Blogging has risen as a powerful form of community on the internet. I’m writing a research blog at this very minute. You’re reading these words and, as such, we are both part of the research or academic or education communities. Maybe all of them, maybe a mix, maybe just one. But that’s how you found me, through your interest in research relating to education.
The blogosphere is an umbrella term for those who write blogs and consider themselves a part of the blogging community. Within that community are categories of blogs such as ‘tech blogs’ or ‘news blogs’ or ‘education blogs’.
Abraham, in talking about blogging, identifies the community mindset relating to bloggers. They have a kind of collective knowledge or extended mind which is a way of thinking beyond the individual human idea of knowledge.
This is an interesting notion. An analogy could be suggested (by me) that the way we think is becoming less individual and more collective – like a hive. The community pools its knowledge and uses that as to become a self-perceived community of experts. This community perceives itself to be creative and productive, as if providing something to the wider internet. Indeed there is an apparent relationship between expert bloggers (who are positioned as game critics) and their readers. The blog acts as an intermediary for the ideas of their authors.
The community that bloggers are part of is an imagined community; all communities (excluding small face-to-face villages) are imagined. Such communities are distinguished by the style in which they are imagined. Any perceived falsity or “genuineness” is irrelevant.
I’m mostly interested in Abraham’s notion that bloggers are a form of knowledge creation. While they might compete within their community for prestige or to become elite, game bloggers are working together to create a community. That community creates a kind of collective knowledge through a distributed network of overlapping ‘extended minds’. This is an exciting notion as it has implications on social networking and other communities such as web forums. If bloggers (working on independent blogs as part of a game blogosphere) are creating knowledge then this idea can be applied to other areas and communities – especially those with a closer and more collaborative mindset.
I also like the assertion that through the action of repetition (practice) one can become an expert without any formal acknowledgement.
An expert is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by their peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain.
An expert isn’t a person with a PhD, it’s a person who has achieved domain-specific knowledge through the repeated act of writing about that topic over a period of time. This puts anybody with domain-specific knowledge into the realm of expert. Even more interesting is the realisation that expert no longer has to be a embodied as a person. Wikipedia, a collective resource, is recognised for being an expert source – an aggregation of many points of view. Collective knowledge. Extended minds.
When did the definition of an expert change? When did it become acceptable to cite wikipedia as a source? When did an anonymous blogger become an expert? The redefinition of expertise changes the way we see knowledge and knowledge creation,