Returning to the idea of a domain of one’s own, I ran across a post from long time blogger Andy Baio who mourns the “decline of independent blogging”, but still believes “they’re still worth fighting for”.
Ultimately, it comes down to two things: ownership and control.
Here, I control my words. Nobody can shut this site down, run annoying ads on it, or sell it to a phone company. Nobody can tell me what I can or can’t say, and I have complete control over the way it’s displayed. Nobody except me can change the URL structure, breaking 14 years of links to content on the web.
Ok, so none of us own a domain – we only rent it. And few people own the web server that distributes their work.
But by blogging at our own domain – outside of corporate platforms like Facebook, Tumblr (Verizon, by way of Yahoo), and Blogger (Google) – we still own and control our ideas and how they are first presented to the world.
Echoing Andy’s desire to see more independent bloggers, I firmly believe more educators should be posting out there on the open web. On their own domains. Telling the world what’s going on in their classrooms, schools, and districts (charter companies?). Discussing their ideas about learning. Reflecting on problems standing in their way. Contributing their unique voices to the mix on the web.
However, blogging is not enough. We also need to help each other build an audience and build communities around those educators who are willing to share in the open. And, on the other end, to teach our colleagues, parents, and even students why reading blogs is important, where to find the good ones, and how to easily build them into their routines (RSS still lives!).
How does that happen? I don’t quite know. Others have tried and largely failed (top 100 lists and trivial awards do not a community make). But I think it’s worth more effort, and I’m open to suggestions.
Right now, all of this is just an idea buzzing around my warped little mind. We’ll see if anything develops from it.