Blogs are Web logs. Online journals. Spaces where humans can share their world with their world. They combine the most deeply personal and private concept of the diary, journal, or log, with the social media perspectives of Web 2.0. I like to think of blogs as my way of communicating to the world and myself without having to address anyone in particular. This is free form flow of consciousness at its best–in a social milieu. The informality and relative anonymity it provides is ingratiating.
So why blog for school or pay? Why use blogs as school assignments, or better yet, work? Isn’t my blog the essence of me being me with the world as my audience? Do I really want to invite my work or school life here? Aren’t journals supposed to come from within, not from outside sources? Does the necessity to blog put on me by outside forces beyond my control really provide me with the best creative juices? How can I bear my soul with my boss or professor breathing down my neck? Is this a misuse of the blog format? If someone is telling me what to write about, when to write it, and then rewarding me or punishing me if I don’t write it the way they think it should be written, is this an abuse of this dear form? Are we twisting a Web 2.0 tool to do our own bidding and neglecting its ultimate value?
Or is this what the internet is about at its core? Connecting people so that business or learning can occur. Even blogs have to come under this yoke at some point. And maybe this corner of my world could use some sprucing up. Maybe the added feedback and attention to detail that comes with doing things for money or learning is not a bad thing. Maybe the world would be a better place if everyone could get gain from using social tools. It certainly can be a lot more fun than writing term papers or memos (not that fun is the objective). In the end, I’m gaining from opening my brain up to the world in this way. And I’m thankful for the opportunity it affords me–to be rewarded to stand on my soap box and rant about people being rewarded for standing on their soapboxes. That’s the freedom of Web 2.0. A valuable lesson learned from blogging for school or pay.