Edublog$ Magazine: A Matter of Common Cents

1 02 2008

James Farmer launched the Edublogs Magazine earlier this week, featuring “news, information, interviews, highlights, and techniques from around the Edublogs Network and the world of education” – to a mixed reception. Several edubloggers thought this was a useful venture, but there were other commentators who saw this as “an obvious commercial move at the expense of egalitarianism in blogging“.

Frankly, like Graham Wegner, I don’t see what the fuss is about. The “magazine” has an unintrusive banner for James’ “Edublogs Campus” service for institutions, but I don’t see any other advertisements anywhere else. There’s no AdSense, there are no external banner ads, there are no flashing Flash advertisements exhorting us all to “Click here for a free iPod”. What in the world are you whinging about? And, frankly, SO WHAT if James wants to make some money from offering related edublogging services? He does it full time – don’t you think he might, perhaps, need money (like you and I)?

It seems like common sense to me. If James wants to make money from his area of expertise offering a related service to institutions, what’s wrong with that? Teachers make money from teaching, for goodness sake – are educators so egalitarian that they provide their professional services for free? I don’t think so… how many DOZENS of blog posts and media articles have I read now where teachers or union officials have sighed how undervalued and underpaid teachers are? And I’ve consistently agreed – I think teachers do incredible, valuable work that deserves far more recognition.

So I don’t see a difference between teachers deserving that recognition for the education services they provide their local communities, and James providing an education service for the global community. He deserves better treatment than demands he become more “transparent” or “egalitarian”.
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Edublogs is a free, world-class, supported blogging platform with tens of thousands of users. Despite the large user base, every request for blog support, maintenance, and improvement that I’ve sent to James over the last two years of edublogging has been attended to with a level of dedication I’ve NEVER experienced from the providers of my essential utilities – electricity, water, gas, or telephone connection. It doesn’t get much more “egalitarian” than that, folks, and surely a measure of gratitude and recognition is in order.

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2 responses

3 02 2008
Kate Olson

Great post on this! I commented on James’ article, but you really made some good points about education and $$. I look forward to reading more of your blog in the future.

3 02 2008
Lorelle VanFossen

Wow, I”m impressed with the support. Thank you.

The Edublogs Magazine started initially over a year ago as James and I were talking about how to increase the “community” in the Edublogs Community. I told him he needed a way to showcase Edublog members and give them a voice beyond the forums. I told him that it would be great to go beyond the Edublogs community to bring education information, news, and resources to them, too. Expand the “community” globally. Sure, it would bring attention to Edublogs’ free blog hosting services, but more importantly, it would expand the conversation and networking.

Six months ago, he said “Go for it.” I looked around and said, “Who me?” Here we is. šŸ˜€

Sure, the online magazine is set up to be monetized, but we’re not ready. And we might be unconventional about the process of monetizing. Why not? The idea that you can make money giving away free blogs to teachers, not the highest income group on the planet, though they should be, is unconventional to say the least.

I’m having a blast working with a variety of bloggers, both on and off Edublogs, willing to take the site at face value, seeing the value in the community and sharing. And I’m having fun learning more about all the different bloggers and types of bloggers covering such a diverse range of topics. My family has many generations of teachers going back a few hundreds years, and I wonder what they would think of teaching today, with all the technology, resources, and the amazing ability to type in a question on Twitter and get an answer from around the other side of the world.

That’s the stuff to get excited about.

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