Wednesday 13 June 2012

Why I blog - answers to a blogging survey

Via Martin Weller's Blog I came across Alice Bell's blogging survey for the OU's IET. Alice says:
email answers to Or you can cut and paste it to post it on your blog, if you want to share your answers with your readers (although please drop me a line with the link so I can make sure I have a copy) 
'Why do I blog' is something I ask myself from time to time, so maybe it would be a useful exercise to do the survey.

Blog URL:
What do you blog about? An interdisciplinary understanding of information
Are you paid to blog? Well this blog is part of the research that is in my employment contract, so my employer is, by default, paying me to blog. (Be careful when academics claim they are doing things 'for free' if the reality is their university is paying them a salary!)
What do you do professionally (other than blog)? I teach and research ICT.
How long have you been blogging at this site? Almost 5 years
Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?) I generate distance teaching material, so my job is in effect an academic author.
Can you remember why you started blogging? As a way keeping a research diary, and to get some idea of what it ("blogging") was all about.
What keeps you blogging? It works for me, as a research diary, keeping of record of my thoughts and things I've come across, helps formulate a narrative to my investigations, and just occasionally stimulates some useful comments.
Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How? Blogger stats tell me there were 397 pages views last month (and I have excluded my own views!). It peaked at about 1000/month last year. Audience size is not the be-all and end-all of this blog, though. As I said, it is a diary firstly for my own use, but doing it publicly, as a blog, has merits over a private diary. The posts that have had the most 'hits' have been off-topic, but I'm not going to change the blog just to get the hit-count.
What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog? I don't get many comments, but those that have had have varied quite a bit.  On a couple of occasions they have generated useful new relationships, other times it has been work colleagues that continue in face to face discussion. Then there has been the occasional odd-ball...
Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre of blogging? (e.g. schools, science, education, museums, technology) Not really.  There are a couple of other people blogging on similar topic, but not enough to form a community.
If so, what does that community give you?
What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations? See answer above, about what keeps me blogging. The 'labels' have been surprisingly useful, helping to structure my thoughts on information. If people ask me for my research interests, I can point to the blog.
Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss)  My sons know but are not terribly interested.
Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked? No

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