Thursday, November 13, 2008

Authority from Blogging

I'm going to quote Christy Tucker's comment on one of my DevLearn post because she brings up a good point. That and I'm ridiculously flattered. Not often I get my name mentioned with Stephen Downes in the same sentence.

For those not familiar with Christy's blog, she has been blogging almost as long as I have and finds the greatest stuff in her daily bookmarks.

By the way, my lack of comment on any post from anyone is more a reflection of my continued struggle with trackbacks and reporting. If you send me a comment with a link, if I haven't found it already, I will check it out. Promise.

Still have some work to do on the ol' blogging infrastructure......

From Christy:

Way back when I first started my blog, I linked to you from a post about synchronous and asynchronous learning. I linked to "The Downes" too. I remember being very disappointed that I didn't get any responses from that. I wasn't surprised about Stephen not commenting, as I knew at that point that he was a bigger name. I figured no comment from you meant you were just too big of a name in the field to pay attention to lil' ol' me.

Now, of course, I am less naive and figure you never got a trackback from my post (and I didn't know enough to come here to comment and let you know about it). But I do very distinctly recall at the time thinking you were out of my league.

To some extent, blogging and social networking and the rest of these tools do make the playing field more even, and they give us access to people at the top.

But the reverse is also true; our blogs give the people at the top access to us. Tony has access to your unique perspective all year round, not just at the conferences, because he can read what you're thinking about and working on here. People who are theorizing can have easy access to people in the trenches, and the theorists and the practitioners can learn from each other. I know that's idealized and optimistic, but there is some hope of that happening.

Don't think that your thoughts don't matter because you're "just a (now occasionally) harried, low-level Instructional Technologist / Trainer." Tony and Brent and Jay and everyone wouldn't be here in the blogosphere interacting if they didn't see that value; they'd just be presenting at conferences, not engaging people with these tools.

When in the company of rock stars I respect, and eLearning is one of the very few fields where I have had overwhelmingly postitive experiences with meeting the "stars of the field", I sometimes forget that feedback from the trenches can only improve what is going on in the clouds. Particularly when those in the clouds listen.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind words. And the trackback issue from my third ever post two years ago may very well have been due to something I did or didn't do (besides not coming here to directly let you know). I was still trying to navigate the whole blogging thing at that point.

In other fields, I'm not sure that interacting with the "rock stars" would be such a positive experience. I'm sure that we have a few of our own snobs too. But in e-learning, we have a number of people who are at the top and still out there blogging and interacting with people, who are very open to hearing these ideas from people at all levels of the field. It works in e-learning because, as you point out, the people in the clouds are listening.

Wendy said...

Actually, I'm positive that interacting with "rock stars" in other fields isn't nearly as positive. I've met real rock stars (some nice, many a**h***s), I've met some top historians (some nice, many a**h***s). I think that's why I am so impressed with the folks in this corner of the bloggosphere. Mark O. put this best when he said "I don't think I've met a real a**h*** yet!"