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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blogosphere Happenings for Kapp Notes

Recently received some exciting news related to the Kapp Notes blog. First, one of my entries appeared on the eLearning Learning Content Community Hot List for the Week of 1/2/2009 - 1/9/2009. The post was 2009 Predictions, Remembrance and Challenges. And then, I was selected as favourite blogger of the week for the week of January 11, 09 to January 18, 09 over at e-Learning Planet by E-Learning Tyro. Recognition is great but I blog for many other reasons which, thanks to Dave Ferguson, are listed below.

Shortly after I received the two notices about my blog, Dave Ferguson who blogs at Dave's Whiteboard asked me for examples of how professionals in the field of Learning and Development can gain value from blogs. His timing is perfect, so here are some of the reasons why I enjoy blogging so much and how I use my blog.

One: My blog acts as my own personnel knowledge management tool. If I see an article that is interesting. I write a quick blurb about the article and link it to my blog post. When I go to give a presentation, I look through my blog, find relevant entries and use the statistics or other information in my presentation. So it is a kind of "memory box" or knowledge management system that puts all articles of interest containing statistics and such in one place. For example, I found an interesting article on the FBI hiring people, I wrote about it and then referenced that article in a presentation a few weeks later.

Two: It acts as a note card sorter. This is similar to number one but I don't see it as exactly the same. I am writing a book "Learning in 3D" Some of my blog entries are like note cards that I sort and review as I create the outline for the book. The entries serve as content for chapters and sub-chapters of the book. They are already organized and often I can use them word-for-word in a chapter.

Three: Presentation Reference Materials. Many of my presentations now are almost all images and diagrams with little words. Great for presentations, lousy for reference materials. My blog entry "Creating a Vibrant Learning Community" is a reference piece that attendees of that presentation (and others) can review after attend see my presentation and have the written notes they need.

Four: Keep in touch with colleagues and alumni in the field. The blog enables me to get reactions to my ideas and feedback from other professionals in the field and to see if my ideas are on track or not and allows me to keep in touch with alumni who write on my blog and make comments.I have a little online community of practice surrounding my blog of alumni, presentation attendees, fellow bloggers and others.

Five: It forces me to write. Writing takes practice and having a blog requires me to have the discipline and skill to write every day so it is a personnel reminder that "I need to write."

Six: Extends my class. I have used the blog to extend discussions in the classroom to the broader blogsphere. This allows my students to interact directly with professionals in the field. Creating a learning community.

So what value do you receive from blogging?

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8 comments:

Tony Karrer said...

Great post Karl. I see blogging much the same way. I think of it as a Learning and Networking tool. Learning in that it puts me into processing mode (like note taking does if you are doing it right - but blogging does it even more). Networking in that I've met people like you through blogging.

Rachel said...

This was a great entry. I'm still pretty new to the blogging world, but like you, one of my main reasons for starting was to write. I feel as though it is one of my weaknesses and by blogging it forces me confront that on a regular basis.

I also blog for inspiration. In the environment I (and I imagine many others) work in, it can be easy to get lost in the day-to-day minutia and forget what got you here in the first place. In my case, learning! I love learning and all things technology. Blogging gives me a reason (or excuse) to refresh and charge my batteries everyday by looking for new, cool, exciting stuff to post!

Karl Kapp said...

Tony,
Thanks and I have to admit that when I first started blogging, I wasn't viewing it as a networking tool at all. More of the "memory box" concept and then all the great networking happened. Caught me off guard but it is great!

Rachel,
Thanks for you comment. Blogging is a great way to charge your battery but I doubt your battery runs too low too often...I know you have tons of energy.

Kate Klingensmith said...

I couldn't have described "why" any better than you did. Your list made me stop and really appreciate blogging - to see its full potential laid out like that is impressive. It makes a good argument for everyone to try it, and it's going to motivate me to be more dedicated to my blog. Thanks!

Karl Kapp said...

Kate,

Thanks for the comment and I am glad you are renewed in your blogging. I find it exciting and a great daily exercise. Now if I could find physical exercises as much fun..(
Happy blogging.

Mark Burke said...

Karl -- I echo the reasons you pointed out so well. I would add that Blogging has been a great way for me to extend conversations to new business partners or potential employers. I have been extremely pleased with how the simple act of placing my Blog link into my email signature has provided this benefit. The link allows those who I am speaking with for the first time to learn more about my vision and thoughts than they can during what is often a quick, initial conversation (or interview).

To continue down this road, the blog has been a great ice breaker. When new contacts have read my blog, they seem to feel more at ease meeting me for the first time in person or speaking on the phone. Being familiar with what I think, as shared through my blogs seems to really help build value partnerships.

Lastly, the blog is a simple way of adding value to every thought I have. For example, if I just "tell" someone about how I would use and LMS to the benefit of Substitute Teachers, I am just talking. Now, having the same conversation with support from the written word - ie -- the Blog -- is a more powerful statement, one that often sticks with listeners. If the listener wants to follow up, they can - by reading the blog.

While I get few comments on my posts, I still witness the benefits when people say -- "Oh, I read that on your blog."

You got me hooked! Glad you did.

Karl Kapp said...

Mark,

Thanks for your great additions to the list. Really insightful in terms of making a person more comfortable when you finally meet face-to-face. Hadn't thought of that before.

I'm glad you got hooked as well!

Dave Ferguson said...

Karl, I thought when you replied to me that your list ought to appear in a post.

One thought I've had repeatedly (thanks to among many others Harold Jarche) is that, at its foundation, my blog is for me.

What that means is: it doesn't matter whether lots of people read it; it doesn't matter whether I get lots of comments. Those would be fine, and can be a sign that I'm connecting. But wide repute, high rank, hit numbers--for my purpose, those are sideshows.

It's like the pre-WordPress advice of Hillel the Elder: if not for myself, who is for me?

It's good for me to continue to his next two: If for myself alone, who am I? If not now, when?