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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Top Ten Reasons To Blog and Top Ten Not to Blog

Updates recent studies show additional reasons:

Update on Nov 21, 2007 - There's been a lot of discussion recently around using blogs for learning and I wanted to point to a few newer thoughts on this:

I must say that the response to The Learning Circuits Blog: The Big Question for October: Should All Learning Professionals Be Blogging? has been fantastic and it's great to see such a wide variety of thoughts on the subject. I wanted to summarize, for everyone, the responses in a completely unbiased way. :)

Most everyone, who has at least half a brain, and certainly most of the responses made it over that hurdle, came back and said more or less what Mark Oehlert said “My answer is ..........yes........and no.” Even those who were pretty adamant quickly qualified their answer so that it was really a “maybe.”

The only consensus I found was that it’s a loaded, ambiguous and actually pretty lamely worded question. I wonder who came up with such a lame question. Sheesh. But, let’s try to muddle through this anyhow.

Oh, and before I offend anyone, I’ve taken a few liberties by paraphrasing what people wrote into their posts and comments and instead have included in this post what they really meant to say. However, if I used quote marks, they really said that. But I may have used them slightly out of context. :) Oh, and finally, to all of you who commented or put up blog posts already, if I didn’t happen to quote you out of context, I apologize.

Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Blog

10. Because you stopped learning anything new a couple years ago and it’s about time you started again.

Or as Karyn Romeis & Barry Sampson both said - I’ve learned more via blogging over the past year than I learned in the preceding several years!

9. Because it forces you to do your homework (Rodolpho Arruda)

8. Because this is how you are going to learn in the future.

“This is the difference represented in the shift from traditional classroom based learning and network learning. The idea of the latter is that learning occurs when the learner immerses him or herself in a community of practice, learning by performing authentic tasks, learning by interacting with and becoming a member of the community.” (Stephen Downes)

7. Because if you don’t we’ll think you’re lame and don’t know how to do your job.

“What can you know about a professional who doesn't blog his or her work? How do you know they are competent, that they have the respect of their peers, that they understand the issues, that they practice sound methodology, that they show consideration for their clients? You cannot know any of this without the openness blogging (or equivalent) provides. Which means, once a substantial number begin to share, there will be increasing pressure on all to share.” (Stephen Downes)

6. Because it will change your life.

“there is something that happens to a person when they hit that "publish" button - you cross a threshold - you move from consumer to producer - you put your intellectual neck on the line and I really think that you aren't the same person after that.” (Mark Oehlert)

5. Because you’ll hook up all over the place.

“all learning professionals need to exchange ideas with others, to test their ideas, to question their assumptions, to learn from each other in ways that come with dialog. Blogging is great for forming networks based on weak social ties.” (Bill Bruck)

4. Because learning is conversation and that blogging lets you have more and better conversations (Harold Jarche)

“The lack of formality and the ease of cross-referencing other blog content or references means is great to accelerate discussion and promote broader thinking and understanding.” (David Wilson)

3. Because Professionalism is more than consumption, it is contribution. (Rovy Bronson)

2. Because it’s “a swap meet for the mind.” (Nancy White)

1. Because your job depends on it.

“If for no other reason than your job is changing, and you might want to be engaged in the process of what your new job will include.” (Brent Shlenker) and “They don't get what blogs are about and possibly never will. We just need to encourage them towards retirement.” (Barry Sampson)

Top Reasons Why You Shouldn’t or Won’t Blog

10. Because you are too lame

Dave Lee “that all learning professionals should be blogging is about as likely that your ancestors all wrote a novel when the printing press was created or wrote a tv script when the telly was introduced.”

9. Because if you live in the US you don’t know how to write (Peter Isackson)

8. Because you’re a scared little wuss - Fear of Blogging (Wendy)

7. Because you don’t have your priorities straight so you lack the time to read blogs much less write a blog. (almost everyone said this)

5. Because bloggers are narcissists (Peter Isackson) only interested in establishing a Cult of Personality (saw that in a discussion group) – and you’re so not that way.

4. Because you’ll screw up blogging just like you screwed up using PowerPoint. (Matthew N.)

Poorly implemented and/or designed learning technologies are an embarrassment to the field (think shovelware e-learning courses or boring PowerPoint lectures transformed to boring online courses). (Karl Kapp)

3. Because no one really wants to read what you have to say.

“Why should all learning professionals be blogging any more than they should all be presenting at conferences, producing papers, writing books or sharing their views, opinions and knowledge through any other medium?” (Barry Sampson)

2. Because “I know some people that would get nothing out of blogging” (Howard Cronin)

1. Because “my 9 and 11 year old sons have a deeper understanding of the tools” than you do. (Karl Kapp)


Karl Kapp said...

