Tuesday, May 23, 2006

"What exactly is a blog, anyway?"

Over the weekend, a wise JIS parent mustered up the guts to ask me, "what's a blog?" It's a great question -- and one I should have addressed three months ago, when JIS Topics was a newborn blog-pup. At that point, honestly, I wasn't exactly clear on the definition of a blog myself....

But as luck would have it, my procrastination has paid off! Instead of reading my (most likely) bumbling answer, you can read educational technology expert Andy Carvin's most excellent explanation of blogging. He's the host of PBS' new blog, Learning.now, which "explores how new technology and Internet culture affect how educators teach and children learn." (Be sure to scroll down to the comment section -- lots of great dialog on how blogs can work in education. It's a great example of a community of learners thinking through a topic that isn't black-and-white.)

Obviously, education isn't the only area that's taken off in the blog-world. In fact, almost any topic you can think of has bucketloads of blogs that reach out to people who share interests, concerns, and points of view. "While no one’s exactly sure how many blogs there are, estimates often range from 30 to 100 million of them, all over the world," according to Carvin.

If you'd like to learn more, check out Wikipedia's listing on blogs here. (It notes that the word "weblog" joined the English lexicon in 1997.) Also, click over to Technorati, a cool website that allows you to search and explore your way around the blogosphere. It's good stuff.


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