Is the Edublogosphere a Closed, Elite Cocktail Party?
Apr 11, 2008
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Jon Becker writes, "It's as if folks like Will Richardson, David Warlick, Wes Fryer, Vicki Davis, Dean Shareski, Stephen Downes, Chris Lehmann... (and, yes, you Scott) are having an awesome cocktail party conversation and I'm standing on the outside staring over their shoulders and listening in." I'm sympathetic; I often feel, as Vicki Davis does, that I'm on the outside.

But more to the point (because it's pretty irrelevant what I feel) my own online participation is nothing remotely like an exclusive cocktail party. I am very careful to sample widely; I harvest hundreds of feeds and over the years have cited 6,121 separate authors (here they are). I do not collect long comment strings because I encourage people to write in their own blogs. I try not to aggregate readers to my own blog; I have even split my online writing into several distinct sites. There may be exclusive clubs out there, but I am neither part of them nor do I encourage them.

Anyhow, even if the edublogosphere is a closed cocktail party, he will have made his mark by the end of the week by having written about the edublogosphere's favorite topic: the edublogosphere. Total: 367
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Re: Is the Edublogosphere a Closed

I have to say, I've wondered how you've been able to read and comment as much as you do. I find it difficult to keep up with just your newsletter. Thanks for keeping us up to date on many of these issues. [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Is the Edublogosphere a Closed

Stephen -

I agree with Charles that your reading of other blogs is Herculean compared to the rest of us. But to the Jon Becker comment you might write a bit more on how you select those posts to remark on. It might help the new blogger in writing his posts. [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Is the Edublogosphere a Closed

You might also comment on your policy of not allowing urls in your comments. It does tend to localise the conversation - rather than expand the network. [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Is the Edublogosphere a Closed

Please read the instructions below the form: "If you are a registered user you may submit links and other HTML."

So you *can* submit links, it's just a little more involved. (Update: I just tested it, and it's not working. I'll fix it on the weekend.)

If you know of a good way of allowing links from anonymous users without drowning in spam, I'm all ears. [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Is the Edublogosphere a Closed

@Frances -- URL's do work., however, you need to know the HTML to insert them. I have instructions on how to do this on my own post 10 Habits of bloggers that win.

With as popular as Stephen's blog is, I'm sure he gets a lot of anonymous spam from people who just want the links. It is a tough balance, but by preventing anonymous links, he frees himself up to spend more time doing what he does best... blogging.

I actually signed up to "be a member" of Stephen's site because there are some cool, behind the scenes features here in the profile, etc. Just sign up. Authentication and identity is something we should all do -- also, Stephen supports Open Id. Kudos to you, Stephen -- I think this is new! [Comment] [Permalink]

Re: Is the Edublogosphere a Closed

Stephen -

Thank you for the comment on my post about this issue. You were correct in saying that I made an error in my statement where I said all posts about Jon's post had more comments than his did. I apologize for the generalization and will try to be more careful in the future. I'm now subscribing to your newsletter and look forward to reading more from you in the future. [Comment] [Permalink]

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