The blog tracking and searching site Technorati published the following statistics in April 2007,
- 70 million weblogs
- about 120,000 new weblogs each day, or 1.4 new blogs every second
- 1.5 million posts per day, or 17 posts per second
- growth from 35 million to 75 million blogs in 320 days
The statistics are incredible and impressive. More and more educators are becoming active in blogging including ourselves!
Blogs and blogging can and do enable professional development. On EduBlog Insights a teacher named Anne writes about how a librarian's blog—The Shifted Librarian—allows her to learn about a conference she could not attend. She writes, “Those learnings led me to even more learning on the blogs of those who had presented. Talk about professional development.”
Michael Stephens, the author of the article Tools from Web 2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software Revisited(2007) discusses that, librarians join the biblioblogosphere to share their voices. The reasons for doing so is to participate in a community, share expertise and gain recognition within the field. According to Stephens, today, the library blog has become its own platform. Almost anything can be embedded in a blog now: pictures from Flickr, audio, video (YouTube), chat(Meebo), presentations (SlideShare), bookmarks (del.icio.us), and more(our stuff, VoiceThread, Podcast, avatar). Sounds like our course!
Librarians are finding ways to add value to their online presence through use of a blog.
Eventually, if not already, school boards will look for administrators with experience blogging and using other technologies. I feel that we can definitely add a technology strand to our resume when applying for administrative positions upon completion of this course!
Mary Ghikas, The Green Kangaroo Blog, succinctly states that when exploring the ‘biblioblogosphere’, she is amazed by the vitality and generosity of the professional exchange taking place on blogs. Like her I too have shamelessly grabbed references to other blogs and web sites, to interesting papers and new books to read. She is also struck by the reflectiveness of many posts, the thoughtful consideration of context, of related issues and concerns of evaluation. I have seen a number of these in the educational blogs that I have accessed. Last of all, she is amazed by the personal voice within the blogs, revealing frustrations, happiness, anger and optimism.
In this time of Web 2.0, we look to each other for news, recommendations, and advice. We want to be involved and we need to write our own story. Blogs can be opinionated, and personal, but they still serve as a valuable research resource for professional development.
"You have great ideas. You’ve done great work. Keeping your innovations and learning to yourself, won’t let your light spread. Everyone can find 15 minutes a week to blog about something they learned or did that week; comment on an idea in Ning, on a wiki or on a blog or start an article preferably with a partner. Share. Your ideas will spread, and learning and libraries will improve. To paraphrase the old saw, in times of extreme change the spoils go to the learners-not the learned." (Stephen Abram- Teacher Librarians: Sharing and Taking Care of Themselves)