Great summary of the various comments about blogging. This was a lively discussion which shows the "wisdom of crowds." Your summary gave me a chuckle or two.

Harold Jarche said...

Thanks, Tony - I laughed, and I really appreciate it when a blog post makes me laugh :-0

Tony Karrer said...

Whew - I was a little worried that people might not take it in the right spirit. Thanks for the comment. I'll sleep a bit easier tonight.

Of course, both of you got off easy on the paraphrasing. :)

Matthew Nehrling said...

Thanks for the paraphrase (I think..)
My comment was more of if you 'should' be blogging as if it were a commandment- and just like when we 'have' to use powerpoint, it risks becoming watered down. Just like PowerPoint, it is a great tool if used effectively.

All humor aside, great post.

Stephen Downes said...

I got two items in there, more than anyone else. But they were numbers 7 and 8.

I'm not sure what to think of that.


Dave Lee said...

Well I have a sense of humor Tony so I'll not worry about your implication that I called our peers lame. In fact, I've never been moved to call someone lame until I notice that the #6 position is missing in your 10 reasons not to post.

Now THAT's lame! LOL

Tony Karrer said...

Stephen - 7 & 8 are my favorite numbers.

Dave - I found myself only have 9 for the reasons not to blog, so I skipped one. I'm glad someone noticed. ;)

Peter Isackson said...

Thanks Tony,
Now I have to go and find a lawyer to attack you for distorting my thoughts and maligning my public image. Who's going to answer all the hate mail I'm bound to receive because of this?

Anonymous said...

Tony - good way of presenting the case, although i think you forgot one of the reasons not to blog; namely, because you can end up spending more time blogging than actually doing any work! But heh, that's already true for email and meetings, why not for blogging too! :)

Wendy said...

#8 "Because you're a scared little wuss..." Yup - That should motivate 'em. :' )

It's a nice reminder that there is a community out there that worries about these sorts of things.

Mark said...


Awesome. Funny funny funny. Be sure to buy my new book "Chicken Soup for the Blogger's Soul"


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the summary, Tony. I would vote for Jarche's (No. 4) "Because learning is conversation..." as the top reason for blogging. And No. 4 (again! what's with this number? you hate it or something?) as the top reason to not blog. May be we can have some voting going on here and rearrange the list a bit?

Tony Karrer said...

These comments have me LOL.

David - I agree and I'd edit my post to make yours #6 which I skipped, except that I'm afraid blogger will move my permalink:

eLearning Technology: Blogger Permalink - Not Really

Peter, David, Mark - :)

And, it's funny to me that there's discussion of the order - especially when you have items like "you are too lame" ... I assumed people would realize that (as Dave Lee said) ... the numbering is lame (the order was almost arbitrary except I had to put "job depends on it" as number one).

On the other hand, the vote for position may be pure genius. Might be a great summary exercise for people who saw the original post. Of course, now that makes my top tens look really lame. But, if someone can figure out how to vote for your tops (or put them in order or some such thing) in each category, then we add David's as #6 and let's vote away. Dave Lee might have ideas on how to make that happen.

Dave Lee said...

Geetha: That's a very intriquing idea. Let me see what I can pull together for next week. I don't think Neomyz has the type of question tool we'd need. But I'm sure I've seen something in the price range of free that can do this. If you know of a tool we could use for a reordering vote like you've suggested, let me know at dcleesfo at gmail dot com.

Tony Karrer said...

If we don't mind a delay between answering the question and getting results, we could use a survey tool like SurveyMonkey. You use a matrix question with people rating each reason as important or not.

I can't imagine anyone taking the time to do this though. Does anyone think anyone would care enough to spend the time to fill it out?

Maybe a simpler tool would work better and give us an approximation.

oashleyo said...

Hi Tony,
I found your blog when I was googling reasons to blog or not to blog for an online tool review on blogging for one of my classes. I really enjoyed your reasons both to blog and not to blog. I had to laugh when I realized that I could relate to some of the reasons you posted. Good post!

Ravi Karandeekar said...

How can you read my mind?

Anonymous said...

Muy buen articulo , diseño web y explicacion muy bien redactada.

Tony Karrer said...

