School News Network Editor and Columnist Ron Koehler today announced he is abandoning his SNN column in favor of a blog post. Koehler said … blah, blah, blah, blah blah.
“That news style and columnist stuff is so old, stuffy and impersonal. Who reads it?” “Nobody.” That’s why I’ve been coerced, er, convinced, by staff to transition into the 21st Century with a blog.
I’ve always thought a columnist was someone who stood out among the crowd of regular writers through their thoughtful selection of topics, the deft mastery of their craft and the artful turn of a phrase. So, I decided to do a bit of research to see where I’d fit in the blogosphere, blogiverse or whatever it’s called these days.
I’m in good company. There are no concrete statistics on the actual number of blogs worldwide because the more popular blog hosting sites such as Blogger, the largest, does not keep data on the number of unique blog sites. For those that do, the reported number in 2014 is estimated at 247.8 million blogs. If all of those blogs emanated from the United States, with a population estimated by the US Census bureau at 319 million people, every man, woman and child under the age of 79 would be a blogger.
To take that just a bit further, there are an estimated 15.8 billion blog pages in the blogosphere. That’s more than two blog pages for each and every one of the 7.2 billion people now counted on the planet. It will take a lot of deft mastery to stand out among that crowd.
Now, for the real stunner. In my research for this blog I came across two running clocks measuring growth. One was the US Census and World Population clock, which features a clock for both US and global population numbers, and the other a running tally of new websites. While internetlivestats.com reports the number of web sites just passed one billion in September of this year, new web sites are “born” at a rate of 640 per minute, five times more than the 147 births recorded each minute on the US Census Bureau world population clock.
So what does all this have to do with education? As former Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett told business leaders attending the West Michigan Policy Conference in late September, the internet is the superhighway of the future, driving economic expansion as railroads and interstates did in the past. Schools need technology to deliver instruction and students must be prepared to enter a workforce where the internet is as ubiquitous as air.
For SNN, and my blog specifically, it means I’ll try to write more, and shorter, posts that share information as it becomes available. From time to time I’ll also pose a question of our readers – the moms and dads, teachers and administrators who make up the school family, to gather your thoughts on issues of the day.
Please check in with me now and again to let me know what you’re thinking and, especially, what issues you’d like covered in this space and in School News Network. I’d like to know how I can make my contributions to the 15.8 billion blog pages – a value to you, our readers.