To those who are reading, please excuse the vagueness of this post. It refers to a project we’ve been given in the subject I am studying. If you didn’t read about this earlier, all is explained in my ‘An Interesting Conundrum‘ post. My response to the tutor below is purposefully generalised for the reasons expressed in the link above.
‘winged inspiration‘ by EladeManu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.
In light of this week’s writing task, can you think of other ways you might add value for your readers?
When we were asked to create and start a blog for this subject, I included three sections: the home page, an ‘about’ page and a page for attributions and references to the work I used on my blog that were not my own. At the time, the blog was envisioned to act as a space for me to post my writing during and after studying this subject. But, I do that in a few blog spaces on the web.
So, things have changed since the establishment of this new blog space. I recognised early on that I may not attract readers to my blog if I didn’t add other features to create a reason for others to establish a habit of visiting my blog. Sure, at first I might attract much appreciated friends, family and colleagues from my studies, but I want to increase that reach. So, I started thinking about other ways I could enable that to happen. It’s still early days, but for future development, I added other sections to my blog to ensure spaces for me to work on extending that reach.
As I wish to remain anonymous on that blog at this stage, those who know the URL of my new blog can see the sections I have added. But, first and foremost, I thought about what would make me return to another’s blog if I shared the same passions as the blogger. I decided that I wanted to develop a community around my topic on the blog – those who enjoy the topic I have selected will return often if it is updated on a regular basis, remains timely, and importantly, offers others the chance to share their work, critique one another and interact with and/or listen to experts on the same topic. Even though it will primarily serve as a space for me to publish my work, I thought it’d be beneficial for the entire community I hope to develop if it was also a place to learn from one another.
I’m keeping this response as generalised as possible for the sake of anonymity on my newest blog… enabling that fragmentation that you commented on, L…
I hope to add value to my blog’s visitors by:
- hosting regular pod/vid casts to listen to or watch whenever it’s convenient
- hosting live chats using a variety of media to engage online
- creating a space for others to post their own work for scrutiny by others with more or less experience in the area
- informing followers when events online and/or in Australia are being held that they might wish to attend
- providing links to other sites that may be of interest, perhaps even invite followers to add their own
- adding reviews on new items or other older items that are still relevant to our interests (these can be written by me, or another member of the anticipated community)
- teaming up with other, relevant organisations to promote their work as well as my own (this will take some effort – networking connections, a reputation and trust will need to be established and developed)
Of course, I know that there are other sites that serve these purposes in the subject area I have selected. But, I hope to somehow differentiate my project by offering a collaborative space, where everybody can contribute and attain that voice I seek to establish in that world.
I am realistic – this will take time and much effort – I study, work full-time and am politically engaged, so this will not happen overnight. My age and life experiences thus far have taught me to be more patient and consistent. However, I do not seek money, I seek a reputation. If money eventuates at some stage, so be it. But, this is primarily a passion I wish to share with others and learn from throughout the experience. It will also provide me with opportunities to research (something I also love) to establish something engaging and worth visiting more than once. I see that I will eventually pay for my own domain, as it evolves from being a blog to a proper website that contains a blog. It’s strange – even though money and financial reward are not drivers for me with this project, I find myself exploring and writing up a kind of business plan in my spare time to make this work. I suppose money will eventually become important if I succeed and manage to develop a solid reputation in my chosen area – currently, it’s a pipe dream for this pursuit to eventually replace my present work commitments… a new career opportunity, if you will. If my project ever got that far, I would add further features, which could potentially add value to my site’s community. I could provide opportunities for others to remediate my work if they wanted to, much like what occurs on Cory Doctorow’s Craphound.com.
So, unless some act of unfortunate circumstance befalls me, I hopefully will witness this come to fruition somewhere down the track. Time will tell…