Interview zu „The corridor of uncertainty“

22.12.2009: Stefanie Panke im Gespräch mit Edublogger Alistair Creelman
Das Weblog „The corridor of uncertainty“ verspricht “Assorted thoughts and reflections on technology in higher education”. Das englischsprachige Weblog rund um Bildungstechnologien und Hochschullehre besteht seit 2008. Betreiber Alistair Creelman ist im Bereich netzbasierte Lehre an der schwedischen Universität Kalmar tätig. Im Interview verrät der gebürtiger Schotte aus welchen Gründen und Anlässen er Blogeinträge verfasst und beschreibt sein Weblog zwischen lebendigem Lebenslauf und Gedankentagebuch. 

1. Please describe the purpose of your blog and how it reflects your personal as well as your academic background!

I see my blog as a personal notebook on aspects of my work. It’s a way of organising thoughts and keeping a record of useful links. I write fairly spontaneously and do not intend the blog to be seen as academic work. My opinions on a subject can change from one month to the next so it’s a record of how I think and what I find interesting, as a diary (web log) should be. Of course it is very useful to be able to show colleagues and new contacts – if they want a quick overview of what I work with.

2. How did you get started with blogging? Do you remember a specific moment when you decided “I should start a blog”?

I try to test as many web tools as I can on the grounds that you can’t have real opinions about things you haven’t tried yourself. I read plenty of blogs and heard lots of opinions on the subject so I decided to get a view of my own. So I started a blog to see what would happen. I just decided to start one day even if I didn’t really know what I would blog about and couldn’t really imagine who would want to read it. The reason for not starting earlier was the fear that no-one would read it but then I thought I’ll write it for myself and if others are interested that’s a bonus. I saw that Blogger was about the simplest tool around and just set it up. Read my first post to sample http://acreelman.blogspot.com/2008/04/why.html Since then I’ve started two more blogs so now I have to keep all three up and running! It has become a way of life.

3. Which infrastructure do you use for maintaining your blog? What design features (e.g. twitterfeed, tagcloud, trackback, polling, etc…) are most important to you?

I use Blogger for this and have added quite a few widgets over the last year: Twitterfeed, Delicious tag cloud, comments, blog list etc. I like the idea of interlinking all my social media presences and hope that one leads into another. I suppose it becomes rather narcissistic in the end. However I have avoided being too personal on all of the social media I use – even on Facebook.

4. Has the character of your blog evolved over time? Do you have plans to implement something new the future?

At first I just wrote general comments on trends in IT but now I link much more to other blogs and websites that have inspired me. As I saw that more and more people actually visit my blog I became aware of the need to give them something worth reading and links to further information.

5. How does blogging fit into your everyday working routine? Please describe a typical situation where one could find you blogging!

Most of my blogging is done in my spare time though I now have a Swedish blog that I update 6-10 times a week that is purely for work. During my working day I check lots of web sites and if I see something that may inspire a blog post I’ll paste the link into the new post window. Once I’ve gathered some rough notes and links in there I’ll write the post properly and publish. The posts on the English blog (The Corridor) generally take longer to produce whereas the Swedish blog (http://flexspan.blogspot.com) is simply short news items and can be written on the fly as I work.

6. Can you reflect a little on your writing process? How do you choose your topics? Do you blend personal and professional content?

The writing process varies; sometimes I need to revise several times before I publish other times I just shoot first and ask questions later! I sometimes feel I should spend more time really gathering my ideas and being a bit more reflective but on the other hand the charm of blogging is its spontaneity. I do not mix private and professional content at all.

7. In how far do you write for a specific audience? What kind of reader do you have in mind when you write a posting? What do you do to foster interaction with your readers?

I write for an audience like myself, education professionals who are trying to grasp the complexities of net-based learning. I hope I can provide useful links and ideas for others. If any of the big names find something I write interesting that’s great but I doubt if I have much to offer them. I have opened up my blog as far as it will go but sadly I get very few responses. You have to write something controversial to get a lot of comments!

8. Do you evaluate your viewer shares? How do you define a weblogs’ success?

I don’t do much evaluation apart from checking how many hits I get and where they come from. I get a few mentions on other blogs and sites but I don’t really attract large numbers. I get 200-350 visits a month usually. A successful blog is one that attracts readers, generates discussion and gets plenty of recommendations via other blogs, news sites of Twitter.

9. When you look back on your experiences in the blogosphere, what are your personal lessons learned? How has blogging changed your approach to teaching and/or research?

It has opened up my work completely. I have gathered a wonderful network of contacts all over the world through blogging and Twitter and have definitely created a clearer profile for myself. The blogs have become a sort of business card that I can refer people to. It’s very useful professionally, a living CV in a way.

Weitere Informationen:http://acreelman.blogspot.com/


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