Muchos gracias.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator. said...

great article, i a relatively new to blogging but already i can see where i can fit in with some of these.

Unknown said...

Useful article

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ken said...

he-he...the real funny, funny part is the ten reasons not to blog will never be read by those not blogging...

somehow, I feel like this creates a space-time continuum conundrum.

my head hurts.

but I'll keep blogging...oh, and reading.

Tony Karrer said...

Ken - good point. Not sure how to solve - other than I wrote an article in T+D magazine that mentions this. It is a bit of a problem, though.

Charles van B said...

BRAVO on your "outside-the-box" approach to non-linear reasoning!
North America has stayed in the closet for far too long when it comes to educating and inspiring our culture to think beyond the box (per-se.)
Consider ourselves (North America) as LEADERS guiding the knowledge-curve as it will help inspire us to THINK FIRST.
%I am a retired teacher as I have been here and done this (taught classes) as the school district frowned upon my leading the classes a bit beyond *THE CURRICULUMN* in aim to build LEADERS. :-(

Genie said...

"Because this is the way that we're going to learn in the future" - I love it! Not sure about the 9 year ols though, my kids are downloading music and games and creating their own language on messenger. So not so certain about reading - no one reads these days - they play. Blogs are the last gasp before virtual interactive education takes over the schools. Plug in and turn off.

Oh dear, I'm showing my age! Great post, I laughed lots, thanks

Anonymous said...

Yes, my son is a blogger and I hate that

Anonymous said...

Ah,how I wish I could add an intelligent comment here, but...unfortunately, I am among the US citizens that cannot write. Shame, shame on you Peter. :)Don't you have any pity? Don't you know what a fatal blow it is to the ego to have your bubble burst? Do you believe we could improve our writing if we all moved back the homeland of our ancestors?

Anonymous said...

This is funny ha ha Thanks for the comments guys i can sleep better now.

Anonymous said...

Hi tony, I stumble upon your blog through one of my friend blog. You have a decent points about blogging.

I have link your posts in my blog, check "What is the need of blogging"

Anonymous said...

Is this meant to be funny? Comments that include words like "lame" and "wuss" don't suggest deep intellectual thought (why not use "crippled" or "gay"?). Is there really any clever thought here, either?

Tony Karrer said...

To clarify, this is meant to be slightly humorous but discussing a legit topic.

Anonymous said...

Because you think no one will read can people find it?

Anonymous said...

This is a pretty funny Top Ten list. As a new blogger, I do notice I am always jotting down ideas to blog about. If I had to pick the #1 reason to blog, it's because I think it makes me . Now it's more of an issue of prioritizing and setting aside the time.

Anonymous said...

*think*. The word left out there was *think*


Sreya Dutta said...

Hi Tony,

Very amusing and precisely summarized! I've read this post before, or rather just skimmed through it about a year ago. That was the time when I was quite confused about what blogging was about (even personal blogging), what am I supposed to write in a blog, and why would I do that. I tried blogging just because I found you and few others doing so, and then could really keep up. I would read blogs randomly and then wonder, why people comment on blogs.
It recently dawned on me about a year back, when I consciously started reading blogs by my friends, when I wanted to learn more about elearning and the only resources i found were blogs! I was slowly drawn. Then i started one blog of my own, hoping to pen down my 8 years of exp in elearning, and dropped off in between though I continued to read blogs, yours and many others in the community (without writing comments :)) I've again recently got motivated looking at the site you put together ( and went back and updated my blog To also ensure that I continue to do so, as I do have a lot to share, I made a few references in my blog posts about future posts and also saved few post drafts as indications to what topics I intend to cover. Let's hope I do manage to keep blogging!

The fact that I decided to post comments here is due to the fact that I've realized how satisfying it is to blog and have people not just read but also comment on what they think about what you have to say!

The summary above was motivating and funny and very well said...



Tony Karrer said...

Good comment. I've subscribed to your blog and will check it out for a while. I would also suggest participating in the Learning Circuits Blog Big Questions so people get exposure to you.

Sreya Dutta said...

Thanks for your response Tony! That's a good suggestion. I will check out learning circuits.. then

Sarah said...

I'm pretty sure you listened to the "Ten Reasons To Blog" more than the "Ten Reasons Not To Blog". Loved the post, it was hilarious.

ayu said...

the articles that you write very outlining the reasons why people love to blog and why people do not like to create a blog.
and seem above reasons there is in me ... hahaha ...

nice article .. keep posting