Is blogging on the decline in 2013?

Corporate blogging is on the decline as reported here: Study blogging in decline as social media takes over.  Here is a post relating to the decline of blogs.

Here is an update in 2012.

Blogging declines for the first time among the Inc. 500.  Fifty percent of the 2010 Inc. 500 had a corporate blog, up from 45% in 2009 and 39% in 2008.  In this new 2011 study, the use of blogging dropped to 37%.  Companies in the Advertising/Marketing industry are most likely to blog while companies in Government Services and Construction make very little use of this tool. This decline mirrors a trend in other sectors as this mature tool evolves into other forms or is replaced by communication through Facebook or Twitter.

New tools replace older ones.Facebook and LinkedIn lead the way. The platform most utilized by the 2011 Inc. 500 is Facebook with 74% of companies using it.  Virtually tied at 73% is the adoption of the professional network, LinkedIn.  Twenty-five and 24% respectively report that Facebook or LinkedIn is the single most effective social networking platform they use. Texting, downloadable mobile applications, and Foursquare are being utilized by 13%-15% of the 2011 Inc. 500.

Of those tools and platforms studied last year, there is clearly a shift in how these nimble companies are communicating.  Fewer of them are using blogging, message/bulletin boards, online video, podcasting and MySpace.  More companies are using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, downloadable mobile apps, texting and Foursquare.

I think 2013 would see further decline in blogging, as I have shared my findings in 2011.  It seems that what was once reported is still true:

Blogs went largely unchallenged until Facebook reshaped consumer behavior with its all-purpose hub for posting everything social. Twitter, which allows messages of no longer than 140 characters, also contributed to the upheaval.

No longer did Internet users need a blog to connect with the world. They could instead post quick updates to complain about the weather, link to articles that infuriated them, comment on news events, share photos or promote some cause — all the things a blog was intended to do.

My observation was that many bloggers in the past few years have slowed down in blogging, and have shifted to Twitter, Facebook and Google + in the posting of links.  Besides the number of blogs posted have decreased significantly as bloggers found it hard to keep their blogs updated with posts, and that not too many readers were willing to provide comments as part of the conversation.

I think this decline of blogging would continue in 2013, and such practice would likely be replaced by the posting using Twitter and Facebook, rather than the creation of long and thoughtful blog posts.

For me, I have blogged fairly regularly, as you could see from my blogroll. However, I am also finding it pretty hard to create new posts with exciting and emerging topics , as most of the topics have already been covered by others in the past few years.  We may really need another renaissance or revolution to revive blogging.

Would this also account for the difficulties in using PLE (blogging) in the cMOOCs?

I could see the emergence of xMOOCs being well taken by the learners (of HE and those interested in HE), and as the courses wouldn’t expect them to use blogging as tools, this seems to fit perfectly well to the “consumption” of knowledge and information that have been popular in Higher Education.   This might also account for the decrease in blogging, as such blogging takes up lots of time, and would hardly be counted towards the credit or assessment in those xMOOCs.

On the other hand, cMOOCs would only be well taken by those learners who are more motivated towards deep and reflective learning, likely using blogs or other social media such as Twitter, as the creation of reflective blog posts demand a substantive amount of time.  This also requires the blogger to curate and evaluate various artifacts, information web sources and blog posts, before one could re-mix and re-purpose a comprehensive blog post.

Would HE institutions still be expecting the students to compose reflective blog posts if that is the case?  How about those HE institutions conducting xMOOCs?  Would blogging still be high on their curriculum?

I think many people including once upon bloggers, educators, HE or life-long learners are morphing into various social media and networks, with micro-blogs and artifacts shared using various tools, rather than the reflective blogs.

So, would that draw the near end of the life cycle of Blogging?

What do you think would be the future of blogging?

Photo credit: Google

blogging images (3)

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Want to know your learning style?

I posted here about the type of blogger that I had explored.

It has been more than three years since I tried the typealyzer.  Have I changed my learning style?

