In my previous column, titled "Celebrating Communicating: To Blog or Not to Blog?" I talked about the future of blogging and whether this particular communication tool was a bit passé, having been around for a while and now facing competition from other new and trendy options such as wikis, nings, and Twitter. By the time this column appears, there will likely be a new tool in cyberspace getting buzz. My conclusion was that blogs are indeed viable and important resources for sharing ideas and information in all disciplines. My original goal was to discuss blogging thoroughly, including the pros and cons, tips and pitfalls, and favorite sites. As I developed that column, though, I realized that I had bitten off more than I could chew. I managed to get through the first half of my intended material to cover (discussing whether or not blogs are outmoded) but I had not touched upon the rest of the material. So here I go with a second column about blogging.
I mentioned before that I learned a great deal from two informal surveys about online communication that I conducted in early fall 2007; they were completed in October. I had gathered information from colleagues in my favorite listservs, LM_Net, EDTECH, and TLC. The surveys were conducted via Survey Monkey. Complete results can be viewed at these two sites: http://tinyurl.com/ywhr9b and http://tinyurl.com/2m43y9. If you visit the sites, you can see all comments as well as the numerical results. In addition to strongly favoring blogs for sharing professional ideas and information, respondents offered valuable insights regarding what makes a successful blog; they also shared their favorite blogs. These tips offer guidance as well as pitfalls to those of us who seek to use weblogs effectively. Here are some of the best.
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