Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Linking


The cartoon posted on eLgg.net on December 1st makes interesting viewing (via abject learning). We bloggers and readers could do well to remember Dave's observation.

In February of this year, Stuart Luman wrote a short piece for the New York Magazine entitled Linkology. The article contains a graphic illustrating how the 50 most popular blogs (at that time) were linked to one another.
Food for thought

If we have to assess /evaluate student blogs, should consideration of the links between blogs be part of that process? Tools of the blogosphere rank the major blogs by links in, examining links out could provide more information.

This blog will never rate highly in the global scheme of things, visitors will come and go by accident or as a result of deliberate searching. The information here may be of use to someone. However in time the information linked to out of the blog may well be of use.

In a group of student bloggers, links and reflective / critical comments between blogs help students develop a community of practice and should be actively encouraged, especially if the comments are made in the right spirit by critical friends. The links out from a student blog would provide a richer view of the depth and range of a student's reading and thinking. Blogs that simply echo references / links provided by tutors reveal much about their authors, blogs containing additional links provide evidence of additional research. A showcase for the blogger.

Of course a vast range of links out is of no more use than a vast range of links in unless the commentary accompanying the links reveals evidence of reflection, linking new and old to create new learning. Anyone can create a list of links out (like leaving books on a coffee table), using / sharing /reading the links is what matters.

Beth Kanter writes about this.

She remembers Robert Scobel saying
"a bloggers influence should not be measured by in-bound links (like technorati) but by out-bound links"


Something for us to think about.

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