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All Communication Is Not Created Equal: Observations on the Usefulness of Blogging

Blogging, like most forms of communication, can serve various purposes.  It can contribute to both IF’s learning by doing (through recruiting, say) and teaching (by drawing attention to the lessons we have learned by doing).

But it is a fundamental error to value blogging because it might create opportunities for discussion.  Blogging might engender discussion, that is true.  But not all discussions are created equal.  Not all discussions are exploratory; not all are developmental.  In order to ensure that they are, IF goes to great length to facilitate its discussions.  That is what we do.  Discussions on a blog will rise to the level of IF’s other discussions only if and to the extent that they are likewise facilitated.

The notion of blogging as creating opportunities for discussion rests on a quantitative view of communication: the more communication, the better.  But that view is fundamentally at odds with the very raison d’etre of IF.  Not all opportunities actually lead to discussion, and not all discussions are equally useful.