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Hi Michele,
Early in your post you said
"I also didn't do a lot of reading about blogging, so what I was learning was through trial and error, without measuring myself against some yardstick of how to run a blog or how it should perform. This was probably a good thing because I felt no pressure and could see each thing I learned about what to do on my blog as a little personal triumph that I'd figured out myself." (emphasis added).

This is really interesting as I'm sure that you've noticed that a lot of people have blog angst when they first start out. Why aren't more people reading/commenting on my blog? What is the proper way to blog? etc. I think you were lucky starting out when you did, following the approach that you did. Now how to let folks new to blogging to realize that it is a growing and learning process--not a race!

I wish I could figure this one out, Claire. I think you're right that timing was part of it, but part of it was the blog culture I was part of. I was blogging in the art field where there was a tendency to be much more worried about the content (i.e., your artwork), than about the conventions of blogging. Blogs took a back seat to the notion of sharing and talking about art.

It seems like that's not the same culture in the learning field. I wonder if it's the difference between focusing on process and focusing on outcomes in general within a field? Artists tend to have more of a process focus, whereas in education/training, we've developed an outcomes focus. I wonder if that's what is influencing how we view blogging?

@Michele, yes, I keep forgetting that edubloggers represent just a small part of the on-line world and that different niches have their own cultures.

I wonder also if the advent of social networking sites like Facebook where users try to 'friend' lots of people has influenced how we view blogging. Many feel the need to know how many people are subscribing to their blogs, visiting their blogs, following them on Twitter, etc. While it is nice to know these things, it can cause problems when people choose to define themselves by their Blog statistics.

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