Blogging and being a node in conversation


Please read obligatory apology for blogging about blogging .

Yesterday I talked about what blogging has done for me. I want to spend a bit more time talking about what I mean by “blogging”. This is a personal definition about how I relate to this thing I do on this site, not something aimed at starting a debate or fine-tooth-comb examination of definitions.

To me, “blogging” does not just mean writing posts. To me that is broadcasting.


For me to feel like I am really “blogging”  I need to be reading other people who are creating in a similar space, commenting, joining in on other parts of social media about discussion of topics that may or may not end up as more fully-developed posts. The richness of what I write here is dependent on this thinking with others, and takes place as a node in conversation.

I do think that there are a group of people with a “build it and they will come” mentality who write some (often very well-considered and interesting) posts and then are surprised and affronted that there is not conversation happening and their posts are not noticed. I think this is a bit like getting in some food, nice drinks, putting on some mood music, opening doors … then sitting on the sofa complaining that your party is not a success…

For me blogging done satisfactorily and effectively takes huge amounts of time, a lot of discipline, involves building knowledge of where disciplinary conversations are taking place, creating discussions when possible and getting in there boots and all.

Anyone who has been reading this series of posts should be concluding that, to me, blogging  is not simple, mechanistic and easy. I see a blog as an anchor site for my presence on social media, rather than a series of posts arranged in date order. It is a place devoted to the opinions and thoughts of a single channel and, for the way I use my blog as a node in a larger ongoing conversation, should contain a comprehensive “about” page, a way for people to get in contact and some indication of presence on other social media. All this requires crafting and gardening.

It’s all very well to be part of a conversation, but the way I am talking it seems like I am implying that it is just a matter of putting in time and anyone can do it. Actually, I do think it is that simple (and hard). The thing is, I make a choice about how I define “blogging” and what it means to me. I do not expect this definition to be the same for everyone – in fact I would expect most people not to be doing it like I do. In the next post I want to go on to thinking about blogging and the “imposter syndrome”, as raised by Wendy and Lyndelle on Kate’s post does anybody actually care? blogging and professional discourse


6 thoughts on “Blogging and being a node in conversation

  1. Great post Kathryn. I’m writing a response so I don’t clog up your comments. I do have one question: You say “It is a place devoted to the opinions and thoughts of a single channel…” Can you explain a little more what you mean by this? It seems a bit incongruent with the idea of your blog being a node in a conversation.

  2. Thanks Kate 🙂

    What I mean is that my online presence, my part in the conversation, is distributed all over the shop in many, many different ways and places – from the series of images on Flickr of Lego Minifigs that I photographed when I travelled to comments on other people’s blogs to Twitter conversations that happen with intensity during a whirl of live tweeting (both as reportage and discussion) in the backchannel of a conference session … BUT – when readers land here they are just hearing from me in space that is curated/organised/written by me. Whatever is here is usually the product of all the other exploration and connection that I have off this site . The thinking and connection that happens elsewhere produces this blog as much as whatever I dream up as I am typing, however this is the “me space” in all of it so that if someone wants to find me online then this is the place to come.

What do you think? Let us know.