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Monday, December 18, 2006

Move from Discussion Groups to World of Blogs?

It's normal for discussion groups to start, have a life, and then slowly die. After the move by Brandon Hall to discontinue their eLearning discussion groups in favor of the Brandon Hall network and a couple of other discussion groups discontinuing, it feels to me that the alternatives for online discourse is beginning to eat away at discussion groups. Note: this is an observation based on a few random data points.

That said, in one of the groups that is looking at whether to continue, I suggested that its members consider using blogging as an alternative. I then realized that over the past few months we've accumulated some pretty good resources on this topic:

So, if you want to consider whether blogging and blog reading/commenting might make sense:

If you do decide to start participating in the world of blogs, take a look at:


Anonymous said...

I noticed this wasn't commented on yet. Does this have to do with the fact that people are pondering and discussing this question in Discussion Groups somewhere? Just kidding.

I really believe that there is a place for both to live side by side. Blogs are great for disseminating thoughts, opinions, announcements, so on and so forth. They are not that great as a platform for discussion, unless a very small intimate discussion is what one is after.

Case in point: If I have a tech question and I post it on my blog, my chances of getting a response are fairly low. If I post it on a blog where they talk about the tech I am interested in, my chances are higher. However, if I post to a tech forum, I am almost guaranteed to get a good discussion going.

I also think that the relatively low numbers of individuals in elearning who participate in blogs and discussion groups may be in part to the fact that:

a) They are so busy developing / launching their elearning programs they just don't have the time to participate outside of the job.

b) The number of individuals in the elearning industry embracing the newer technology is still very small.

c) The elearning industry as a whole is very competitive and they haven't warmed up to the idea of transparency like Scoble evangelizes. Sharing best practices may be frowned upon from a competitive / corporate standpoint.

Just sharing my thought. Am I completely off the mark? Would love to get a discussion going ;)

Tony Karrer said...


Really good comments on this topic. And my answer points to part of the problem with blogs in terms of a discussion model. Comments have been happening on this topic all over the place - the problem is that they are spread out.

Also, once a post becomes "old" then the discussion doesn't continue. No one is likely to see this discussion unless I specifically surface it.

I would definitely like people to discuss your points - let me see if I can't figure out a way to help make that happen.