February 19, 2006

Moving On

I don’t really have the motivation to carry on blogging here. As far as I am concerned, the experiment of Warwick Blogs has failed in its primary objective – to encourage PDP (an acronym which we don’t hear that much of any more).

I genuinely tried to use the medium for keeping track of my work, helping develop what I was doing. But it doesn’t work. Blogs is a way of publishing, not reflecting.

WB is a great social space, but the percentage of information on here that appeals to me any more is negligible. The quality of posts has diminished exponentially since the early days, in my opinion (although there are a small number of clear exceptions). People tried it out for real reflective, work posts, realized there was no point, and went away.

I’ve enjoyed blogging, but why should I carry on blogging at my university if I’m not going to write about my work?

I’m going to carry on at http://www.maxhammondphotos.org.uk/blog/ and I’ll certainly carry on reading the blogs here that interest me.

Since the programmers of WB don’t feel it necessary to help users read external blogs, it will take a bit more effort to read now. Sorry about that. I recommend bloglines if you’d like to try a different way of reading blogs; it’s much easier to add blogs from places that aren’t Warwick. I use something called FeedDemon to the same effect, but that’s not free.

So. It’s been fun. I hope that some of the others here will eventually get “grown-up” blogs of their own, outside of the insular sandbox that is WB.

Max.


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  1. Holly Cruise

    See you Max, it's going to be less interesting here, but some people will make the effort to search out your new one.

    19 Feb 2006, 16:23

  2. Thanks Holly; we've come a long way since those halcyon cupcake days :-)

    19 Feb 2006, 16:36

  3. Farewell Max. It's funny how your posts always seem to be the ones that I find interesting enough to read. Feel free to make a couple of cross-posts every now and then for anythingparticularly interesting that you have to say… particularly if you want Google to pick it up!

    19 Feb 2006, 20:51

  4. Thanks Mark. Was considering renting my warwick blog out to some google "optimization" company, but reckoned that since I seem to have already shifted ITS' regard of me from "indifferent" to "mild disdain" I shouldn't push my luck ;-)

    19 Feb 2006, 21:39

  5. John Dale

    We'll miss you. Kind of. ;-)

    19 Feb 2006, 23:27

  6. Rob

    Its always interesting to hear, ironically, someone's final 'reflections' on a medium that apparently doesn't encourage reflection.

    You wrote:

    ''As far as I am concerned, the experiment of Warwick Blogs has failed in its primary objective to encourage PDP (an acronym which we don't hear that much of any more).''

    I'm sorry to hear you say that. Whilst Warwick Blogs contained an inherent PDP function, to say that it was it's 'primary function' isn't true. Warwick Blogs have been an excellent idea: they have encouraged the free exchange of ideas, given space for a more democratic vox populi, and they have built communities – people who commented here are genuinely sad not to have your contributions anymore. If many of the apathetic chose not to blog that was hardly a measure of the success or failure of the idea. If people don't go to gymnasia we don't say that gyms have failed.

    And PDP? Well, I'm glad you heard about PDP, since we haven't really begun to develop PDP for Postgrads like yourself- until now. If you think it has no part to play in the present or future then you have perhaps missed the point. Development isn't something that just happens on a taught or research programme. The way you do PDP can change, but it is there and will go on being relevant. Once trained to reflect and think, we don't stop when we leave this place.

    You also wrote:

    ''I genuinely tried to use the medium for keeping track of my work, helping develop what I was doing. But it doesn't work. Blogs is a way of publishing, not reflecting''

    I would agree, to a point. Blogs is not the easiest system to manipulate reflections and ideas, but perhaps you should recocognise what it can do. As a publishing space for a portion of ideas, not yet fully formed perhaps, it is very useful. As a complete repository of ideas and thought out research – no, I'd agree with you. Surely the most effective way of using the medium is to check out ideas with the 'community', then revisit, rework and reformulate the original thoughts which are held elsewhere.

    There are some thoughts on PDP at the PDP website at: www.go.warwick.ac.uk/pdp

    20 Feb 2006, 11:18

  7. Hi Rob,

    Thanks for your feedback.

    I appreciate that WB was not designed solely as a tool for PDP, but I believe that PDP was an important part of the reason for the university agreeing to the (non-trivial) resourcing required to create WB.

    There was quite a lot of discussion about a year ago ( link link link ) about the relevence of PDP for Warwick Blogs, and the message from John was that the use of blogs for PDP was hoped to gradually grow. I dont see any evidence of that, although I'm aware that that does not mean that it's not there :-)

    If many of the apathetic chose not to blog that was hardly a measure of the success or failure of the idea. If people don't go to gymnasia we don't say that gyms have failed.

    If the university dedicates two person-years to developing a project, and then it's not used as it was hoped, then we can say that the project failed.

    As a publishing space for a portion of ideas, not yet fully formed perhaps, it is very useful.

    In theory, yes. In practice, no. In all the reflective "work" posts which I have made, I received absolutely no useful feedback. So why should I publish my notebook?

    I'm sounding more negative than I really feel. WB is a great community, it provides a good way to stay in touch with the family, or to clutter up the internet with angst, but it all comes back to what I said:

    I've enjoyed blogging, but why should I carry on blogging at my university if I'm not going to write about my work?

    20 Feb 2006, 11:44

  8. John Dale

    but why should I carry on blogging at my university if I'm not going to write about my work?

    I have to say I don't get this. Why not just write about whatever you want to like everyone else does? You say that you've enjoyed it and you think there's a pleasing sense of community, so what do you gain by stopping? A quick look at your other blog suggests that you get more comments and feedback here than you do there, which is surely part of what makes blogging fun.

    20 Feb 2006, 12:44

  9. Hi John,

    Why not just write about whatever you want to like everyone else does?

    I have been, but there's no compelling case for me to continue blogging here. I will be leaving Warwick fairly soon anyway, and have no intention of maintaining my Warwick blog after then anyway.

    Most of my commenters are my regular readers; I am aware that some of these people already use RSS aggregators to read blogs, so it won't make any difference to them. I remember suggesting some time ago that "favourite blogs" should incorporate an RSS aggregator, and I remember your [very valid] argument was "why re-invent the wheel?". But by helping to aggregate sources other than Warwick, it would in my opinion really expand the horizons of Warwick's bloggers, most of whom have no idea what RSS is, let alone how to aggregate it – but being able to add external blogs to the things which get listed in Favourites: that is understandable.

    I'm certainly going to continue reading and commenting on some of the blogs at Warwick, but I'll no longer be posting here. It's partly that I want to get out of this bubble, and I think that the best way to do that is to make a break.

    20 Feb 2006, 13:16

  10. Alex Hammond

    Good luck with your new blog… I’ll be sure to keep up to date with developments in your life

    18 Sep 2006, 14:28


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