For what…blogging

<![CDATA[David J has just posted some musings on blogging. There are 7 comments and an interesting discussion on poetry has gone ‘off piste’ via email. I am coming round to the conclusion that blogging, even community blogging, does not easily sustain extended discussions. This is why I would imagine it would be useful on occassions to be able to wander off to an integrated wiki or bulletin board type thing.

When I post to this blog the overall feeling is one of thinking aloud. There is always the possibility that someone will hear you and make a comment that helps you clarify your thinking, or reinforce your ideas, or just feel that you are not alone! The (largely unknown) audience is important and as Harriet says in a comment to David J’s post, if there isn’t an audience you might as well keep a dairy.]]>

Exciting times….

<![CDATA[I seem to have had so little time to read or write on Elgg for the last week or two. Things have been pretty hectic in Leeds UK recently. We have now got an Elgg installation up and running at This may not be the final url but I kinda like it. It is still very much a pilot exercise but we will be doing some stuff on it for real and, hopefully, open it up to all staff and students in time for the next academic year. Also at the moment guest commenting has been disabled (in theory at least – let’s hope this is robust!). This is a major restriction on how elgg can be used most powerfully but there are some technical and legalistic issues that need to be worked through.

I have just watched and listened to Brian Lamb’s videocast Beyond the Blog which I discovered curtesy of a post by Joan Vinall-Cox. This, for me at least, is inspirational stuff. How far removed this is from standard institutional VLEs! And how much more rewarding and genuinely useful.]]>

National Novel Writing Month

<![CDATA[I have just discovered this and have signed up to write a 50,000 word novel between November 1st and 30th. Just to make sure I don’t have any spare time in November. 21 individuals signed up in 1999. In 2004 it was 42,000 of which 6,000 completed the word count by the deadline. So far 49,419 have signed up for this year. In the last couple of years it has produced about 5 published books.

The time constraint is a good excuse to not worry over much about the literary merit or quality of the writing and may be a good way to overcome writer’s block. A 2000 words a day schedule should keep it churning out OK. As it says in the blurb on the site, it is not about quality; its all about quantity.

There’s probably worse things I could waste my time on.]]>