Blogging/wiki and ning is like fishing. Some people would like to fish in ponds, others in rivers, lakes and still many more in beaches, seaside, seas and oceans. If you wish to catch big fishes, you will need to equip yourself with navigation skills, use a ship equipped with modern technology, tools and possibly work with a crew to do so.
You will therefore need to ask the following basic questions, when fishing:
What: What sort of fishes do you want? Are you looking for big, medium or small ones? Are you looking for varieties or just a few species? Are you looking for expensive or cheap ones?
Where: Where would you like to fish? In ocean, seas, rivers, lakes, ponds (e.g. artificially-made ponds), seaside or beach.
How: What sort of equipment, tools, and techniques, procedures are to be used?
When: What season/time of the day to go fishing?
Who: What sorts of skills, knowledge and experience (competency) are required? Who would you like to fish with? Do you need to have a crew? Who is the captain of the crew? Who are the sailors? Who are the engineers? Who are the fishermen or fisherwomen?
Why: What are the purposes of fishing? For self interest? For profit or commercial use? For a living? For the community? For a corporate business , an educational institution or government?
With this metaphor of fishing, one could easily translate it to the use of Web2.0 and ICT in the connections in this digital world or global business. This is also the basis of corporate, business, social or education networks: where edublogs, wikis, nings are formed with a network of interested people fishing together, with the fishes like ideas, topics of interests or learning, or research work, etc. Or one may be blogging independently, where the blogger decides all the 5Ws and 1 H and thus have complete control over the topics of interest and ones areas of learning.
The creation, development of such networks and connections require skills and knowledge in:
(a) the use of Tools (such as Web 2.0 which are interactive) – blogs, wikis, nings, social tagging (delicious) & RSS feeds (Google Reader), slideshare, emails, social networking – Youtube, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and many others…, widgets (additions as translators, as feedburners, and RSS) etc.
(b) the use of personal (or virtual) learning management system, and
(c) communication, interaction
(d) social, interpersonal, patterning, critical thinking, reflection, sensemaking, pathfinding, leadership
(e) analysis ( peer review, discerning skills), synthesis and evaluation
There are a number of concerns that I have indicated in the past posts, and would like to elaborate them here:
Trust: In Beyond Blogging: a lesson for Groundswell by Jon Garfunkel, only 16% Trust Corporate Blogs – Are they worthdoing. It is really surprising to find such a low level of trust in the “corporate blogs”. So how about the private or personal blogs?
Stephen Downes responded in his Daily that: But I doubt that only 16 percent of my readers trust me – why would they even bother reading? But trust is based on some sort of acquaintance, and most people in the world have never heard of me!
Will you trust me in providing any information or resources? You could check on my previous blogs to see if I am trustworthy. Or you could check me out on Facebook. As I noted that in previous posts, the one thing that really intrigues me is the digital identity in the blogosphere. How about the hoax out there in blogs?
Risk: In this Why Blogging is Hard… Still, risk is referred to as an unfinished matter by the author. Once you are in the blog of writings, you may risk losing contact with your readers if you stop blogging, and that may be the case to some of the bloggers. If you extend this idea to wiki and ning, it is not a surprise to find many wikis and nings without any further development, in case if there are no specific input or contribution from any respondents to those social or education networks.
Blogging is still a risk to me. And what hinders me in blogging is not so much on the conversation that I have, but on the risks related to spams and my privacy that are disclosed to the public.
I welcome any comments except those wishy washy advertisement of “dirty ideas, links, sites or products” to me through spams. So far, I have not received any “unfavourable comments” and so I don’t have to respond to any of these indeed.
With regard to the unfinished matters, I do think blogging prompted me to continue my learning journey as an unfinished personal business.
How to create and stimulate connections? How to attract responses or comments? How to keep the conversation?
I am impressed with Ingunn’s “Mrs Gadget’s Wish List” left in the comments of Why Blogging is Hard… Still to attract comments. That may stimulate people’s interest in the human or social response. A good idea. Other ideas include the 7 things you don’t need to know about me by Tom Werner and What did you learn about learning in 2008?
1. How would one improve one’s blog/wiki/ning? I am yet to know and learn the answers. Any suggestions or findings?
2. How important is conversation in blogging/wiki/ning?
3. To what extent will conversation help in blogging/wiki/ning?
4. Is reciprocity of conversation important? (i.e. blogging/wiki/ning and response to each others’ blogs)