“I’m the Reverend”

I have been returning to reading and commenting on a wide range of UMW Blogs with a vengeance today.  I have fallen woefully behind because the beginning of this semester has been longer than most, and I am just emerging from a pile of work–although I  still have a few loose ends to tie up.

That said, it’s always awesome to return to UMW Blogs and read and comment wildly on the work going on in this space.  Not only is it amazing to me how quickly I can discover all the cool things happening, but I’m convinced it makes all the difference for the folks out there writing. Not only do comments rule, but those who receive them quickly realize the work they are doing is not composed within a vacuum—an idea so many of us have to unlearn after being forced into the ugly world of course-grinding applications like BlackBoard. The Cogdog understands the importance of this all too well, and today marks his annual week long sabbatical from blogging to comment on the work of others— a practice which continues to inspire me.

So, that said, here are a couple of comment conversations I had today with some folks around UMW Blogs. The first is from the “An American in Bulgaria” blog which is going to be the online home for Eric Halsey’s study abroad in Bulgaria.  He has done something really cool already and he’s not even in Bulgaria yet. He’s actually blogging all the places he wants to go, and including some unbelievable images of the countryside and sites he wants to see. It makes me want to go with him.  I commented to that effect, and his response was great–not only had he been wondering if anyone was reading, but he also was wondering who the hell I was.  So….I told him 🙂

The other comment was for Andromeda’s “Close Enough to Walk Away” blog. She is a student in the Classics department that has been brilliantly blogging her study abroad in Rome over the last six months, and—as her tagline suggests—she is just one of several Mary Washingtonians putting the class in Classics (though she does it with online style!). She recently finished her study abroad, and for all I know may even be stateside by now. I saw her final post from ac ouple of weeks back earlier today, and felt compelled to comment because while I read her work along the way I didn’t comment nearly as much as I normally would under different circumstances. In fact, my comment today was rather generic, but her response nails the reflective spirit of her blog more generally. I highly recommend you read her thinking through the differences between her blog posts and her written journal. God, it is so cool to see this kind of thinking out there.

Blogging ain’t dead, baby, it’s only just begun!

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7 Responses to “I’m the Reverend”

  1. Alan Levine says:

    The Reverend spreads to Good Word on Commenting and acts accordingly.

    His people are fortunate to have His blessing.

    Blog in Peace.

  2. Tom says:

    There is something beautiful in your nuttiness.

    We should start a cult.

  3. Brad says:

    Two things:
    a.) it’s a shame you couldn’t stay for that weird brainstorming session today cos I made this exact same point rather repeatedly & I think you would have backed me up. If we’re going to start encouraging a digital identity, we need to encourage an audience for these identities. Much in the same way an “analog identity” (as I was calling it, though I think “human identity” makes more sense, or maybe just “identity” period) requires the recognition & acceptance of others to evolve, a digital one would slowly die out were no one showing awareness in the identity itself. In other words: if we didn’t want someone to comment on what we have to say, we would keep a journal & put a lock on it. The fact that we blog begs interaction, & without this there is no incentive to blog. I could go on about this forever, I promise I could. I won’t now.

    b.) you know my roommate Joe. He is keeping a blog while he’s in Florence for the semester, but for some reason opted not to do it through UMW Blogs (Commie!). You would probably enjoy it, it sounds like he’s having a hilarious time:

    I think we’re on the same wavelength here. It wouldn’t be the first time. Nice posting.

  4. Jim — You are, indeed, the Reverend. But you are also blue-faced druid dude who put fear into the Romans.

  5. Reverend says:

    All I do is follow the lead of my betters, and I can impress on you how cool I think your commenting experiment is. It is one of my favorite holidays of the year—a comment carnivale!

    You mean there isn;t a cult already? I think we need to correct that oversight with a video production, don’t you? A little Jamestown mockumentary perhaps?

    I’m also bummed I missed that conversation. Part of my insane schedule these days is that I have to leave work at 3 to mind the maniacs from 3:30 til 8. I’m interested to find out more about the conversation, and I could n;t agree with yo more on this count–without comments th whole idea of identity and distributed conversations rings hollow. I’m not about to push this on people, namely because I do it because I want to and I enjoy it. I see it as a natural extension of my work and as a way to be on the periphery of a learning xperience without all the grading 😉 There is a lot of commenting happening around UMW Blogs as it is, but not nearly enough, we could always, always have more. I mean what is better than getting a comment.

    And while I agree with you that Joe is a commie, I’m not sure I would directly link that fact with him not blogging on UMW Blogs. His red roots run far deeper 🙂 More seriously, I think that he is blogging on blogger is a perfect example of this whole digital identity question. He should be able to blog where ever the hell he wants, oUWM Blogs is one option amongst many, what we need to do as a community and an institution is make it easy for him to share the stuff he would like to share back with UMW. And all that take is an RSS feed. What’s more, it takes a cool cat like you to tell me where he is blogging so that I can grab his feed and bring into the stream of posts running through UMW Blogs. I already did this, you can see them here. Now, anytime he posts on his own space, it will republish within th general stream of UMW Blogs, allow others to possible stumble or search upon it. Moreover, the title link brings those folks back to his own blog. Now all I have to do is make sure he is cool with this, so now I’m headed over to his blog to say hi and ask permission 🙂 Now that is digital identity, he chose to blog his experience, we ask him to share it back, and he owns the whole experience, what we hopefully can do is provide a platform for an audience of his peers and friends. And UMW Blogs is all that! Cn you dig it? I knew that you could 🙂

    You mean something like this? http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317564,00.html 😉

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