs between each others
- the blogs also refer to each other.
 I have spent quite a bit of time looking for working blog communities.  Like  Stephen, I have found that most are not very active in the sense that most members seem to be active only for a short time.
One of the two properly working blog network I have met is….. The FCO9 network. The other one was link to a course I completed last semester, so was only active for a few months.

Does anybody in the group want to be interviewed for comments and ideas on how you thing the blogging network  could benefit from facilitation services?

 Can a blogging network benefit of a facilitation service? My gut feeling is this could only be happening if a synchronous event takes place. The only situation when I think facilitation services could be useful is when a group of bloggers is sharing a blog, with someone able to modify or withdraw entries if one is deemed to be unacceptable. I can imagine this happening in an educational context, but have not met any example of it yet.  This idea was reinforced by reading Kylee's blog entry this morning.


  1. Since the meeting the penny has really dropped for me. Active blogging networks are more likely to be informal and develop organically, rather than being constructed. The common catch-phrase "build it, and they will come" echoes resoundingly.

    I wanted to pick up on your point about where you suggest that people wouldn't be a network weaver (or whatever your call this) without being paid. I'd almost say the opposite: to have the commitment to actually go to the trouble of posting and making connections relies on either personal interests or values that drive you. As it's really about creating and maintaining relationships, which takes a lot of time and occasional angst, I think money alone would never be enough. Especially when you put yourself on the line by making comments, sharing ideas and opinions which are essentially stuck on the Internet once you've made them.

  2. Hi Herve

    I have to say I agree with Stephen - the blogging networks that I am part of are made up of keen, enthusiastic people who are committed to teaching and learning. Everyone blogs and communicates for free but it does take time for the networks to form. You may say that it's not worth putting in that kind of time but I feel blogging is worth it - I learn heaps, get a lot of support and mentoring and have made many friends who I would otherwise not know.

    How I have seen facilitation work in a blogging network is that someone comes up with an idea...maybe for an asynchronous or synchronous event, advertises it and runs it either through their blog, or whatever platform. This happens a lot...and usually the events are free. People do it because they want to share their knowledge with people - think of it as a social capital thing - a case of 'what goes round, comes round'.

  3. A blogging network could evolve organically without design. However, if you want to actively design and weave a blogging network, this would require a lot of time and effort. Mind you, may be that in the education field you would not need to employ anyone to do this as most people seem to be working all hours!