Tuesday, October 12, 2010

FallBlogChallenge2010 - Question and Answer

Image Source: http://www.italywebinar.com/images/question-mark.jpg

Sometimes writing a blog post can be as simple as asking a question and getting everyone to give a simple answer. Example: What was your favorite part of the field trip? Scott: the giraffes Mary: the elephants or What did you learn today in reading?
Source: Melanie Holtsman, Once Upon A Teacher: Are You Ready for A Challenge? and list of blogging topics

Although several of my own blog entries have begun as questions to myself, or often, from other's who email me or have a conversation with me, some arise from my natural curiousity to try new things out. For example, many of the TechTips I've written about are items that I've sought to explore because I had a need to accomplish something.

One of the rich sources of information and ideas--especially when I'm experiencing the writing doldrums--is email listservs. It's amazing how many questions folks ask from a "newbie" perspective, then all the experts rush to respond.

I like the newbie questions because of the following reasons:

1) Newbie questions usually approach a topic from their unique perspective, not necessarily the one folks who respond to the questions approached it...you know, I have an answer for you but it's not exactly what you were looking for. The mismatch between question and response is delightful to see.

2) Due to the mismatch, when I offer a response, it usually involves me rethinking my approach or offered solution. That's great because it means I can get a fresh look at the wealth of experience, then decide what is the bare minimum a person needs for a response.

3) Sometimes, I don't have a clue as to what the answer to a question should be. That gives me the opportunity to cast about for answers on my own--following Doug Johnson's approach, almost verbatim--but it also gives me the chance to ask others. I've found this asking other people for answers to be satisfying and frustrating simultaneously. You would think with over 3000 people following my tweets, a lot of Plurk buddies, and a big readership on my blog, that I'd get sufficient feedback or response on a question, but that's not the case. I'm grateful to get a handful of specific responses relevant to the question.

Often, questions and answers take on a life of their own, sparking new questions and responses. I wish I could cite examples, but I haven't kept much of an eye out for those, allowing them to happen without special notice or remark except a prayer of thanks for the opportunity to witness the birth of a new avenue of thought.

Last week at a conference, I had a few people walk up to me and confess bewilderment as to how I blog so much. The answer is simple...try to answer a few questions in your areas of interest and share your responses online. You'll find that you have more content you can blog about!

An Invitation to Participate: Contribute your own blog posts to Melanie's Fall 2010 Blog Challenge and be sure to tag your entries "fallblogchallenge2010" and send her a tweet! Thanks for the heads-up from Dr. Scott McLeod

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1 comment:

Melanie Holtsman said...

You're right about that, there are many things I think of blogging about. My problem is finding the time to sit and do it. It seems that you have found the perfect fluency between idea and writing. I am so impressed with your clarity and ideas.

Genuine Leadership #4: Gratitude