Back to… Blorking?

Blorking? Is that what you’d call it? Blogging at work… Blogging about work. That’s what I mean. I still do blog with my wife and son for family and friends. Someone once described that blog as a “perpetual Christmas newsletter,” and I guess that’s kind of what it is. But I haven’t blogged about work for a while.

I started as an enthusiastic blogger, for work and otherwise. I think I had 4 or 5 weblogs going at one time when I first discovered social software five years ago. I had my aquarium blog where I meticulously logged setting up a new fish tank. (I know… geek, right?) I had a personal blog, which I didn’t publicize very much, and therefore no one read; it started on Blogger and then I moved it to WordPress.

At work, I had a Social Software blog, where a librarian and I linked to all that we thought was cool in Web 2.0 before it was even called that. (I remember writing a post titled something like “And the term of the year is…. Web 2.0” a few months after starting the site.) I had blogs for projects that I was working on at Wheaton: TEI for Small Liberal Arts Colleges, Blackboard @ Wheaon, etc. I started a group blog with the other Faculty Technology Liaisons in my department called The Latest and Greatest and then a year or two later I moved it to a local server and called it “RNI: Ruminations and Notations on Information.” (Not a great name, I know. I was trying to play off of our department’s name: Research aNd Instruction.)

All of those blogs failed… or rather dribbled out. Only my family newsletter blog remains. As you can tell by the links I provided above, a few of them still stand as tombstones; I deleted others (usually when I got sick of getting email notifications of spam comments.) In each case, I felt too busy to write and/or was not motivated because I wasn’t writing for much of an audience.

So, why try again? I am no less busy than before, so maybe this blog is doomed to fail as well. But I have been twittering in two places — one account public, the other only for co-workers to see — and have found through the low-pressure highly social micro-blogging format that I could find the time to write at least a few things every day. And on occasion I have wanted to say more than the 140 characters would let me. This would give me that chance.

The other thing that happened — when I started in my new position, I decided to get more organized with how I “get things done.” I have been experimenting with all sort of Todo list apps to help me out. (For a while, I was using Remember the Milk, but recently when I got my iPhone, I settled on Toodledo.) And I now actively organize my notes from meetings on my laptop. I started with Journler, but decided that I would like to have access to those notes from any computer. So, I set up a private note-taking blog for myself using WordPress. In addition to recording factual notes (i.e. “this is what happened at this meeting”), I also find myself writing a few posts where I am actively trying to think about where we are headed as a department or where academic technology seems to be headed and what role Wheaton should play in that direction. It occurred to me that some of those thoughts could (maybe even should) be said outloud.

So, here goes. Another attempt. Maybe it’ll stick this time. We’ll see. Back to blorking!

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