Turning to a few student samples we can see this concept exemplified even more. Below is a quote from one of Dennis Jerz’s students. This is one of the student’s first postings, and you can see his/her enthusiasm about designing and creating a blog.September 08, 2004: LOOK AT ME, I HAVE A BLOG!
I have a blog now. My very own. It’s like a baby — mine to mold, change, and create. Hundreds of people (or in my case, about 5) will be able to see my writings. People from other countries even. Hola! Bonjour! Guten Tag! foreign peoples! I think I may have become addicted though. I just found out how to personalize and change the colors. Now, every free moment I have will be spent changing colors and making the blog uniquely me. Homework? Who needs homework? I have to work on my blog. (Special K)
This student seems to be aware of, probably because Jerz emphasized to his students, the public nature of the weblog: “Hundreds of people… will be able to see my writings. People from other countries even.” However, what is even more intriguing is that the student states in parentheses “(or in my case, about 5),” which would seem to indicate that he/she does not think many people will be reading her blog. —Ashley Joyce Holmes —Web Logs in the Post-Secondary Writing Classroom: A Study of Purposes (PDF) (North Carolina State University)
This was a pleasant find — an NCSU master’s thesis that analyzes the use of web logs in higher education. I think I’ll throw a few quotes from this into my next annual review.
I’m much better at simply showing people what blogs are all about, so I appreciated Holmes’ careful description of precisely how a blog works. I might use a section of this dissertation the next time I teach Writing for the Internet.
My student Vanessa Kolberg is the “Special K” blogger. The paper mentions her name correctly, but the URL given in the Works Cited list is wrong. It should be “http://blogs.setonhill.edu/VanessaKolberg”.