Following Martin Weller’s example, here are my responses to Alice Bell’s educational blogging survey. If you want to participate (deadline 15th June), then either cut and paste the questions (and your answers) onto your blog, or comment on Alice’s original post.
What do you blog about?Developments in educational technology, conferences and events I’ve been to. A large part of my work recently has involved supporting a number of JISC funded projects, so I blogged a lot about themes relating to them e.g. curriculum design, digital literacies, distributed learning environments, learning analytics. I also blog about our “corporate” use of social media.
Are you paid to blog?It’s not formally in my job description, but is an unwritten expectation and now an essential part of how I fulfil my work commitments.
What do you do professionally (other than blog)? Tweet I work for one of the JISC innovation support centres so networking is central to my job. I experiment with, and use a wide range of web technologies for sharing innovation and developments in technology within the education sector.
How long have you been blogging at this site? Since September 2009
Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?) Sometimes e.g. in other online publications, conference proceedings etc I also contribute to CETIS briefing papers which are available both in print and electronic formats, but the majority of my writing is on my blog.
Can you remember why you started blogging? I was told to! Our former Director thought it would be a good idea if we all started to blog.
What keeps you blogging?Habit, and as I said earlier blogging is now part of my working practice.
Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How? Via google analytics, but my blog stats are amalgamated with the rest of CETIS staff blogs. We get around 10,000 visits per month.
What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog?
I usually know them, so that is good, and I’m always delighted to get a “real” comment for a number of reasons including validation.
Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre of blogging? (e.g. schools, science, education, museums, technology)
If so, what does that community give you?
Sense of common purpose and sharing of ideas/knowledge in an open way
What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations?
It is a good discipline and as much of my work centres on dissemination and networking it is an obvious medium to use. The disadvantages are that it can take a while to find your voice, I blog primarily in a professional context so I have to sometimes moderate my language/tone. On saying that, sometimes that’s no bad thing as it makes me be more considered and thoughtful about what the points I am trying to put forward.
Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss)It depends, sometimes, but when I’ve told non work people and they’ve had a look at the blog they think I’m from another planet.
Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked?
Blogging is an essential part of my working practice. I don’t get a huge amount of traffic but I get some and it is a great addition to my memory, as well as illustrating what I do. A lot of my work isn’t very obvious and blogging gives it a presence/makes it more tangible and explicit.