I recently joined the Blogging and Writing for the Web Study Group after I had a twitter conversation with the organizer Pippa Buchanan, School of Webcraft extraordinaire and engaging educator, webist and all round interesting person. The Blogging and Writing for the Web course is being collaboratively created by peers at P2PU.org. Honestly, I’ve been following the P2PU revolution since I learned about it at the Drumbeat Festival last November, but I hadn’t really made myself visible. I decided to join the Blogging and Writing for the Web group because I could use some blog support. I have a hard time blogging regularly, I never know what I should write about, I question my own organizational skills. You know, I’m a slack blogger.

Today we had an online meeting using Voxli, a group voice chat, and Etherpad, collaborative document editing, and it made me think about the future of this particular Study Group. Here’s the thing, we are creating the course right now, but most of the tasks we came up with in our meeting will still be relevant a year from now. If the group is successful, a year from now I’ll be blogging regularly, I’ll have found an appropriate voice, have a plethora of topics to choose from, have people who read my blogs and feel comfortable creating new writings. If this group is successful, I won’t need this group a year from now, but the infrastructure will be in place for those who do.

It’s a virtual support group, in this case a virtual mutual support group for confident and sustainable blogging practices. But the amazing thing is that the Study Group will be self perpetuating. We’ll create tasks that help people develop good habits and confidence in:

  • Finding and Maintaining an Audience
  • Developing a Rhythm for Writing Blog Posts
  • Finding your Writing Voice
  • Coming up with and Writing about a Variety of Topics
  • Technical Questions and Solutions for Blogging
  • Setting Blogging Goals
  • Separation Between Professional and Personal Blogging
  • Blog Layout and Grammar
  • Using Creative Commons Licensed Images
  • Legal Issues in Blogging

A year from now, these tasks will be completed by the pilot group (ie those currently participating in the Study Group), we’ll have modified the individual tasks, performed test cases and complete QA evaluations and, a year from now, someone will perform a web search for “how to find motivation for blogging” and all of the sudden, they’ll find a step by step program exactly for that.

Part of learning is curiosity followed by explanation, which leads to further curiosity. An educated person is a reader who forms opinions and develops self confidence through the systematic observation of those opinions. Learning comes from doing, creating, questioning. So the fact that this particular Study Group is quite like a Support Group is creating a group of educated people who are able to share what they’ve learned with the entire world.

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