We have at least three members of our current adult education class who are experimenting with blogs as part of their learning logs. The care and feeding of a blog can teach many things. Some of those things are inspirational; others are more practical.
As the center of your digital identity, your web site can give you of a fighting chance in creating a web presence that helps you accomplish your professional goals. Your blog can provide a forum for narrating you work and help attract a community to inspire, challenge and expand your thinking. It also can provide a way to save you some keystrokes.
As Jon Udell has pointed out, saving keystrokes can be very important, particularly if Scott Hansleman is right in his assessment:
There are a finite number of keystrokes left in your hands before you die. Next time someone emails you, ask yourself “Is emailing this person back the best use of my remaining keystrokes?”
If you can communicate with more people with fewer keystrokes before you die–that’s a good thing. I had the opportunity for the last few days to put the principle of conservation of keystrokes into practice, using another blog that I post to occasionally. Earlier this week, William and Mary got hit with a particularly nasty phishing attack and a group of faculty accounts were compromised. The resulting flood of spam resulted in William and Mary’s outgoing mail being blocked by most large ISP’s, including Blackberry. Every time someone sent email to Blackberry, the mail bounced. Every time the mail bounced, I got email asking what was going on with Blackberry.
Rather than answer each one those emails individually, I made a quick post to the SoE blog, then I could direct email to that link rather than respond individually. Using a blog entry works well in this case because I want to provide a little bit of the back story and show how important it is for all of us in the community to be involved if we want to protect our precious Internet.
Here’s a challenge for you to those of us in the EPPL 714 class. Can you find a way–high tech or low tech–to invest 1 hour in learning something that will save you 5 hours over the next month? Can you share it with 10 of your friends so that they can save some time, too? If an hour is too much, can you find a way to invest 10 minutes in something that will save you an hour? ( Want a hint of a place to look? If you use Microsoft Word, explore using named styles.)