jill/txt is discussing whether the novelty of blogs is wearing off:
For the second semester running, I have not succeeded in getting my students enthused about blogging. […] And they’re smart interested students. Who are bizarrely enough writing papers about blogging while saying they don’t really understand blogging. Because you’ve only posted three posts to your own blog, I tell them, tearing my hair out.
I think the comment by Linn is right on the target:
I don’t think blogging is loosing its novelty, I just think that it might be hard to be introduced to blogging and THEN become enthusiastic about something to write about. I think you need to have some kind of subject material that you really want to discuss and share in order to become an enthusiastic blogger. Being forced to blogg must be gruesome. […] Anyways – I believe there has to be a desire to share some form of information in order to enjoy blogging – and I don’t think that’s very easy to find – specially when it comes to academia – you don’t always want to share with the world things that you’re having trouble understanding yourself!
I guess most bloggers have developed their writing over quite some time before they actually got into the habit of it. When I started my blog it was mainly to summarise what I had experienced at conferences. Later on I used it mainly as a place to gather links to various interesting things. It took me several years to start writing entries about my own thoughts and things I am working on.
Working on my dissertation, I find it so much easier to write short paragraphs in a blog entry as a way of developing thoughts, rather than writing a chapter in my dissertation. As opposed to many other people that blog, I have rarely enjoyed the act of writing in itself, so it is rather my struggle to develop ideas, that help me in using the blog for something I find useful. If the focus is on writing and not content, I can very much understand that students being forced to writing a blog feel intimidated by the challenge.
I have seen the same thing in my sound programming classes. Students that never seemed to enjoy the various assignments and the whole concept of sound programming during the course, come back and are enthusiastic about it two years later.