Although everyone who should know this, knows that it is social meDIA not social MEdia, bloggers often get a slapped (especially from real writers) for openly sharing their thoughts, opinions, experiences, impressions, annoyances, knowledge etc on the page... and are often critiqued for being the inner-most-seekers of ze eternal belly-button...
When I first came on board there were really actually only a handful of real ELT-bloggers out there in the 'sphere - excellent bloggers like Nik, Alex, Seth, Graham, Elena, Susana, Carla, David, Ronaldo to name a small few but there were a many, many more of the "do-visit-my-blog-so-you-can-envy/laugh/get-angry-at-me-bloggers" - which wasn't doing the sphere any favours and many of these have died off now.
Pretty much, right from the get go, I knew that I very much wanted to do something different to the prolific navel-grazing going on: I wanted to create and participate in a global, educational, community of practice.
Still, as much as I've tried in the last two years to keep my writing aimed at you, you, you... at what you're interested in reading and learning more about sometimes I too, especially when I witter on about social media, can be a wee bit "me, me, me" and... well, get ready folks, because this post in particular is going to be just that...
because as of 2 days ago,
Kalinago English is celebrating her second birthday (all be it that celebrations are actually taking place with a box of tissue paper parked by the bed: worst head cold in years has gotten me in its deep grips)... but nonetheless, I am super happy to be part of the wonderfully, engaging, dynamic world I write in and want to celebrate that - this place where we hold a conversation between peers: in the democratization and exploration of our knowledge and educational experiences.
From my first hesitant post
What a crazy bunch of months these have been. Teaching, teacher training, meetings, writing, website developing, foruming, blah! But all that's just an excuse, and a way of avoiding this task in front of me BUT what's the point of starting a blog if I am not actually going to write in it, eh?
I reckon the problem is one of focus or purpose: I mean what should I actually write about? Ha, isn't that a funny quandary for a writer. Developing a website by myself - learning all the tips and tricks, nah. Boring, done.
Teaching with technology,hmm...interesting, teaching speaking skills, teaching in general, writing materials... Hmmm. Yes, I just answered my own question.
That's what a blog's for after all, the on-line diary experience, to answer one's own musings so I will write about all the above and, as time whittles on, probably more.
How about I start off with a chat on using video in the classroom? That's a question I get asked loads in my workshops. AND it's MUCH, much, much easier that you think.
Yah. That'll be my next post. Tomorrow.
I then went on to publish 234 articles - ranging in topics from teaching with technology, to teaching English, to teaching Dogme-style, to talking about issues in our field, to musings and rants about social media.
you who has kept me working - pretty much because you've kept coming 'round to visit me, saying hey and letting me know what you thought of my words/links/tips and when I got nominated for awards, you voted for me.
Thank you so much - you have really kept me busy!
Alex Case has been whittering on about whether or not the ELT blogosphere is dying out... and I'll say nope, not at all. I think, to be honest, yes twitter and facebook have become incredibly distracting and addictive places to hang out but in many respects the ones who were blogging about themselves are now tweeting their updates instead... so it doesn't so much matter that they've gone.
In other cases some of the greats in our 'sphere got bogged down with real life and career commitments but I expect (hope) we'll see them launching back with a vengeance over the next few months.
From observation, though, Alex is right, we aren't commenting, visiting or linking back as much as we used to - I'm not sure if it was due to OneStopEnglish's stock-market that somehow, may have, unintentionally, forced us to look inwards, to stop from paying attention to each other and working on our community...
or if it was just perhaps that we all felt a bit overwhelmed by late 2009 when so many newbies came on board (ten on top of the other, all demanding special attention and back-links to blogrolls before proving their mettle (and dropping out after the first three posts), making many a social-faux pas with "visit my blog please" "do an interview with me please*" requests by the dozen...:) yet really, aside from those, some outstanding newbies have come along to teach us fantastic new things - way too numerous to count or list them but in particular Eva, Ozge, Darren, Marisa, Shelly, Jason, Mike, Nick...
so, perhaps it wasn't that but instead when the edu-VIPs came on the scene and showed us the what-for on the comment front (not great for the ego when you watch someone get 100 comments in a day (who knew there were that many people who had something to say!) while you're averaging 1- 5) lol, still some of these giants have in fact helped us to become sharper thinkers, to hone our posts with care, to cross the t's and dot the i's.
All in all though I think the die-hards amongst us have indeed muddled on through, those of us who're serious about our genre, about sharing our knowledge with our friends and peers and I reckon in the end, that's all that really counts.
Anyway, back to my own lovely jewel-encrusted belly-button... as we speak I've got another 46 articles lying around in draft and I've also sketched out numerous guest-posts to hit the 'sphere with soon, so
I'll see you for my third...
"do an interview with me please*" - why this is a serious no-no when you enter the 'sphere, as it seems not to be obvious for many newbies: You write 6 lines of text and then ask someone else to write a reply for who knows, 6 hours, actually answering questions they've answered thousands of times before. You think you have struck gold and found the easy-way-to-blog... but in fact, you look like a lazy chump :-) Sorry, them's the facts. Don't do this.