I have a few friends who remain very dubious of blogs and blogging culture more generally. It’s taken me a while to understand the blogging phenomenon with any level of complexity, and to finally grok exactly what the open source movement is all about.
I created my first blog using the open-source publishing platform of WordPress, and it was really just an experiment in blogging while creating a theatre production. I learned a lot about blogging in this quasi-failure of a blog– in this case, it didn’t create much momentum, since the show had a one-night run– and it allowed me to ask that very key question when blogging: what’s my goal?
I’ve since recommended WordPress to my aunt, who now has a successful weaving blog, also thanks to WordPress. Sitting back and watching as she expands the mission and purpose of her blog has been downright inspiring, particularly as it facilitates the deepening of her connection with other weavers around the world, while also archiving her gorgeous fabric designs and tales from a dying industry.
Not long after, aided by Luke Waltzer and the path-blazing Blogs@Baruch, I experimented with blogging in my Introduction to Public Speaking course. It was a mixed but worthy experience, one that I eventually blogged about. This wasn’t just an exercise in closing the loop, but opening it: I connected with a lot of other folks who had been contemplating the use of these (free!) educational resources to enliven and re-engage their teaching. (Read some selections from this on-going conversation here, here, here, and here.) Seeing the pedagogical potential of blogs in action sealed the deal: I was more curious and more motivated than ever to embrace these tools, rather than to poo-poo them as part of a vast pot of internet waste.
The point? Wordcamp NYC is a mega-conference on the East Coast for WordPress users of all stripes and sizes, and for a variety of reasons, including all of the above, I’ll be there. To learn more, read a great post from Cac.ophony about the Wordcamp event, and then sign up for the thing via the Wordcamp NYC website. Quickly, quickly!– offer only valid while supplies last!