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Blog for Identity
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Here is a response to Sylvia Curry at SCoPE (; where we are discusing the benefits of blogs and she points out the identity she sees in blogs but not in personal profiles of online communities...

Here is how I replied: "I think when Robin Williams reads a quote in Dead Poets Society about truth and identity and that someday we will all be dead and pushing up daffidills (sp), that he is spot on. A homepage is a static document for most of us and so is a profile provided in an online community. What makes sharing online pictures and blogs and now video blogs so engaging is that they become the externalization of one's identity. These are all pieces of identity, but the blog perhaps comes closest to it. In part, since it is fresh and new and alive with thoughts one only had a few moments ago or perhaps years earlier. It is the permanency of text but the changeability of ideas that makes a blog exciting. It is an evolving biography of who we are and what we do. It is something that can get others to reflect on who we are and also to personally reflect on who we are.

Identity. We all need it or we would be checking out on life. It is what life is. Now a blog can also help stretch your community beyond one letter to a friend to an entire community of millions (or billions) of potential readers. At the same time, it maintains some of the passion and emotion of a letter and is not distilled down or emptied of one's true self for a publisher to feel safe about. You really get a sense of a person or a story that he or she is sharing. It is about story telling and having those stories remain available for others.

Of course, more tools are needed such as tools to connect our blog stories and look for themes and patterns but they are coming. And many are already here. Hopefully, we will use them to share and intertwine our identities before we push up daffidills."
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  posted by Curt Bonk @ 10:05 AM  
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About Me

Name: Curt Bonk
Home: Bloomington, Indiana, United States
About Me: I am a former accountant and CPA and a former educational psychologist. I am now Professor of IST at Indiana University and also adjunct in the School of Informatics. I founded and later sold SurveyShare. As president of CourseShare, LLC, I run around the world training instructors to teach online and give motivational talks about emerging learning technologies. I also write and edit books related to e-learning and blended learning. See bio and vita.

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Click here for information about my recent book, The World is Open: How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education.

Visit the Indiana University Home Page of E-Learning Expert Curtis J. Bonk.

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