Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Blog Netiquette Question

I seem to run a foul of secret blogger rules of conduct with regularity. An experience six weeks ago has stayed with me and I'd love to read your thoughts on the matter.

On May 6, I wrote, Isn't It Ironic?, in this blog. I asked why edubloggers, particularly edtech edubloggers, don't discuss fundamental educational issues, like the fraud and miseducative practice associated with the US Federal Government's national reading policy.

Many of the most popular, hired and prolific members of the EduBlogosphere (particularly the edtech bloggers) spend a great deal of time, word count and airplane mileage talking about the importance of literacy - old literacy, new literacy, media literacy, superdooper 21st Century Web 2.0 literacy and "literacies" yet to be invented.

Literacy dominates my esteemed colleague's thoughts about education. Therefore, I find it shocking that there is so little [read: none] discussion of the news that the federal Department of Education has concluded that Reading First, the $6 billion shock and awe approach to literacy education at the core of No Child Left Behind, has FAILED to improve the reading comprehension of American students.

Why the silence among EduBloggers? Is this issue unimportant? Should we ignore the calamity created by Reading First just because it doesn't mention Twitter, Apture, Ning or other made-up words?

I was criticizing the absence of outrage among the edubloggers I read and wound up incurring the wrath of the blogosphere instead. Non-Americans were defensive in their comments when I was clearly not talking about them. Independent school teachers and educators from affluent school districts protested that they are not affected by Reading First - unless of course you count them as citizens who pay taxes or care for their neighbors.

In the spirit of civility, I did not name the specific bloggers and pundits
who were curiously silent on important matters of policy and pedagogy.

I'm wondering if that was a mistake?

My attempt at discretion apparently led to widespread confusion. For that I apologize.

Should I have called out the specific educators with a gap between rhetoric and action?

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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

What are the rules of engagement in the world of Web 2.0?

Joel Stein wrote a hilarious and provocative op-ed piece in today's Los Angeles Times. It raises important issues regarding the nature of creator and audience in the Read/Write World.

This is a must read...

Have something to say? I don't care
Don't bother sending anything to that e-mail address below -- because I don't care.

Here is an excerpt from this timeless piece of satire...

Here's what my Internet-fearing editors have failed to understand: I don't want to talk to you; I want to talk at you. A column is not my attempt to engage in a conversation with you. I have more than enough people to converse with. And I don't listen to them either. That sound on the phone, Mom, is me typing.

Some newspapers even list the phone numbers of their reporters at the end of their articles. That's a smart use of their employees' time. Why not just save a step and have them set up a folding table at a senior citizen center with a sign asking for complaints?

Where does this end? Does Philip Roth have to put his e-mail at the end of his book? Does Tom Hanks have to hold up a sign with his e-mail at the end of his movie? Should your hotel housekeeper leave her e-mail on your sheets? Are you starting to see how creepy this is?

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