Monday, August 07, 2006

"Blog" Days of Summer

As I read through the feeds on my Bloglines account this morning, I came away a bit disappointed. This had nothing to do with the quality of the articles I read, the one from School Me! was thought-provoking, but I began to wonder -- Where is everybody?

I subscribe to 50 blogs, mostly education and technology-based, and quite frankly it is a good thing that they don't all have new content at once, but I discovered more than 1/2 of my blogs have not been updated for a month or more. While publishing a blog does not commit a person to daily discourse, I am left to consider why this has happened.

Perhaps it is summer vacation, and not everyone has the resources to appoint a guest blogger to fill in during their absence. Maybe some blogger-educators are too busy getting things ready for the start of the school year; although that sounds like perfect blog material to me. I know that some bloggers describe needing a break from blogging ~ read writer's block? Are others more of a "school year blogger", meaning their need to blog is fueled by what is happening during the school year? Or has this beastly heat made it simply too hot to blog?

For me, summer is the perfect time to catch up on my reading, blogging, update my website, etc. There's nothing like curling up in the air conditioning with a warm laptop on your bare legs.

Clearly bloggers don't need to answer to me why they haven't been writing. I just wanted you all to know that you are missed and I'll be here when you get back.

photo credit:

Friday, August 04, 2006

Bad Press for Prof = $126

USA Today article from 8/04/06

Professor wins suit against blog site

A professor in China won $126 from a blog hosting site that refused to remove critical remarks posted by a former student about him. While the amount of the settlement is inconsequential, the implication is not.

The blog host site stated it had no right to remove the comments from the blog, but has decided to delete comments deemed offensive in the future.

The article also mentions that China has an Internet "police force", but it does not elaborate on what they do or how much power they hold.

This all leaves me wondering what the implications will be here in the US. Does a blog hosting site have the right to delete or censor the remarks of its bloggers? Would this kind of accountability change the way teenagers and 20-somethings post to myspace?

Would this ruling have gone the same way in this country? My suspicion is we won't have to wait long to get the answer.


cartoon credit:

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Wanted: blog proofreaders

This summer, not a day has gone by that I haven't found a typo or mistake in a blog or on a web page? Most of the blogs I read are written by educators and highly educated people, which seems to make this phenomenon more egregious. Is it that in their rush to publish they neglect to proofread what is being posted? Do blogging sites need to offer a better "spell check" ?

Now, I'm not talking about complex independent clause rules or misuses of a semi-colon, I'm talking about typing "at" for "it" or "its" for "it's", or leaving out entire words. These are mistakes that would drop a student's English 101 grade!

As a teacher who has taught the writing process to hundreds of students, I understand the need to get one's ideas down. But rereading what one has written is ALSO part of the writing process and takes but a minute. This would eliminate many of the typos out there. I realize that proofreading one's own work is hard and we will often read what we "think we said" rather that what is right in front of us, but come on people.

Just out of curiosity, I have looked back at some blog posts to see if authors have gone back and changed mistakes in their posts; I know I do this if I find a mistake. Sadly, none were corrected.

I would like to put out a call to all bloggers and webmasters to proofread before hitting the publish button. And use the "spell check" feature! Mistakes in spelling and forgotten words may alter your meaning or negatively effect the way your post is received.

FYI: Before pressing "publish," I have corrected more than 10 errors in this post.