Tuesday, September 18, 2007

An experiment...

So, thanks to the tools BlackBoard provides me, I know that not a lot of people have been looking at this blog yet. I can't really blame you since it's not like I'm dishing on the latest in celebrity fashion, music, or even academic discourse.

But another reason, I suspect, that people haven't looked at what I've been writing is because you have to go through so many hoops to get at the BlackBoard blog. It's not a bad tool here (although design elements are obviously limited), but it is a restricted interface. Even more problematic, there's no RSS feed to alert those of you who use Bloglines, Google Reader or something else as your primary blog reading device can't get updates. And since part of what I'm doing here is thinking about how to make the tools I'm using useful for others, it seems obvious that I'd want a community to respond to the writing. Finally, while Blackboard offers me a lot of control over who can and can't see what I'm doing, there's not an easy way that I could show off this blog as part of my scholarly portfolio (whether I'd want to is another thing we can take up at a later date).

What's this all mean? Well, it means that I'm going to host this blog simultaneously here and on Blogger. I want to see if traffic increases to one or both portals when I make a second one available. So you'll be able to continue finding the blog here as well as at http://ecitadventures.blogspot.com/. Take you pick. Sometimes I'll write a post in this environment and sometimes in the other, just to see the strengths and limitations of each. The trickiest things will be the links to hosted content. I'm using Blackboard's Store & Share feature for files you can download (like the Camtasia movie or the Google Earth kmz files). Right now the links in Blogger point back to Blackboard. You should be able to access the materials by logging in; but I can't promise that for sure. I'll fiddle around with my Emory web drive and see what I can throw up there to make sure the materials are available.

In any case, feel free to tell me if you like one platform over another or if you just don't care. C'mon. I promise I can take it. I still don't really think I'll get many comments. The idea is to get the information out there and available and are interested.

Update: I've changed the links here at Blogger to point to my Emory webdrive rather than the Store and Share on BlackBoard. Let me know if you have any problems getting those links.


Carole said...

Adding the blog and wiki modules to BB was the easiest and most supportable way to introduce the functionality to campus, but I completely agree that it's not very Web 2.0 to have your blog behind the BB wall. And no RSS feeds is a bummer. I start my day with Bloglines. Students, however, don't appear to use RSS aggregators, according to our student survey.

Carole said...

Just emailed Sandra who runs BB. Basically, what with the start of school, the upgrade, and other stuff, they didn't have time to work through the technical and policy implications of turning on the RSS feeds. The system is capable of doing it and they're going to enable it in the test environment so we can start to work through the issues.

Brian said...

Glad to hear that BB has RSS capability. I always suspected that this was the case. That will help make the blog function more useful for everyone taking a class. In fact, it might in the long run help drive people toward BB as a learning environment (if they have an aggregator telling them there's something new to read there).