In thinking further about the issues that have been cropping up with my students' blogs, I've decided that it might help if their blogs were able to gain more "outside" readership. While a couple of students have had the experience of readers who aren't their peers or teacher leaving comments, most have not, and I find that their sense of writing for a larger audience is dwindling. This is something I will address in class, as one of my original goals for the project was to have students think about a reading audience that extends beyond the immediate classroom. At midterm this point seems to need reiterating and further discussion. But in addition to talking with them in class, I would love it if anyone reading this post might consider browsing, reading, and possibly commenting on my students' blogs. You can find them listed under blog roll @ our class blog site: expos-i-story.
I also think that if students come to the realization that additional readers are actually reading their blogs, this realization could further their investment in this type of writing/this forum, rather than seeing it as merely an exercise to fulfill an ENG105 assignment. In addition, I think this will further illustrate and meet the goals of the open source model that this project is based upon.
While some might argue that this isn't the most "natural" way or that I'm "manipulating" the "open-sourceness" and goals of this project (or maybe these are my own arguments), this is often the way we find blogs to read--by cross-posting/referencing and following links. This is representative of how the sphere works. Something else that I believe iis important for my students to think about as they continue to produce entries and read around on the blogs of others.
Thanks to any and all who are willing to read/participate!