Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Getting the MESSAGE OUT and Getting MESSAGES BACK – About Blogging as a Tool and Tools in General

The topic I’m currently pondering is Blogging, a tool that provides a platform on which you can crystalize your thoughts, opinions, or views into an Internet post. If your purpose is to do only that – to create an artifact (perhaps because it is required for your course), you probably don’t care about “What happens then?” But every guide to blogging I’ve read says that its goal is to engage the reader – in contemplation and/or in conversation – to grow and develop the thought and to get feedback from your readers. Blogging is a way of finding a virtual community.

So I wanted to say how much I appreciate the Metaliteracy MOOC Daily Newsletter, which serves as an aggregator of Participants' Blog Posts, New Discussion Threads, Comments, Diigo Posts, and Twitter Posts. However, this MOOC’s aggregation software DOES frustrate me – it does NOT collocate materials. Comments on Blog Posts and New Threads don’t sit with the materials that spawned them. And the software leads one to comment, not on the page where the post resides (where is WOULD be collocated as a thread) but in a chronological stream of comments. Does anyone else find this frustrating? Have you considered posting your comment directly on the blog, rather than (or in addition to) doing so using the MOOC’s comment link?

I’m a great fan of aggregation. These tools/services are a great way of keeping current with your areas of research and/or interest. They can help you grow your PLN (Personal Learning Network)/PKN (Personal Knowledge Network). I mourned the death of Google Reader but have compensated by adding numerous RSS feeds to my Microsoft Outlook (where I see new ones every time I open my Outlook). These unread feeds beckon me to explore the new thoughts of people whose thoughts excite and stimulate me in my areas of interest. I supplement these with listserv emails (usually of less interest but still of potential value to finding out about new publications and webinars and possibly responding to a question.) [I don’t Tweet, obviously have trouble limiting myself to 140 characters, but recognize that many professionals use this method in lieu of my more traditional approach!] I also receive numerous aggregation emails from LinkedIn groups to which I belong and aggregation services for which I’ve signed up. All of these allow for responding and joining the conversation if I have the desire to add my 2¢ worth.

The great thing about blogging is that you can get information about your posts and your audience from the blog’s reporting tools. As you know (because you are reading this blog), I am using Google’s Blogger as my platform for posts spawned by participation in this MOOC. I can see what you’re reading:

And I am not surprised to see that my first post got the most views. Is it because your enthusiasm at the start of the course was high? Is it because a later post interested you enough so you looked at previous ones? Who looked at my CV (and why)? I’m pleased that at least some of you took the time to view the Infographics I have found pertinent to our course.

How are you finding me? The bulk of the views have come from my own site. Does that tell me I’ve captured your interest sufficiently to encourage you to browse other posts? There are more than 19 participants in this MOOC. What does the referral figure from the MOOC’s website tell me?

And WHO are my readers? You’re primarily from English-speaking countries. I’m pleased to see other nations participating. I can see that IE is still the browser of choice, that Windows is still the predominant OS (am interested that Linux and Mac are almost tied for 2nd place), and that mobile isn’t predominating yet.
  • What does all this data do to inform the blogger herself?
  • How else can the blogger get messages back?
Blogging works for me. It may NOT work for you. If that’s the case, are our conversations limited by the technologies we favor? Shouldn’t this discussion be part of our personal metaliteracy agenda?


1 comment:

  1. #metaliteracy - I never DID get any discussion on this blogpost so, to test the functionality of gRSShopper at 'curating' blog post responses, I'm adding the hashtag to my response. This is a test. Will let you know whether or not my test shows up in the Daily Metaliteracy feedlist in a few days. [Stay tuned]