It just occurred to me that is what this blogging is similar to.
Remember the movie with Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley-Joel Osment? The story was that you repay a kindness with a kindness (or was it two, or three?). Anyway, when someone is kind to you, you be kind to someone else and eventually it will come back to you ten fold over. [Also the basis of many a pyramid/ponzi scheme out there, but I digress]
So as I visit a blog, sometimes I take a moment to check out the links to other blogs, and if I like them, I link to them. And then they see that I've linked to them and they check me out and if they like what they see, they link back to me. And then I visit some pages and I see that you've read what I've written and reference it and then I get some more hits and some more links and before you know it, I'm linked 'round the world!
Really, it is fascinating to see how interconnected it is -- and isn't. The neat thing is how it's all voluntary and how much you can tell about someone's interests just by browsing their links. Granted, it's not the whole story, but it gives you a window into someone else's world.
I actually just had lunch with a faculty member who is trying to get others to use blogs to document their experiences as we try to launch a new program, and there is some resistance. How could that be possible - this stuff is INTOXICATING. I can't get enough of it. And it's so friggin' easy too - can you launch a browser and type in a window? Then you can build a web log. It always amazes me how resistant to change educators can be. They have all these degrees but they are afraid to utilize the tools they have at hand.
Maybe I should go back and get certified to teach. Then again, I also just read Phil's CV and personal essay for tenure review. I don't know how he does it - all this committee work and course development and actual teaching time and then they expect you to write and publish on top of that AND pay you peanuts besides? Thanks, but no.