Interesting facts around the blogosphere

What is the most predominant language on the Internet?

Well, as of March it is Japanese, according to Technorati’s May 1st State of the Blogosphere report.

Of course, this may be skewed by those who actually know HOW to ping Technorati. It also may be skewed by how much those who are speaking Japanese value the use of the blogosphere. The fact is, English has traditionally been the predominant language of the blogosphere and now there is astounding growth in other languages.

With much of the Internet birthed in the United States, I have to wonder if we will not yet again export our most valuable and useful technologies because of an inability to see its potential. We can put too much into these stats as I’m sure they are not statistically valid in terms of the whole blogosphere, however, since it is virtually impossible for any one company to get “arms around” the blogosphere, these are telling stats, nonetheless.

Second language opportunities abound
Finally, I am struck by what great immersion-like second language experiences reside within the blogosphere now! What great opportunities to learn about culture and interact with those who speak other languages. What a great way to get students to realize the humanity of people in other countries and to allow them to see that they have much in common though they may reside a world apart.

The responsibility of education
I have to believe that while some of the growth of the blogosphere has to do with social issues — myspace growth, etc. I have to wonder if a large proportion of its growth is directly attributable to the educators within the colleges and high schools of a country. I’d like to know what portion of the growth is coming from the education field.

Observing the resistance of some educators, I have to wonder if like those with the railroad, forgetting they were in the transportation business — some people confuse the medium with the business.

Likewise, one cannot directly connect textbooks, pen and paper with education. Those things are a communications medium. The educational process is a transferrence of knowledge and is independent of the medium used, as long as the transferrence occurs.

Good education remains intact as long as accurate knowledge flows along the medium, whether that medium is printed page or electronic networks.

I see many people spending far too much time arguing against a medium that can engage and enlarge the educational process! Wikis, blogs, chats, and many electronic mediums are excellent opportunities to improve education!

I am 100% for the process of education. I believe that there are many good educators out there who can be enlightened to understand the benefits of these new technologies if there were less fearmongers trying to prey on the minds of those who do not understand.

It is the responsibility of those who do understand to “tell the story” as David Warlick says.

Are you telling your story?

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11 thoughts on “Interesting facts around the blogosphere

  1. Vicki,
    Please know that I’m a huge fan of your blog, and that any comments I put forth are meant with the best intentions.

    I would like to see the evidence that connects the growth of sites like MySpace to educators within colleges and high schools. I say this not to question your authority as an educator but as a researcher who needs documented evidence to support his argument. I would love to say the same thing, that educators are responsible for more students/people entering the blogosphere, but I cannot find the research that points this out.

    Vicki, you are a highly respected member of the education community worldwide. It is therefore critical that if you are going to make such statements that you do so using empirical evidence. I say this out of absolute respect, not as an out-of-touch, ivory tower theorist. As a writing instructor I always taught my students that they need to show proof to support their contentions. I am not suggesting that you are not free to state your beliefs. However, you are making claims without any documentation which amounts to anecdotal evidence at best.

    Again, I make these comments out of my admiration for all the work that you do. I would like to see this medium respected for the positions people take, therefore, it is critical that if we are to stand as credible witnesses to events, we need to take care to show we are not simply making things up.

    Again, please know I say these things out of deep regard….

    Chris

  2. I put this in a reply to Vicki’s comment at my blog (see post link above), but was Technorati counting spam bogs in the numbers in the chart? If so, that really prevents any meaningful interpretation of these numbers unless we could get a similar chart with the spam removed from the data. I would venture to guess that a large portion of splogs originate in Japan or China.

  3. Christopher,

    I appreciate your remarks and looked back at the article. I found that I did state what is my question as more of an assertion and have revised my article to say as such.

    Although there are many edubloggers who are moving towards the blogosphere, there are also those who are fighting new technology just as Socrates fought the use of stylus and paper in lieu of memorization.

    Also, in the article, I more connect myspace with the social growth of the web which I believe is entirely different from the growth spurred by education. I believe that social Internet has spurred myspace, not education at all. I believe that educational practices have greatly stimulated some of the growth of the web,however, this is from anecdotal evidence and not research.

    I will work to connect my writing with research, when research is available, otherwise, it is my opinion.

    I do think that there is some growth (although underwhelmed by the social growth of the web) that is being created by college classes and high school classes requiring blogging.

    There are a lot of questions that I have based on the results from the Technorati survey. I will make sure that I pose them as questions and not as fact. Thank you!

  4. Vicki, for many years my education system has pushed the learning of a second language in schools here in South Australia. My current school here specialises in German under the theory that learning German will actually improve your English. I’m not educated enough to dispute or agree with that but I think the Technorati diagram certainly points out that in a Web 2.0 world, if you are going to invest time and resources in learning a second language with the view it could be useful in carving out career opportunities in this “flat world”, Japanese could be a real ace up one’s sleeve.

  5. Robert,
    I agree, hopefully everyone knows that the Technorati data doesn’t really qualify as research except to the folks at Technorati.

    Graham,

    I think the multi-lingual person has much better opportunities to work in the future world. I also think that getting students engaged can be well done through blogging and wikis between children around the world over such platforms as class blogmeister and think.com. I have to wonder, how many school-related blogging tools have multilingual capabilities.

  6. I don’t think anyone really knows why. But, however, if we could get to the WHY there would be a very interesting fact either about TECHNORATI (and its flaws) or about the BLOGOSPHERE.

    I don’t think anyone knows. However, it does point to the fact that, as Christopher says, we do need good research in these matters.

    When I was at Georgia Tech in 1990 and 1991, there was a group of visionaries there that actually surveyed and researched the Internet. I think we need the same for the blogosphere.

    We do need valid research, until then, we will have a lot of suppositions.

    Regardless of what the findings are I think two things emerge:

    1) Blogging is a tool that students should learn to use

    2) Multiple languages retain importance as an educational option for students.

    Thank you for your meaningful comments!

  7. Blogs offer students learning foreign languages almost limitless opportunities to communicate and exchange ideas.

    Although I’ve had mixed results this year with getting students to use the medium I believe that these are merely teething problems.

  8. Karyn-

    You know I think you’re great — you’re one of my favorite bloggers and commenters. You are what this blogging thing is all about. You live in England and yet I feel I know you!

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