The interface we use for the course is called Knowledge Forum. It's been developed at OISE/UT for use in courses and is primarily as a space for participants to add to threaded discussions with new posts or build-ons. Because the interface is web-based, it's been suggested that we compose posts in a word processor and then "copy/paste/post" to contribute to the discussion.
What I've learned this week is that my posts are "different" if I use this method. I struggle to describe just how, but the lack of spontaneity hurts the post. The more considering and editing of the post I did, the less I liked it. Normally editing/revising is a good thing, but in this instance, I don't think it improved things.
My sense is that the more I worked on my "Bio" post for our class, the more clinical, convoluted and impersonal it became. In other words, pretty much the opposite of what I'd intended.
I think I'm left with two choices when it comes to my posts to KF-based "knowledge communities" @ OISE/UT:
Revert to browser-based posts (and accept the fact that compositions will "go away" if the connection to the server is lost)
Force myself to be more spontaneous, and "web-like" (i.e., warts and all) with my posts...even if they've been prepared in advance
While there's no question that posts need be informative and well-considered, I think it's just as true that online knowledge building needs spirit and personality to work. I'll suggest that the more "human" (those warts again ;-) the composition--be it a KF post or a picture, or a chat post or a video--the better.
Today marks the third anniversary of this blog. I've learned enough over the last three years not to make any pronouncements about what the future holds for this forum, but I do know that I enjoy posting text and pictures and look forward to continuing.