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Beth Kanter

This is a demonstration of the comment!

Sue Waters

Well I think she is starting with a good plan by first reading some blogs. So hopefully she will set up a Feed Reader to manage reading the blogs when she gets home -- I like to use Google Reader on my iGoogle page. What do you use Beth?

Off course I am not experienced with locating blogs on her topic area so I would maybe try a search of Technorati and Google Blog Searches to find blogs that she might like to read -- then add them to the Feed Reader. However as a beginner you can find a lot of blogs that aren't on those topics when you do the search. SO would be better if people recommended her blogs to read.... Perhaps you or your readers could give her a list of blogs to get her started?

The true power of blogging is the conversations - people interacting with each other. Once she has started reading them -- then she needs to start commenting on other peoples blogs -- so I would encourage her to post comments... Maybe she could start by posting a comment on this post? I would also teach her how to use co-mment to manage her comments.

Good luck Hurdis...start off slowly and most importantly enjoy!


Roy Blumenthal

Hiya Beth and Hurdis...

I saw Beth's request for help on Twitter. Note the timestamp on this comment, and you'll have a small sense of how powerful social media is for idea-transmission.

I'm writing this on a cellphone, by the way. Nowhere near a traditional computer.

My advice on blogging...

1. It's a long term investment in terms of community-community building. Don't go into it expecting loads and loads of comments. A blog is like a lonely radio station most of the time. You talk, and hope people are listening. Sometimes the 'phone rings' in tif form of a comment.

2. Blogging is similar to journaling. It has the same benefits, and then some. It focusses ideas. It creates discipline. It primes the idea pump. (If you know that you have two blog posts to write every week, your subconscious is primed to seek material.) Do it cos you love your topic.

3. Blogging is about YOUR passion. This means it's not a broadcast. It's an ultra narrowcast. Which is great. If you only have ten followers of your blog, but they're THE people who share your passion, then you've formed a tight community. It's not the number of readers you have. It's the quality of those readers. More than this, you're also sharing your unique take on your topic. If you don't blog it, you one day die clutching your knowledge greedily to your chest. Better to share it. It's useless to tif world unshared.

4. Blogging is fun. You get to exercise your authorial voice. You get to externalise your self, your selfness. You get to satisfy some goods urge to publish. And it's addictive if you get into it with a sense of fun and exploration.

5. Offer links to outside sites. This fits in with the spirit of opensource sharing, generosity of spirit, contribution. Offer comments on other people's blogs. Share.

I reckon that's enough to go on. I hope my comment isn't TOO didactic. Hehheh.

Blue skies, love, Roy

Chris Betcher

Beth, from my own blog you might find it useful to read these posts... all basically about why I bother blogging.


Roy Blumenthal

Eek. Spelling errors due to my inattention regarding my cellphone's predictive text quirks.

'Tif' = 'the'
'Goods' = 'inner' as in 'the inner urge to publish'

Blue skies, love, Roy

Roy Blumenthal

Eek. Spelling errors due to my inattention regarding my cellphone's predictive text quirks.

'Tif' = 'the'
'Goods' = 'inner' as in 'the inner urge to publish'

Blue skies, love, Roy

Michele Martin

Hi Beth and Hurdis--Honestly, I've come to believe that really the ONLY way to understand the power of blogging and to decide if it's for you is to actually DO it. You can read all of these blissful posts on how wonderful blogging is for learning, connecting, etc. but the proof is in the pudding. It's like trying to describe to someone what it's like to be a parent--you don't REALLY know until you've been there.

Maybe what makes sense, Hurdis, is if you say that you're going to do an experiment--blog for 30 days. Really put yourself into it, reading other blogs and commenting, but then writing your own posts. Be open to the what happens. It may be great and it may not work for you. But the only way you can know is by doing it.

Kate Foy

Hi Hurdis and Beth

I've just spotted Sue's Twitter request so, yes, the network is paying attention. Blogging for me is sometimes about having a conversation with myself and sharing some of that inner monologue with friends out there and then responding to their takes on stuff ... questions and other musings. Some of my blogging network contacts feel like locals, although I know some are in the UK, others in the US, and others scattered around Australia (where I am). I've never met them, but I feel I'm beginning to through our conversations.

I've just started a wiki (another kind of online writing tool, where you can invite other like-minded folks to be co-contributors to a web page that you build together) and it's on my retirement plans ... so, if you get to create that retirement blog, drop me a note and I'll come by and visit you. Maybe we can dream some "Third Age" dreams together.

