Virtual School Meanderings

January 3, 2013

iNACOL 10 Weeks of Activities for Better Blogging: Week 9 – How to Amplify your Blog Voice

The Week 9 Activity for the 10 Weeks of Activities for Better Blogging is entitled “How to Amplify your Blog Voice.”  Essentially, this activity was focused around the idea that “Amplifying your blogging voice is a combination of writing, picking topics, being consistent, and then letting others know about your blogging topic.”  Throughout the activity, it asks some basic questions, which I’ll try to respond to here…

Do you blog for therapy or be part of an online community or to improve your writing skills?

This blog began as a research blog, basically as a way for me to write about the field that I was researching in a way where I could play around with ideas in a less formal way, get feedback on those ideas (and my writing), and begin to build a community within my chosen field.  That has shifted over the years, in fact it shifted in a big way with a single decision.  While you could search the archives for this discussion (as I have had it before), but at some point I decided to simply copy and paste everything that came across my electronic desk dealing with K-12 online learning.  This is how I got to the description that is contained in my About VSM page:

I post entries items related K-12 distance education (mostly online learning).  To that end, this blog has two purposes:

  1. To pass on all items related to K-12 distance education, specifically K-12 online learning, that cross my electronic desk.
  2. To provide a space for me to play with ideas or opinions related to K-12 online learning in a non-academic way.

As the first purpose seems to be the main purpose these days – at least in terms of the volume of items published – the number of comments have gone down, but the number of trackbacks and readers have gone up.

Which entries did you most enjoy writing? How can you find similar topics?

I’ll be honest and say that the entries I enjoy writing are those where I get to dig into a topic and dissect it a fair amount.  I suppose it is the academic in me that brings that out.  Sometimes those are long, developed entries (see Funding Virtual Schools – Pennsylvania Edition [OR] iNACOL 10 Weeks of Activities for Better Blogging: Week 5 – Getting Ideas for Blogging (Part 2) and Funding Virtual Schools – Pennsylvania Edition [OR] iNACOL 10 Weeks of Activities for Better Blogging: Week 5 – Getting Ideas for Blogging (Part 2 – Decoded) as recent examples).  However, other times they are short, direct entries (see iNACOL 10 Weeks of Activities for Better Blogging: Technology Changing How Students Learn, Teachers Say as a recent example).

I can always find topics…  That isn’t a problem.  In fact, I have 17 entries in draft format where I just have a link or a section of an article – academic or popular media – that I want to take some time to comment on, but haven’t gotten around to it.  That is always the rub, time to spend on this compared to my other academic duties.

…what do you do to amplify your voice? In other words, what are you going to do to get your thoughts out there?

Each of my entries are automatically sent to my Twitter and LinkedIn account.  I also post notice of each entry to Google+, Facebook and Plurk.  The fact that I blog so much means that I have a decent readership, but I also track it each month (in fact I post a blog entry about it) – where I examine the readership levels over the past few months and in comparison to the same month last year (to see what the trends look like), and I also look at things like popular entries and what search terms people use to find my blog.  Finally, I approve every reblog, scoop.it, digg, and whatever else that comes along to spread the word about specific entries.

And that’s about it for the questions….

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