“The Whole Story” behind “The Gist”

The Gist:

  • A few months ago I changed the way I format posts.
  • This article influenced that decision.
  • The resulting format is a blend of writerly intent and an attempt to help readers.

The Whole Story:

Just before winter break, I started a project with my G11 students that asked them to research and blog about their findings. It was the first phase of three in this project. Their work is here and here. You’re welcome to read and comment (but this isn’t one of those posts).

In prep for the project, I did some research about reading and writing online. That led me to this Slate article by Michael Agger. It’s a great read.

I learned a lot.

When I showed it to the classes, we walked through it in a “I noticed. I wonder. What if?” sort of way.

From their the blogging commenced.

Before all of this, in the prepping phase, the article influenced my own online writing.

I get what Agger says, I definitely do. Anyone who’s had a conversation with me or seen me teach knows my brain likes shiny – ideas, objects, etc.

Still, when I write here, it’s partially for me and it’s partially for whoever happens by.

You’ll note, I don’t follow all of the rules / guidelines Agger presents.

I don’t want to.

It did, however, force me to examine, once again, my intent as a writer. I process here. I refine here, I spitball here. Later, I come back and see where my thinking was a week, a month, a year ago.

As for those who happen by, my intent is to spark some sort of thinking. I’m fairly certain that’s my intent in life.

I don’t know who subscribes to this space. I don’t know whose feed readers I’m in. I don’t want to know. To know would be to subvert the thinking process.

Conversation is great. Comments are superb. They make me think more.

“The Gist” lets you know whether or not you want to move on. “The Whole Story” makes certain I do not.

3 thoughts on ““The Whole Story” behind “The Gist”

  1. Just wanted to let you know that I happened by and do so every so often.

    Your sincerity and honest about learning is refreshing and contagious. This is what good teachers look like. Love it:

    I process here. I refine here, I spitball here. Later, I come back and see where my thinking was a week, a month, a year ago.

    As for those who happen by, my intent is to spark some sort of thinking. I’m fairly certain that’s my intent in life.

  2. Wanted to let you know I lifted your post format for my own blog.

    At the beginning of the year, I made the (at the time) unspoken resolution to stop being a lurker, and actually do a better job of participating in the rich fabric that is web 2.0. In February I started blogging again, and came across your blog via Twitter.

    Thank you for putting this post up, because when I came across your blog (it was already in this format) it made so much sense. Now I have nowhere near the readers you have, but I think that the format does help me figure out what I am trying to say, and in the future it might help future readers.

    So again, thanks / sorry for copying.

    • Highest form of flattery, right? I’m happy to know someone’s benefitting from it. It definitely helps me to get my thinking in order.

      Welcome to the unlurking plains!

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