INTP – The Thinkers

The logical and analytical type. They are especially attuned to difficult creative and intellectual challenges and always look for something more complex to dig into. They are great at finding subtle connections between things and imagine far-reaching implications.They enjoy working with complex things using a lot of concepts and imaginative models of reality. Since they are not very good at seeing and understanding the needs of other people, they might come across as arrogant, impatient and insensitive to people that need some time to understand what they are talking about.

What is your learning style?

#Change11 No Blog is an island – MOOC as a Blogoland of Explorers & Patterners

Here are my takeaways from this Three Metaphors and a Community:

No blog is an island.

Google image

Here is my previous post that relates to Blogging with the link to our research paper on Blogging and Forum as Communication and Learning Tools in MOOC.

MOOC as a digital network (a course with its elements, a Complex Adaptive System) on a global scale reaches out to the blogosphere, an ecology of education and learning that feeds itself with the knowledge and wisdom, based on Wisdom of Crowds, and Community Sensemaking and Wayfinding.  It has been emerging, evolving and transfiguring its shape, leading to an in search of

Identity – Personal and network Identity – Visitors and Residents.

Affiliation – Personal Affiliation with networks and communities.

Interests – Personal Interests and Network interest, goals, vision etc.

all co-evolving within blogs and outstretching to Facebook, Change11 Course site and Twitter -#Change11 and beyond.

See this using blogs paper too.

Useful References here.

#Change11 Who are the Bloggers?

This year in review, about Bloggers whom I know:

Stephen shared his valuable experience on blogging here, which is enlightening. George provided wonderful insights through his blog and the one on Connectivism.  Dave’s posts on rhizomatic learning are refreshing. Steve has encouraged more teachers to blog through his compelling post.  Nancy White shared her social artistry here with lots of wonderful experience.  Jim Groom shared some of the most wonderful posts and artifacts here.  David Wiley on Open education is fantastic.  Jenny has posted many thoughts provoking posts throughout the Change11, and this Selfish blogger is an eye opener for me.

You would surely won’t like to miss: Martin WellerTony BatesDave SnowdenGraham AttwellRoy WilliamsFrances Bell, Matthias Melcher,  Rita KopZaidLearnNellie Deutsch

There are many prominent bloggers here: Jane HartJay CrossClark QuinnHarold Jarche.

Here is a list of bloggers on Change11

If I have missed any of you here who are bloggers, I apologise for not mentioning you and your contribution to the blogosphere.  Please feel free to add your name and blog posts in the comments.

#Change11 Is blogging on the decline?

Is blogging on the decline?  Blogging is on the decline, according to a New York Times story published this weekend:

The Internet and American Life Project at the Pew Research Center found that from 2006 to 2009, blogging among children ages 12 to 17 fell by half; now 14 percent of children those ages who use the Internet have blogs. Among 18-to-33-year-olds, the project said in a report last year, blogging dropped two percentage points in 2010 from two years earlier.

Former bloggers said they were too busy to write lengthy posts and were uninspired by a lack of readers. Others said they had no interest in creating a blog because social networking did a good enough job keeping them in touch with friends and family.

In my previous post, there were findings confirming that:

“Americans are increasingly going online just for fun and to pass the time,” the Pew Research Center said in its report, released Friday. “On any given day, 53% of all the young adults ages 18-29 go online for no particular reason except to have fun or to pass the time.”

“These results come in the larger context that internet users of all ages are much more likely now than in the past to say they go online for no particular reason other than to pass the time or have fun.”

I then explored the reasons:

Here Andrew mentions:

“A big reason why I used to read many of those blogs was because they provided very valuable links to many interesting stories and pieces of information. I expect most of them still do, but nowadays I can see most of such links much quicker through Twitter or Facebook, and often also see comment threads there which are also at least as good.

Despite all that, I don’t think we’re seeing the death of the blog by any means. I think it’s just another stage in the evolution.”

My observation was that many bloggers in the past few years have slowed down in blogging, and have shifted to Twitter, Facebook and Google + in the posting of links.  Besides the number of blogs posted have decreased significantly as bloggers found it hard to keep their blogs updated with posts, and that not too many readers were willing to provide comments as part of the conversation.

I think this decline of blogging would continue in 2012, and such practice would likely be replaced by the posting using Twitter and Facebook, rather than the creation of long and thoughtful blog posts.

