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Friday, April 11, 2008

Is the edublogosphere a closed, elite cocktail party?

I noticed Jon Becker's post responding to Scott's post about Comment Intensity. I really try to stay out of the contest of measuring the "biggest blog" -- I think it is a waste of time.. and in 5 years it will change anyway.

But I had to respond to this note from Jon. He says:

"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."

This was my reply:
The "perception" of some sort of "cocktail party conversation" is just that a perception. I rarely even chat with those guys and although they are awesome, only a few of them make my weekly MUST READ list.

I FEEL out of it ALL THE TIME. I feel like an outsider ALL OF THE TIME. I don't feel in the know. I feel left out a lot. And supposedly everyone THINKS -- I'm in.

The fact is that NO ONE is in. This is a big, massive microcosm that no one controls and few of us even understand. We struggle with having time to do it all and coming to grips on all of this blogging and global audience thing.

So, how would you take this personally? I went for a week with no comments -- did that mean no one was reading? I left and didn't blog for a week -- does that mean I'm suddenly irrelevant.

We are all relevant but the emotions you're feeling with all of this are something I very often feel and I believe most people struggle with. I LOVE it when I get links and I Live for comments.

It is never enough, though, and I find that I have to focus on my real life in order to achieve satisfaction. Most people here don't know cool cat teacher exists.

Keep perspective and know why you blog... if you blog to make a difference and inspire... you will. If you blog for some sort of validation... you're not going to get it on an Internet that likes this person today and moves on to another tomorrow. If you want to be loved, pet the cat, hug the spouse, enjoy the kids. And you might want to take a read at the poem I shared today.

You are an excellent blogger. Just remember, people post most often on emotional issues, not on the technology issues that they actually use.

Scott's post on comment intensity was a real downer for me -- I mean I must be worthless if I have a low comment intensity!? But hey, we can talk all day about who is important and who isn't. But if one person reads our blog and get something out of it.. it is important.

I'm to the point that I could care less about my technorati rating, my comment intensity or link count -- I might check them every two weeks. I care more now (hopefully it is maturity) about connecting with people and doing things that make a difference.

But, I'm not perfect, the comment intensity post really got me down and made me want to quit blogging. And remember this, Jon -- AFTER 3.5 months -- I HAD 7 READERS!


It takes time. Time and doing it for the right reasons. If I had a blog that looks like yours after 3.5 months, I'd count myself very proud... but I didn't. I didn't know what I was doing and was completely lost!

You've come a long way... don't be so hard on yourself!

There are a lot of us on the outside looking in. But, the outside is the inside. This blogosphere is like nothing else we've ever seen. Crowdsourcing and mass collaboration is a new thing and we all have new emotions to deal with
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