Nancy White has a wonderful set of 5 posts (linked from this last one) discussing the ideas of blogs and community.
She’s divided blogs into 3 main types; Blog Centric; Topic Centric and Community Centric.
A Blog Centric blog is essentially what this is, I’ve started it, I contribute, and on the odd occasion someone comments – not quite as many as she envisages in her diagrams! It’s very much what my students have as well.
Topic Centric blogs are what I suspect I am kidding myself we have with the students blogs – though clearly they do fall under the heading that they’re all sharing the same common topic (whether they are passionate about it is another matter…)
A community centric blog is where the community is central; it’s all about who’s commenting on whose blog. I suppose this is also the sort of thing that Barbara Ganley discussed at Blog.ac.uk 2006 – having a “mother blog”, which was updated through the updates posted by students to their personal blogs.
From Nancy’s posts there are some useful links to those who’ve commented on her post(s). It’s also worth looking at the discussion arising from the panel she contributed to at Blogher 06
Finally, I like the way she’s used her Powerpoint slides to illustrate her posts. While Powerpoint slides can be uploaded, they don’t always make a lot of sense without the lecture; and podcasts aren’t ideal (for me at any rate) to skim read. Nice idea, Nancy. (Much better than HTMLing Powerpoint with notes)
David Wilcox blogged about Nancy’s ideas at the time, and has since posted a follow up looking at Robin Hamman’s post on the death of online community as we know it. David discusses Kim’s book “Community Building on the web“. While it seems to have excellent reviews, I think that at £100 for a second hand copy, I’m not going to see if it forms a good alternative to Preece’s “Online Communities” Wicox’s book recommendations aside, his post is worth reading, as it raises interesting pointers for the future. How will we be getting students to form online learning communities in 2/5/10 years time?