For me, I have blogged fairly regularly, as you could see from my blogroll. However, I am also finding it pretty hard to create new posts with exciting and emerging topics , as most of the topics have already been covered by others in the past few years.  We may really need another renaissance or revolution to revive blogging.

May be Creative Learning Theory and Swarm Intelligence (my next research subjects) would be of interests to you.

Would there be any hope of saving the blogosphere?  I wonder!

#Change11 On blogging in MOOC

I read Jenny’s post on the selfish blogger with great interests. 

First, I doubt if there is a selfish blog syndrome.
1. This is a judgement on bloggers, based on assumptions about bloggers’ intention and behaviour.  No one blogger could be judged as selfish, unless he/she purposely hide all his/her sharing, as selfish is defined as acting or done according to one’s own interests and needs without regard for those of others, keeping good things for oneself and not sharing.  If a blogger is really that selfish, would he/she has posted or shared the posts publicly?  Rather, to me, bloggers could be altruistic in sharing, especially with the public, though I couldn’t claim this to be always true, as there are lots of “wicked” bloggers too, spreading the “wrong messages – based on false, biased information, or for advertising spams, or spreading trojans and virus”.  It really depends on the objective and intention of the blogger.
2. We posted on blogs for all sorts of reasons, like what Jenny has said, as a reflection tool.  For me, I used it mainly for reflection, but also for conversation (for myself and others).  Sometimes this could be perceived as self-promotion, but often, this is the initiation of a conversation. Before I joined CCK08, I have been using various media to connect and “play around” with the tools on the networks, webs, and internet.  Blogging to me opened up new opportunities to share my understanding and perceptions about others, the community and the world.  It is the “reciprocity” of sharing, through conversation, commenting, or debate that lead to deep learning and critical thinking (via appreciative inquiry) in action, with others.  However there are both intelligent and dark sides of blogging, as I have reflected here.
3. Is it necessary to integrate all these conversation on blogs in MOOC?  I would argue that it depends on the situation.  I have shared ways to doing so in my blog post, and also this could be solved using PLE.  However, conversation needs to be meaningful and valuable for the people concerned, as Jenny and Matthias have researched on online resonance.  The signal to noise, and the distraction associated with too much blog conversation over a diverse set of blogs is not helpful to deep learning, at least to me.   I think blog posting is already an integration of thoughts and reflection of all those different tip-bits coming from recordings, readings, blog postings and comments (i.e. the learning objects and artifacts that I could aggregate, re-mix, and re-purpose, or re-create).  This suggested practice (by Stephen) is already inherent in my practice for years (especially since CCK08).  It is re-stated in a prescriptive manner.
4. I still believe that learning is a personal and private “business”, especially in blogging.  Autonomy is most important, for those self-paced, self-organised learners.  I am one of them, as I did “distance education” all by myself, in the past, even in the pre-internet era, and I still enjoyed it.  I wrote a lot of personal diaries, journals, but haven’t got a chance to write on blogs before the late 90s.  I did try the earliest versions – like Geocity, Frontpage Web Design, etc. in designing web pages, where I could post artifacts on the web page. If I were to choose, I still like to learn most of the “things” myself, though I understand the importance of community and COPs.   In the academic and business world, if I were to work as a consultant, or a scholar, then that may be most important, as you can’t get a consultant’s job without a client, or a teacher’s job without students, or “clients”.  So, blogging is another way to demonstrate that capability, and capacity to network with others in the community.
5.  As I have learnt from Jenny, it is a matter of asking whether a certain topic or question is really helpful, especially when relating to this debate on Selfish Blog syndrome.  I think facilitation in MOOC is more than just integrating the conversation, more than the PLE/PLN approach, and more than the COPs.  It is self-organising. Tony may be right, from a “formal facilitator” point of view, on the fragmented and chaotic nature of information distribution, and failure to aggregate them, in the conversation.  But, this is a reality in learning via Internet, web spaces.
6. What may be a challenge for most teachers and instructors trained under the instructivist approach in MOOC is: Facilitation may still be based on a Constructivist approach, where Peer-facilitation-learning etc. may align more with a Connectivist approach.  In MOOC, where people would choose how, who and what they learn, facilitation may only work if the learners perceive it to have added value to their learning.  This is based on the assumption that learners are interested in MOOC learning, otherwise, they would prefer to the structured learning in typical online course.
7. I don’t see many educators are blogging, and so MOOC may not be that suitable for “them” as yet.  Rather, I noted that there are many “colleagues”, who for many good reasons need to promote the educational values of their formal HE institutions, or COPs and so they have adopted a totally different approach towards connection with MOOC.  This could be based on e-mentoring, e-coaching (the hot favourites) approach to facilitation and teaching.   This is of great value to the colleagues and institutions, as a best practice.  Blogging could be used for such e-Coaching & Mentoring, but I am not that sure if it is too much like the “apprenticeship program”.  Is it useful in MOOC? Time will tell.
8. When blogging, it would be wise to critique and debate about issues on education, and to ask questions which may generate positive “solutions” to problems, including “wicked problems”.  At this stage, I don’t think I have more to say than the ones posted here.
9. I think blogging has helped me in my learning.  I only shared my blog with my students (and of course MOOC, and the “world”).  Am I selfish in sharing? I don’t think so.  I like volunteering work.  I could share in private space too, in email, or in private wiki.  I have posted many private blog posts, and so that is who I am, as an identity in this virtual space.
10. Finally, I found myself more happier in expressing my “instant” thoughts and reflection in blogging and research, on top of writing research papers.  I would like to try writing more research papers, as that is more satisfying and rewarding too.
11. How about your views?  I hope this would lead to more learning, sharing and conversation on this important topic about blogging in MOOC.
Picture: Google image

