Yesterday I wrote a reply to a question about my blog – BUT my answer should have been more thorough!
Jacinta, a post-graduate student, and learning about Web 2.0, wrote to ask me who the webmaster of this website is. I wrote a quick email reply, that was basic, therefore totally inadequate!
The answers are easy. A blog is just that – something written by the blog owner. It is not a website that has a webmaster. So Heyjude is my blog, written by me. Same with all the blogs that are linked in my blogroll. That is what Web 2.0 is all about!! Anybody can do anything!!
Yes, I am actually the webmaster of my own blog – using an online hosted platform called WordPress! Good for me!
What I also should have explained is that WordPress can be deployed in a number of different ways for self hosting and multi-user platforms for blogging and website content management systems. Edublogs is an excellent example of a entrepreneurial deployment of WordPress in multiuser format by Australian guru James Farmer, who serves the education blogging community with his excellent services as well as creating an income stream for himself. We are lucky to have this service available to us all.
But WordPress itself is a powerful product. I chose WordPress.com for this blog just because it is robust, secure, and because the support services and forum are excellent. There is no downtime, and none of the little glitches that we have experienced in our Edublogs blogs.
But a fast growing trend is the adoption of WordPress for “CMS projects” where WordPress is being leveraged in building-out entire sites that are not necessarily blog-centric. I did that in a very small way for Judy’s Web 2.0 Notes, and Simply Books.
So I am particularly chuffed that I did that, especially when I found out that Gordon Brown’s No.10 Downing Street website was re-launched using the WordPress platform. So while WordPress is primarily a blogging application, No. 10 shows it is versatile enough to be used in many different ways. Another example in this trend is the recent launch of the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ. Magazine. Other sites include AllThingsD.com, and the Small Business How-To Guide.
There has also been a burst of writing about other social media being used for mainstream communication. It seems that Obama is going to address the nation each week via YouTube. The Obama campaign was marked by a variety of social media usage, including the tiny info pushes that kept the Twitter world informed.
President Bush had been doing podcasts for a long time. Gordon Brown is also utilising Youtube for communication with his constituents! supported by the WordPress driven interactive website at No. 10.
There are lots more examples you can find. What’s of interest to me is the notion that social media is ours! and theirs! – its in the hands of everyone to be used for whatever we like.
Are we teaching our students this? Teaching them how to use this media effectively? How to use this media to know more about our world? to contribute to the debate? to develop our own knowledge and understanding or political, social, cultural, ethical, religious, artistic, historical information and ideas?