Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Here There Be Dragons: Blogger as Explorer

As I peer into antiquity, I realize that my blog, Around the Corner, is old. Not just middle-aged but in its prime, but ancient in social media years. There are times when I doubt why I'm blogging, but then, when my fingers hit the keyboard to share my reflections, I realize why. I feel the same excitement and in a few moments, my doubts turn into wonder.


Blogging serves another purpose, as I often discover...it's my outboard brain. It allows me to recall facts and information that I otherwise would have let slip. There is another important purpose for blogging, though, that Angela Valenzuela (Blogging: My Take On This) nails:
...blogging presents itself as an ethical counter-weight to the commercialization of so much information today that masquerades as "knowledge."  This is so important to free, open, and democratic societies.
As Angela points out above, commercialization is a concern. I'm not sure if it's something worth being demonized, except when it is employed as a way to control information and ideas. This standard of blogging as an ethical counter-weight, though, presents a bit of a problem. I'm not sure I want my blogging having to toe the line as a defender of freedom. However, simply the presence of blogging free from commercial interest or control may be sufficient (doubtful).

Angela goes on to single out academics. I imagine them as university professors bumbling around trying to figure out what the heck is going on with social media. Even I who have been riding this whirlwind for quite awhile often feel befuddled and confused.
I'm actually somewhat mystified by many academics' fear or resistance to social media when our practice, in my mind, should always be one of raising silent voices and broadening and deepening perspectives in a democracy.  Borrowing from the late Brazilian educator Paolo Freire, while our students should ideally learn and command the skills and tools of democratic citizenship, I fear that too often their instruction is more for their domestication, than their liberation. 
Does blogging really change anything? Well, I suppose it depends. Do you use your blog as a ship exploring uncharted waters of your mind?



Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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