#CCK11 The intelligent and dark sides of blogging

In this presentation by James Surowiecki

James poses 3 questions

1. What motivate people to blog?

2. Do blogs have genuine access to collective intelligence?

3. What are the dark sides of blogs?

Whilst his story about tsunami is still fresh with me, as I learnt about the tsunami and earthquake in Japan through various blogs and social media, I think it would be a great lesson to reflect on such catastrophe and its implications, in particular how media such as FB, Twitters, blogs would play a part in collecting and harvesting intelligence, in this complex ecology….

In Blogosphere, what counts as rational?  Is value measured by money?

Blogs provide affordance for bloggers where they are:

– Volunteering their cooperative power

– Accessing & collecting intelligence

James coins it as collective distributive intelligence, or participative journalism.  Bloggers would then be able to establish their voice in the media.

The dark sides of blogging, according to James include:

– people falling in love with internet

– people thinking that networks are necessarily good things

– when people are more tightly linked to group, the harder for them to remain independent

He concludes that

– groups are only smart if individuals are independent

People just do what the one in front of them does, and so the meme would be “transmitted” from one blogger to another blogger or reader, and so on.  Has the blogosphere been able to collect such collective distributive intelligence?  This reminds me of the Paradox of Wisdom of Crowd, as highlighted by James.

Similarly, I could transfer such learning to FB, Twitters, Youtube, Ted.com etc. where memes and ideas are shared and transmitted in an endless manner through different means, where some ideas are amplified, whilst others would be dampened and faded into “darkness”.

What does this story tell me?  A good lesson, that there are always two sides of the same coin, in blogging, in networks.  And overly optimistic or pessimistic in tapping into the collective intelligence would end up with “group-think” or “narcissism with a closed mind”.

This links me back to reflect on Communities and Networks as shared here.

May be this Learning Analytics would shed some light as to how and what it means to blog in the blogosphere.

Here Rita reflects on her learning with Learning Analytics and asks:

If students only use the LMS for such a limited amount of their learning, and data on the other learning is not collected, what will be the relevance and value of carrying out analytics on this LMS environment?

How about carrying out analytics on blogging in the blogosphere?

Here research into who’s talking and who’s listening on Twitter provides some interesting perspectives and patterns –

“Bloggers, unlike those in other categories, are more likely to retweet information outside their own categories, reflecting the “characterization of bloggers as recyclers and filters of information.”

Would bloggers of “our community” exhibit similar behaviors?