It is interesting in the small groups to see how we are coming together in our posting. I have responded to most of the members of my small group over the past couple of weeks. While each one of my group members has a unique perspective, as we bounce our ideas around, it is clear that a sense of shared learning is coming together. At first, I was not sure about posting to the private group because it felt small and limiting. Now, I see the purpose in that. In our very large class group it would have been much more difficult to create those shared learning spaces and a shared understanding of our different perspectives. So, this is a shout out to Group A -- because as colleagues, you all rock! You have broadened my thinking in many ways.
I have come away from the readings this week with new ideas about blogging. I never really thought about blogs as anything but a singular experience. Even in my own blogging experiences which can be distilled into two purposes: I blog to inform far-flung family of our activities; or, I blog as a visual journal for myself. The first blog is open to comments because we have family members who really like to comment on how fast the kids are growing or how great the music recital video was. The visual journal is not open to comments because it is definitely more personal--and while I know that others read it, I am not particularly open to being vulnerable enough to want more than a one way shared space with them.
Affinity spaces are interesting that way. As I look for digital stories, because of my interest in personal narratives, I often stumble upon very personal stories. I shared one of those this week--about life, living and dying. The author/creator of that story chose to remain anonymous, as I do in my journal blog. Yet, he shared his thoughts in a very public space where people like me would have no difficulty finding his story. It is one thing to share the story. It is an entirely another to dialog about it. In fact, it occurs to me that a story like this which does not allow for comments is a bit like one of the rules in a twelve step program. You can share your story and you are encouraged to do so. However, the group norm is that you cannot engage in cross-talk. Participants cannot ask clarifying questions or make comments. The story is shared for the purpose of creating community--and creating relationship, or becoming a part of the affinity group. It is not necessarily about creating a shared dialog. Some blogs are like participating in twelve step. You share. That's it.
All of this serious stuff aside, my favorite part of this week was the 2nd daily create. I stumbled upon it late Saturday night. I actually dreamed about it. Sunday morning, Ro-Po came alive in just a few minutes. There is something inspirational about working in digital spaces for me which allows for really creative thinking which I have only experienced within this space. Until I spent a lot of time working within this space, I never considered myself to be very creative. I usually fall on the analytical side of things. I am linear to a fault. So, the daily creates have been somewhat of a challenge--and I have not particularly challenged myself mostly due to fear and some uncertainty about my ability to actually create something! This week, it all came together and I just let go and had some fun with it. I need to remember that I have that within me--and capitalize on it when it happens. That being said, I think I'll keep Ro-Po to myself and not share it on the neighborhood FaceBook page where I am guessing they would not share my irreverent sense of humor!
Carry On--Week Five, here we come!