Bellowing to the Void

Void

One day last summer, I heard some appalling bellowing coming from the direction of our front driveway.  I discovered it was the advertising call of a neighbour’s ten year old daughter who was trying to sell flowers she had picked from her garden to the surrounding residents in order to earn money to spend at the community fair the following day.  The yelling went on for an hour before I finally lost patience and asked her to move on.  In that time nobody had come to buy but many had been irked.

Blogging for Research feels a little like this.  I am currently taking part in a programme called 23 Things for Research. Having set up one’s blog and thought about security, Thing Four asks participants to explore the blogs of others.  Assumedly, it is designed to encourage cross-semination in blogging through the reading and commenting on other people’s blogs. Good concept, but how does it gain momentum?  How do you acquire an audience for your blog and thereby some genuine interaction with those who can contribute to your academic thinking?

So far the stats indicate that in the past eight days there have been about 15 visitor views to my blog site (most likely many from the same visitors) and three of those visitors have left comments, for which I am grateful and encouraged.  I suspect, however, they are administrators or teachers in the 23 Things for Research programme.

So how does one become ‘read’ by a genuine contributing audience who will enter into useful academic dialogue with the writer around the research topic?  How does one avoid standing at the gate and bellowing to the void?

Maybe instead of musing about blogging, I shall start reflecting on reflection, the topic of my research, and see what transpires.

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2 comments

  1. The question of how a blog gains momentum is a really important one, I think. There is sometimes an expectation that “if you build it, they will come,” but in many ways building an online community works the same way as real life: networking, reciprocation, and finding a niche that has obvious value to potential visitors / participants. We’ll talk about some of these later on in 23 Things. For me, the question is related quite closely to the “offline” research space: how does someone get attention and interaction with their research? How do you encourage people to read (and cite!) your journal articles?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Since asking that question, Damon, I have discovered from my final post that a blog doesn’t necessarily need an audience, It is sufficient to use it as a private thinking tool, An audience where others respond and contribute is simply a bonus. If they contribute to your thinking well and good. But having a tool that shapes and clarifies your thinking simply in the act of writing and fine tuning for publishing, then that, I think, is sufficient..

      Like

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