Friday, March 21, 2008

Why I started a blog and why maybe you should too

I shared with several friends, family and colleagues that I was starting a blog and while I got several, “It’s about times,” and “Congrats!,” I was surprised by the equal number of responses that went something like this: “Why do you want everyone to know your business?” “You better make sure you stay out of trouble.” “Be careful! A lot of people who have blogs get fired for sharing their personal lives.” Why do you want to keep a blog? Diaries should be kept private.” “Why do you want to publish your life online?”

You get the picture.

I thought by now people realized that blogs were often "more than they were in the days when people inappropriately posted their personal exploits and diaries online. I thought people, or at least my people, my friends, realized the value of having an online presence. While several of them did, many, many still did not. So, I explained to them what I’ve learned...
Having a digital footprint is crucial for your career if you want to establish credibility as an expert. While I have tons of work that lives online, there is nothing of my choosing directly pointing to me, what I believe, and what I do. As a result, I don’t have a real digital footprint and that means while I’ve done a lot of good work for my employers I have nothing that identifies my work, who I am, what I believe, and what I do.

My three primary inspirations to begin this blog were Penelope Trunk who eloquently explains why Blogging essential for a good career, Lucy Calkins who through the TCRWP taught me the value of helping students learn to love writing their own words, rather than being assigned to write about the words of others and Will Richardson who in his post URGENT: 21st Century Skills for Educators (and Others) First complains…

For all of the experts and scholars and pundits who were staking out a part of the conversation about educational reform, I couldn’t help leaving there wondering how many of them really have a sense of the changes that are afoot here. I looked up a whole bunch of the names of the presenters and I could only find a handful that have any real Read/Write Web footprint that would allow me to consider them to be a part of my network. And worse, it was painfully obvious by their death by PowerPoint presentation styles that their own adoption of technology as a communication tool not to mention a networked learning tool left a great deal to be desired. The governors, the state superintendents, the consultants…from none of them did I get the sense that they could give a great response to a request to model their uses of technology to teach and learn effectively, especially in the context of networks.

Will went on to say,
if you want your ideas to resonate with me and to be taken seriously, don’t just talk. Engage. Publish. Converse. Add your voice to the network of people who are living these ideas every day.

So it’s about time, I stop talking the talk and start walking the walk and I’m happy to say that I’ve convinced two of my closest friends to follow suit and start their own blogs too at The Innovative Parent and Woman Business Owner. I hope to inspire many others as well.

If you want to share your blogging experiences or need some help or advice, please comment here or email me at and I’ll share how you can get started by quickly and easily setting up a blog, wiki, social network, and email with just the right name and focus.

Additional reading: Why Every Teacher Should Blog from the Drape's Takes blog.


  1. The first time I published information on a web site I was excited to be putting down my thoughts so other people could hear what I had to say. Naively, I thought the whole world would come running to agree or disagree. But that was not the case. Only the devoted techie's who made a living off the internet as a profession or business were online. That was over 13 years ago and times have changed. The need for the digital footprint has become more prevalent but there is still much to be done. The people who ask "why are you putting your self at risk?" will continue to be skeptics.

    Your entry into the blogsphere is a shining example of the power of the Internet and how to alleviate the concerns of the unschooled. You just made the past 13 years all worthwhile for me by featuring my work in your wiki. Your initiative will impact with all who you currently connect as a teacher and a blogger and I know that you will make a difference. All the best for blogging success. I look forward to your future posts in my reader.

  2. Lorna,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to post a comment on my blog. I recently discovered and was very impressed with your blog and am amazed that the very day I launched this blog I already have a valued connection. Talk about quick results!!!
    Thank you.

  3. I am a New York High School teacher and I understand how you feel about having someone TRY to stop progress because they have the power to do so.

    I was introduced to blogging by my college professor and I have been encouraging my students to become bloggers and to use wiki's etc. I have to make sure that I have permission slips from every student before we can start any of these activities. Their futures depend on 21st Century skills but some Administrators still do not understand or are afraid to step out of the box.

    I commend you on your bravery and look forward to the day that we do not have to fight for these small steps.

  4. So glad your blog was retweeted! I just published my first blog post today and I am really nervous about the whole thing. What if my writing is terrible? What if no one reads it? Or even worse, what if no one ever comments? I am learning something new - trying it out, I am taking a risk, I am asking others for advice/support/help, I am reading good blogs (including yours),and I am improving my written communication skills - much prefer discussing. 

    Hey, this is the kind of engagement I want for my students and the school teams I collaborate with.  Blogging might not be that bad after all!