In the beginning there was grad school. That ended in 2010. Now what do I blog about?

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February 07, 2009

Are all subjects equally suitable for the web?

A woman in my class asked this question, in relation to a discussion on web research: Are all subjects equally suitable for the web? She was searching for information on Quaker education and wasn't satisfied with her search results.

Excellent question. And I think the answer is yes.

The internet began as a searchable and accessible database for a small group of researchers. It expanded to what it is today because a million different interests can be served by it. Considering the number of internet contributors today, the variety of resources on any topic goes beyond anything we could imagine.

On a subject such as Quaker education, speaking with a subject matter expert would be great. But you may not have access to one, or perhaps you have but you'd like to find a contradictory viewpoint for comparison. Audio and video interviews on the web give you such resources. If you still haven't found what you are looking for, you could search the web and identify interview candidates from around the globe, even carry out that interview with a web based tool such as Skype or DimDim.

Google Scholar gives you access to published, peer-reviewed articles from around the globe. Shopping web sites give you access to books you won't find at the library. News aggregators provide lists of subject-related news articles. Chat rooms give you an opportunity to speak with others interested in your topic.

My answer is a clear, resounding yes. And I love your question. What a great lead-in to a conversation about research, marketing, publishing, instructional design, e-commerce, and e-learning.

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