Monday, April 23, 2007


Due to a lack of activity over the past week...

Due to a lack of activity it came to me that this would be as good a time as any to request feedback about the coblog. I appreciate the positive comments and feedback, but unfortunately for me, the negative is much more helpful. In order to make this forum a truly usable one, there must be creative and structural input from those using it. So, let me know what you think:

Is there anything about the coblog that frustrates you?

Is there something missing that would make you use it more?

Have you imagined any further possibilities or things that could be added?

Why do you think more people do not use it?

Why don´t you use it more?

Is there anything on the coblog that you do not understand?

Are there any terms or services that are unclear (rss, netvibes, flickr, jamendo, youtube, web 2.0, blog, coblog, blogger, wiki, widget, feed etc.)?

Do you have a vision for the coblog (what it is, what it can/could be)?


Andrew said...

I would've thought such a direct post as this one would've been a great way to jump-start such postings by providing an example, but judging by the number of responses that doesn't seem to be the case.

I suppose this means that we need to fall back to using fabricated soap-opera conflicts in the name of provoking discussion...

Andrew said...

Hmmm, had posting difficulties. My previous comment was supposed to contain this content before what actually appeared:

Kevin, I think you pretty well identified the problem with the coblog at the Quorum a couple weeks ago: it's hard for people to interact with posts that consist of full articles because the speak for themselves. This post is a lot more accessible because it directly poses questions for debate. So then the problem is more how do we get users to post similar content?

I do think some sort of outside push to use the coblog and an explanation as to what the coblog is would help get people participating. At this point it seems that not many people know about the coblog and several among the few that view it probably see a static blog that doesn't seem like anything new or intersting. Inciting discussion through in multiple ways could create a buzz and get people to see what the coblog is all about.

Kevin said...

Okay, so we need to be advertising. Educating and advertising. But a lot of times there is a wall that is hit, most people may not be interested in using computers. All along I believe this to be only partially true. People use Facebook. Why?

My theory has been that the structure creates the use.

This seems to be slow going here. But, for us already engaged in the coblog, why don´t we use it? Let´s start some discussion Andrew, and lead by example!

Andrew said...

"Dr. Wesch has described the issue of privacy and Web 2.0 as "hiding out in the open". Yes, you put yourself out there by participating."

This little bit is from the "Problems with the Coblog" discussion regarding the incriminating pictures. I think that maybe "hiding out in the open" has something to do with the lack of participation on the coblog, especially the lack of origional ideas and content. There may be a hesitation to throw ideas out there because of the vulnerability. You don't know exactly who will be watching your activity on the coblog. How does facebook overcome this problem? -by allowing people to restrict who look at their profile so you do know exactly who is watching. I think that security helps make the format more accessable.

Obviously the coblog won't function with such security measures, so how do we make the coblog more inviting?

genjamon said...

My experience with this feedback post I think holds some keys to the difficulty. I've been thinking of many different angles of response, but I just can't hold them in my head long enough or with enough passion to want to write them out and submit. I'd much rather have a real conversation about it instead of forcing my thoughts into a structured form on "e-paper".

Question: What does this co-blog allow people to do, that they really want to do, that they can't do in a more convenient and/or less structured form/forum?

Rebecky said...

As far as the last few weeks are concerned... the semester is wrapping up, and people are busy, myself included. Also, things will look equally bleak for the coming months because of summer.

So, I think the best route would be to push education of the co-blog at the beginning of the semester. To show people 1.)where they can sign up and 2.) HOW to use it. The co-blog is rather intimidating at first glance...

Kevin said...


See here for some potential answers to your question. This was the first post. An attempt to briefly explain what the point was.

I think your concern is very much valid. However, I also think there is a place for this type of thing. I think communication via the written or typed word can be just as useful (in different ways) as a conversation. The purpose of this is largely to extend the conversations we have. We never have enough time to discuss/talk in meetings or elsewhere. This is a place.


All along I have pushed education. However, I have never been given the opportunity to do much to that end. This is indeed mostly my fault for not insisting, but the reality is that I have spent so much time trying to get the coblog to do what I think it needs to do that I have not had the energy to push myself onto everyone. Plus, ideally I would like interested parties to come to me if they would like to know more.

Furthermore, I understand that activity will be slow over summer. But,! this is a place where activity could continue over the summer...

Hannah said...

On summer: This is the beauty of the coblog, people can go home or travel the world during the summer, but the coblog is always with you, wherever you find a computer. so i think summer shouldnt be too much of a factor. facebook and this coblog shouldn't be compared...facebook is (for most people) a way to look at others without them knowing, its a creepy concept that consumes lives. the few who use it to advertise events and notes of value is great-but for the most part, i feel facebook is not even close to what this coblog is trying to accomplish. facebook is easy while this takes thoughts and the formation of personal opinions. its not just writing down favorite books/tv shows etc.

i agree with the idea to stay away from just posting whole articles. that is really all i have ever done and i definitely see where that is just sort of speak-for-itself no need for talk/discussion sort of thing. even then, none of this matters if people aren't even getting on to read/watch the posts.

Gerry said...

Very good observations concerning the coblog. I attended a Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco last week and picked up a few ideas.

First, the SEA blog is one of the best examples in providing multiple content (text posts, Flikr, tags, RSS feeds, etc.) than any blog I viewed at the conference. Blogs were the most popular topic discussed. Content, not technology brings your audience. Good and relevant posts do this.

So one of the main things I see is marketing it and getting more members to sign up.

Can we get the Blog more integrated in the SEA web site?

It seems to me that SEA has numerous sites/ways where information is being posted (including Facebook and the Listserv). At least 4 places might be making it more time consuming and confusing to find SEA info..

How about signing all members of the Listserv up to the coblog?
This is a good discussion point.
What do you think?

jeff :) said...

Several people have identified posts of full articles as being a problem since they speak for themselves. I think this is generally true, especially when the article is informational and is easily accepted or agreed upon by members of the co-blog (e.g., recycling, renewable energy, etc.). Some of the philosophical posts generated some good discussion, probably because they were more open-ended and left room for discussion/debate.

I think the blogger format is quite a bit different than facebook, but it does leave room for participants to develop their own blogs with content that others can read and pictures they can view. I think one of the ideas behind the co-blog is to help build relationships and make connections outside of face-to-face contact, when we can't be together...creation of a cyber community and a place to share ideas in formats other than meetings and conversation. I think it has the potential to offer much in the way of sharing parts of ourselves that we may not be as open to share in public. But there is a vulnerability factor to it as well. I am planning to developing my blog into a co-blog this I mean that I wish to include multiple content (RSS, jukebox, photos, calendars, etc.). Of course, there is a learning curve to this and I'll need some help to learn some of the tricks (maybe at the Quorum some night).

Anyway, I see lots of potential, but perhaps, some education and marketing would help out the cause. Maybe as members we could concentrate on generating some discussion through our posts too. I'll start out with one: How do we make "green" sexy?