Sunday, August 27, 2006

Blogs of Interest - August 06 Part Two

Those who have read this blog as well as the Managing the Professional Services Firm blog will know that improved people management is one of my abiding interests. In this context I scan, among other things, a number of blogs concerned with training issues. Time is short, so I generally focus on a small number of blogs, widening my search when I need to follow up particular issues.

The US Learning Circuits blog remains my starting point on learning and development issues because it provides a steady stream of comments written from a US perspective, thus balancing my Australian view. I also read the blogs maintained by some of those linked to Learning Circuits.

I have referred to Dave Lee's e e learning blog - a more eclectic and general blog dealing with training and related issues with a special focus on the on-line world - on a number of occasions. I have used Dave's writing in a number of posts. Thus in my post on Informal Learning - the end of courseware? I used material supplied by Dave to look, among other things, at comparative internet involvement in Australia and America.

Tony Karrer's eLearning Technology is useful in looking at some of the technical and training issues associated with the application of e-learning in bigger organisations.

One thing that I find with many active blogs, and this holds with Tony's blog, is that their experience as bloggers informs the way they approach subjects. As with any other part of the on-line world, there is a learning experience involved in both reading and writing blog material. Obviously this depends upon purpose.

On the writing side, one of my colleagues Walter Adamson has used blogs very effectively as a targeted device to reach specific international niche audiences. Others write for personal purposes. Ninglun's New Lines from a Floating Life, one of my current favourites, is a personal blog expressing Neil's personal view of the world, while Geoff Robinson uses his southcoast blog, among other things, to discuss the nitty gritty of US politics form an Australian perspective.

On the reading side, people read blogs for both professional and personal purposes. Here blogs have two advantages over many conventional print publications.

First, they enable you to scan a much wider variety of material very quickly, a menu from which you can select the things that interest you.

Secondly, they allow for a degree of quick interaction.

I think that many new bloggers feel that when they first create their blog, the world will beat a path to their door, commenting on their every thought. The reality is very different. The robot machines may indeed find you and attempt to use your site to post automatic comments to attract traffic to their sites, these forced me to go to individual comment moderation, but other comments are likely to be limited. The world is just too big and too busy to care much.

However, targeted interaction is both possible and very valuable through selective comments and subsequent responses on other people's blogs. Des Walsh put a story up on his Thinking Home Business blog about RSS feeds. When I posted a comment about my own lack of knowledge in the area, Des posted a very helpful response containing a few useful links.

How does all this link back to Tony Karrer's blog? Tony has just run a helpful story with links on ways of managing RSS feeds.

This has become a long post. I will return to blogs when I do my September review of blogs of interest.

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