Russel Montgomery


I'm Russel Montgomery. i am relatively new to blogging. I have dabbled at the very edge off and on for the last couple of years. But in the last few months I have taken it seriously.

I am a school teacher and got into it seriously because of the value of keeping parents informed that way. Yet i have found it even more powerful in supporting my conversation with educators from around the world interested in the same kind of stuff as me.

In terms of getting started I agree with Sue above... thats all good advice.

Another link I would make is the link between blogging and micro-blogging. A micro-blogging tool like twitter allows for short comments that can be linked into the blog network if needed.

feel free to have a look around the hubs that I have set up for myself. I have a professional one and a one for the other work I do. it might give you a flavour of how I build and sustain my online network... which is, as Sue says... about the conversation.

A thought... one way that you might be able to glimpse the conversation directly is to have a look at the last column of this blog At the top you will see Twitter. That's a link to my micro-blogging. Underneath are folk from mybloglog who have recently visited my blog, Then you will see a long list of edubloggers. These are people that I read and many of them read me.

I hope this helps.


Hi Beth and Hurdis,

I have two kinds of blogs, one for professional use and for personal use. Although I have been neglecting my personal blog lately due to lots of thinking going on on my professional blog, I have found both of them to be a powerful tool for reflection, networking, learning and clarification of my own ideas. Plus, writing all the time makes me a better writer, which is a nice bonus. And, of course, if I wasn't blogging, I never would have "met" Beth...

Andy Roberts


I'm always a bit skeptical about advice. People love giving it, but what most people really want to receive is help, not advice. You can get free advice anywhere.

I'm still going to make a suggestion though, which is to consider joining a hosted blogging community such as livejournal or or maybe Vox where I think it will be much easier to connect up with other people writing about retirement and travel through the built-in "tag surf" or groups systems. That should get anyone one off to a quicker start, then make sure that it's as easy as possible for people outside that community to comment and link in as well.


Saw Beth's tweet and then chatted with her on skype while on the train to a meeting. Online, on cell phone and computer with a wireless Sprint modem.

I use blogging in two ways: 1. to keep my own journal of thinks I want to remember and think about either then or in the future, and 2. to tall stories about a particular subject (in this case, mobile technology in civil society).

1. is personal and my own and has not yielded a lot of ancillary benefit (partly because I am lackluster about it), and 2. is professional, interesting to me, and indeed has yielded professional recognition, made me learn a ton about the topic (as I have to write about it cogently and accurately), and has built a community of people around the world who are equally as passionate about the topic as I am.

As I follow others blogs (both macro and micro - i.e. Twitter) I have a sense of the conversations in both my personal and professional communities, and can add intelligent value by filling gaps in a very new and emerging field - the things that are not being talked about, and that are needed.

Blogging is not the if-and-end-all, by any means -- but for people who are increasingly digital natives another channel of expression, voice, and conversation with a like-community.

What I love most about blogging is the generosity of it -- as David Weinberger put it so wonderfully. Blogs are generous - we link OUT away form our own content to what is wild and beautiful online and in life. Reading, following, commenting on, and producing these links of generosity is what ties us together as a community, a human web of interesting people. And as you can see from the comments above, this works in real time, and over night!

All the best,


Ruby Sinreich

Hi Hurdis. I got here via Beth's tweets as I'm so busy that I hardly read my aggregator anymore.

Remember that blogs can be whatever you want them to be. A travelog, a breaking news feed, a personal journal, a group project, a community-building tool. The most effective blogs usually have a distinct niche or focus, so blog about whatever you are personally interested in. Then you will enjoy it whether anyone else reads it or not. And, those who share your interests will be thrilled to find an insightful voice on those topics you know best.

Here are some tips I have written that might be helpful:

About blogging and about other tools for building online community. Final piece of advice: listen to Beth, that woman knows what she's talking about.

Above all, have fun!

Nancy White

Follow your passion. Blogs may be a way to be a candle on that path. but follow your passions!

Beth Kanter

THis is an example of a comment, not a very good one at that.

Justin Kownacki

Honestly? Be yourself.

Advice is wonderful, and it can help you improve / focus, but nothing replaces passion or personality. With those two tools, you can do more than all of us put together will be able to help you accomplish.

Good luck!

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