Sunday, July 3, 2011

Entering the Blogosphere

Photo Credit
Most reports state that there are over 60 million blogs in the blogosphere.  The mapping would look something like this image, according to social media expert Matthew Hurst  who collected link data for six weeks to produced this plot of the most active and interconnected parts of the blogosphere (Ornes, 2007).  I find it mind boggling, to some degree, but that is probably because I was born in the 60's, the pre-electronic age, and I have been dashing to keep up and to keep the mind boggling to a minimum since it all began.

Today I am launching my blog and website into that sphere of 60 million, so I set out to add interesting Instructional Design and Technology blogs to my reader and link them in my blog.  I instantly found myself on a linking highway to tons of blogs; so many that I found it hard to narrow down a list to only a few.  I used google, as a start, to locate many of them.  I found that some instructional designers have pages within their blogs with consolidated lists of recommended blogs.  I started reviewing, checking other blogs current instructional design bloggers recommended and before I knew it, hours had gone by and I was lost in the Blogosphere.

My interests are in the technology aspect of Instructional design, interactive game based and virtual learning, and corporate adult education.  Some bloggers stated exactly what the intent of their blogs were, others did not. Those unspecified blogs seemed to be a mish-mash of all types of instructional design topics.  Luckily, I stumbled upon the EduBlogAwards page. This helped me gain my bearings somewhat as I could see what categories of Instructional Design blogs were out there, and thus allowed me to select a few blogs closer to what my interests were. 


The Learning Zealot
Thoughts on ID,Social Learning, Androgogy, & elearning
Mark Britz-Syracuse New York
Performance Specialist, Social & Informal learning aficionado, eLearning Designer

Immediately I noted that Mark Britz's blog was down to earth, real and, that he liked to use metaphors.  Metaphors and analogies are hard for me to resist, when I write, so I immediately connected with his posts.  Once a history teacher, now a Manager of Learning Solutions with a company in New York, Mark has a lot of experience and knowledge to draw upon which should help me in getting my feet wet.

My favorite recent post of his is the microwave as a metaphor for Organizational Learning.


The Useable Learning Blog

Julie Dirkson authors this blog and she is an independent consultant in Instructional Design and e-Learning in Minneapolis MN.  She teaches part time at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.  Julie writes a lot about educational game design and gamification in her blog, which I find extremely interesting, and she even does instructional design web comics.  She also, graciously, shares her presentations and other work with her followers.   She has a perfect mix of topics that pique my personal interest and others that provide insight into the working world in a fun and quirky way.  Check out Julie's latest ID web comic.


Making Change
Ideas for lively e-learning

This blog is piloted by Cathy Moore, an independent expert with more than 25 years experience in using technology to help people learn.  She also helps people strengthen their instructional design skills and designs\writes elearning for businesses. She is practical in her approach to her blog entries, no-nonsense, and can speak to real world experiences.  She, in part, is what I want to be when I grow up.  Her blog is organized, easy to follow and extremely informative.  She has way too many amazing blog posts to recommend just one.

Ornes, S. (2007). Map Welcome to the Blogosphere.  Retrieved from


  1. I was fascinated first by the name of your blog site. I read the information about lightening bugs first to myself and then to my 16 yr old son. He found it just as intriguing.

    I then had fun reading the introduction to launching your blog into the blogosphere. You are creative. I enjoy reading your material and am looking forward to looking at the blogs you found.

  2. Hey Kathleen, Thanks for the support! I was hoping that people would "get" the Lightning blog\Lightning Bug play on words since I haven't associated it with my website yet.
    You are very generous with your compliments and I look forward to working with you in class.

  3. Week 2 Assignment-

    Julie I reviewed your post about the blog, The Learning Zealot by Mark Britz. I found his blog very refreshing. I absolutely loved the article you suggested, The Microwave as a Metaphor for Organizational Learning. The article was really easy to read, very relatable and down to earth. I didn't feel like the blog was off track with the metaphor but just the opposite. It kept me engaged because of the use of the metaphor and I actually learned more about organizational learning. I'm adding this blog to my reader as it makes me want to read more and more of what Mark has to say. I wish other bloggers would write in a similar fashion, that way I don't feel like I need an interrupter or dictionary. Great find.

  4. Thanks for the nice comments Shonda. I just wish Mark would update his blog more often. :)