Honestly, it’s a very organic, unpredictable, and dynamical process. One key is obviously making the TIME to write. Traveling and being away from home certainly provides that, so as I’m on a trip at present, I’m blogging more. I used to be in a routine of staying up rather late to get most of my writing and blogging done, but my 40 day “evening technology use fast” at the end of last year has changed that considerably and restored some more balance (read SLEEP) into my life.
If I could identify five ways or characteristics of the ways I select blog topics, I suppose they would be:
- Issues and topics I’m passionate about. I suspect many of us do NOT live out our lives on a daily basis clearly focused on the things we find most important in life. Blogging helps me focus on issues I care about, and process what others are saying that influence my own views and even beliefs. I hope that in addition to focusing my attention on these “issues that matter,” my writing will positively influence others to do the same, or comment if they disagree or have a different view that will challenge my perspectives. Sometimes I blog to share a resource or instructional idea, but the posts I enjoy writing the most (and think may be the most important) are the ones I am moved by conviction and passion to write. A few examples are “Opposing ethnocentrism in schools and society,” “NCLB has been a destructive tragedy, not an accomplishment,” “Reservations about empowerment without accountability,” “Messy assessment instead of flogging with the standards,” and “Letâ€™s fight for recess.” I think posts I put in my leadership and politics categories often follow this line of thinking.
- Topics I want to process and remix in greater depth. Blogging to me, at its best, can be a fairly transparent window into the mind of someone else. I love to read, discuss, listen to and share ideas. That is the essence of blogging. Blogging can be both a mechanism for as well as a window into a process of transforming thinking. When I see a topic of interest, I don’t always blog about it (because, of course, there simply isn’t enough time in the day or night) but if it is something I want to remix further, I’ll usually find time at some point to post about it. This is a theme I was driving at in my recent post, “Blogging to order and control consciousness.”
- Topics I can synthesize with other ideas and link out from. I have written before that hyperlinked writing is the most powerful form of writing ever conceived by humans on our planet. The ability to connect your ideas to the ideas of others (in various forms: text, images, audio, video, etc) is amazingly powerful. I love to sythesize and remix ideas, and when I can link them to other ideas I think it not only benefits me, but potentially benefits others who may read my post later and be interested in following those links to learn more. I think making inferential intertextual links explicit through hyperlinking is a major way bloggers add value to these conversations in the aether.
- Topics relevant and potentially useful for classroom teachers, professors, librarians and administrators. I am a pretty “rubber meets the road” type of educator and person. I do like big picture thinking, and I probably write a lot along those lines, but I also know as an educator myself that theory is nice but PRACTICES are what gets implemented. So when I see an idea, tool or resource that classroom teachers could likely put into practice pretty directly, I like to share those tools. I almost always add links of interest to my del.icio.us social bookmarks now, but if the resource is something I might be able to intelligently comment on (especially in terms of how it could be used for instructional purposes) then I’ll often blog about it also.
- Stuff that is cool and fun. I like cool technologies, especially ones that are empowering and transformative. I love digital storytelling, and the potential which exists today to influence the minds of others across previously untraversable barriers of time and space. When I come across a tool, resource, idea or game that is cool or fun I usually want to share it. I maintained a regular (and free) email mailing list relating to educational technology for several years, and those topics followed some similar lines to what I blog about now. When you find something that is cool and fun, I think you have an obligation to share it! So that is probably the fifth and final reason I can think of tonight for how I develop post topics. 🙂
Now, for the obligatory “tag you’re it.” I’d like to hear from:
- Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach
- Eric Langhorst
- Mark Ahlness
- Cheryl Oakes
- Ewan McIntosh
- Dean Shareski
- Darren Kuropatwa
- Doug Noon
- Vicki Davis
- Graham Wegner
- Bob Sprankle
- Stephen Downes
- Gary Stager
- Mike Muir
- Tim Wilson
- Andy Carvin
- Steve Dembo
- Will Richardson
- Scott McCleod
Jenn Wagner has already posted her ideas, I was also going to include her in my list.
If you’re not on this list, please don’t take it personally. (Doing this sort of feels like selecting your “top 8” friends on Myspace. Don’t take it this way.)
I think we need a special technorati tag to track this meme. Any suggestions? I’m using “howdoyouwrite” based on Brian’s original post. Perhaps someone can suggest something else?
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On this day..
- Document Your World With HyperLapse Videos - 2015
- Cool iPad Art & STEAM Apps & Hacks - 2015
- Improving Student Writing Using iPads - 2014
- Use Appointment Slots on a Google Calendar - 2012
- Creative Math Word Problems about Rock Climbing & Mountaineering #favlesson - 2012
- Underwhelmed by iBooks Author Software - 2012
- A Creative Professional Resume on Prezi - 2011
- Considering Options to Reduce Monthly Wireless Bills - 2011
- Beatings, Electric Shock and Death for Internet Addicted Chinese Youth - 2010
- Why don't more teachers integrate technology more effectively? - 2010