There has been quite a disturbance in the edublogosphere lately about the idea of the edtech blogging community being compared to an exclusive cocktail party.

Jon Becker (who has been blogging 31/2 months) writes this on his blog:
So, three months of posting and never more than a handful of comments on any one post and a Technorati authority of a whopping 22. That’s not at all bad for a baby blog, especially considering I’ve done NO marketing of my blog other than claiming my blog on Technorati and including the URL in my digital e-mail signature (this despite being a regular reader of Seth Godin’s blog). Oh, and my arrival on the Twitter scene probably gives me some small amount of exposure ....

... I think where I’m going with this is that I worry that the ed. tech. blogosphere is reasonably saturated. Related to Darren Draper’s post on Twitter Set Theory, I feel like there are some central figures whose spheres overlap considerably and a whole lot of us outsiders trying to penetrate that inner circle. It’s as if folks like Will Richardson, David Warlick, Wes Fryer, Vicki Davis, Dean Shareski, Stephen Downes, Chris Lehmann…(and, yes, you Scott) are having an awesome cocktail party conversation and I’m standing on the outside staring over their shoulders and listening in, trying to get a word in, but not penetrating that conversation at all. I know there are LOTS of us on the outside looking in.


I thought I'd bring this topic to Classroom 2.0 - because this is where a lot of newbie bloggers start out and find a home.

It can be disheartening if you never receive a comment on your blog - but if you actively participate in Classroom 2.0 you find plenty of people to share ideas and receive input.

So, I throw this out to the Classroom 2.0 members. Do you feel excluded from the blogosphere? Why do you blog, comment, podcast...?

Make sure you read some of the responses to Jon's post - they are quite insightful.

Tags: blogging

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Colette, I have to admit that I don't feel excluded. After being ignored for edublog awards, I decided that Around the Corner was really about me, not about education. . .a way of recording the my personal journey in K-12 education. Writing there has become, over time, a way to reflect on my life and what I'm about. It's also been a place to play with ideas.

I've learned a lot, experienced more of life and work because i blog. As such, it doesn't matter now that I'm excluded or on the outside. The truth is, it wouldn't matter what anyone else said because I am a loner in my writing and that's ok. I only hope that those who are new to blogging don't think that this is a popularity contest. Simply, learners being transparent about their journey, making connections to others--or not--as they go.

I wish I could say it more simply.

With appreciation,
Miguel

P.S. I've started a new blog to try to get at the heart of my own writing and especially the writing I do as an educator. I have TONS of content to share but want to play with doing this on blogspot...which will undoubtedly rule out my colleagues.

EduWrite - http://eduwrite.blogspot.com
Scott? Hmm.. don't think that is me. Anyway, I have to agree with Miguel. I haven't received a whole lot of comments on my blog either, and it could be disheartening, but it is so much more than being about that. I love being able to write about what I experience. I love it! I started doing it seven months ago because I wanted an easier way to help others use technology better in the classroom instead of the word of mouth that I was doing. It has put me in contact with some incredible people. (Thinking back on this, I think a new discussion needs to be started asking why educators began blogging in the first place. How neat would it be to hear those stories?)

I actually hardly ever get comments. I get a ton of views(something I never expected), but few comments. I like to think that the bulk of my mingling in the edublogosphere happens in places like this.
I am the only computer teacher in the small high school where I teach. I loved the ongoing discussions during my Masters of Educational Technology online program at Pepperdine and longed for that type of interaction with my own staff - but honestly - only a handful were enthusiastic about technology and "spoke my language". I have connected with other tech teachers in my area and found a home online with other educators who are also passionate about technology.

I began my blog last summer and use it to document what I am learning and share resources with my friends. I am amazed how many times I tell someone "Oh, I just blogged about that" and then show them my blog and additional resources.

I read a lot more blogs than I do actually writing. I am finding my voice and absorbing so much through Classroom 2.0, twitter, Ed Talk Talk conversations and so on.

Personally I like to meet interesting people at cocktail parties. I'd like to join more often in the conversation but for now - I am happy to just be listening and giving my input when I feel comfortable.

Thanks for the conversation!
I'll add my reaction to this post here as well - http://www.katesays.org/2008/04/12/outside-looking-in/
howdy all. Thanks for carrying over the conversation. I think what I've learned from my post and the subsequent reactions is how important it is to understand why it is that we blog. Miguel writes about using the blog as a space for self-exploration. I think that's great. For me, I would like to use blogging more as a form of outreach and advocacy. Given that, I need to know if I'm penetrating and/or adding any sort of value to any sort of marketplace of ideas. That was the impetus for my original post...an inquisitive reflection.

Anyway, happy to be a member of Classroom 2.0 now. Looking forward to more conversations.
Thanks for joining the conversation, Jon.

I think some educators "get into" blogging because they heard some keynote speaker at a conference tell them they should and don't really know WHY they are blogging. We each have our own reasons and I think it was valid that you analyze your technorati rating and number of comments. Everyone does - even if they won't admit it!

As a professional educator, I want my online presence to reflect who I am and what I believe. Sometimes what we post rubs people the wrong way but I believe it is more important to be transparent and honest and stand up for what you believe. And I have learned a lot from reading the reactions to your blog - plus I love a good cocktail party!!! Cheers!
I guess my whole take is this. I'm not particularly wanting lots of people to read my blog just because it exists. I really can only manage a few things at a time anyway, so I prefer to interact in smaller spheres, one-to-one, a question here, an answer there, a conversation not necessarily shared by a giant crowd. When I do want the big group, I know where to find it - right here on Classroom 2.0! If I had to pinpoint something that irks me -- well, it would be the full scale self promotion and name dropping that I have to wade through to get at the information that may or may not be there. Are we having fun yet? :-)
Hi Jon,
I started blogging (second time around) after an in-school PD. Our technology teacher has got students to set up their own blogs and I wanted to be able to help them with that. I haven't had a lot of feedback on my site, but I don't necessarily feel excluded - I think knowing the process is useful. As time goes by I have found more uses - referring students to my site for links to resources, showing off their work, giving them reflective questions to write about etc.
I think blogging is just another tool we can use to motivate and inspire students - not all of whom will run with it.
Hi all. I wrote comments to Jon and Vicki and a few others, and while I realize that maybe we're ready to move on, I finally wrote some of my own thoughts, which you can read here (link).

I've tried to turn this into something more positive with some ideas for how we can give more to each other, and in exchange benefit from richer interaction. We've all got something to say, but sometimes the pace and volume of edublogging hinder our contact with the micro-edublogospheres that could be most stimulating.

Here are a couple of the ideas I suggested:

1. Slow down. Take maybe 10% of the time you devote to your own blog, and use it to read a little more broadly, think a little longer, comment on some blogs you don't visit very much. Shifting gears is good for the brain, so you'll benefit, and your comments will leave some feedback that those bloggers have been craving (and I'm not talking about stats here, I'm talking about engagement).

2. Stop. As a variation on #1, let's all declare a blog holiday: everyone refrains from publishing blog posts for one day, and just comments, again preferably on blogs you haven't focused on lately. Face it, just about any blog --even the top 1000-- or its readership, would not suffer if it's volume were reduced by 5% or so. In return, more people will have a little more time to read what you've already got, and maybe give you some interesting feedback you otherwise would have missed. We slow thinkers actually have things to say now and then, so give us a chance.
Commented on your post :-)
I've been blogging on EFL since January 2004 - 1-6 posts a week, but I don't get more than 3-4 comments on a post and that's for a good post. I also reply to 90% of comments, unlike some blogs that I have commented on.
http://eflgeek.com

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