Audience as Community

So I read Dean Shareski’s post Why Audience Matters earlier today and just finished reading Clarence’s follow up post and thought I’d add to the conversation as well. Dean does a great job talking about the different roles an audience can play and I’d like to extend his list. Audience as Community Your audience becomes a community when audience members start to repeatedly visits your blog or site. A community forms around your content. A community that becomes interested in what you have to say, follows your thoughts, or ideas, and is committed to you in some way. Be it an RSS feed, a “friend” or a “follower”. A community becomes powerful as there is a sense of purpose to your writing. There are people waiting to hear from you. Take the president/prime mister of any country, or a blog like TechCrunch. A community will wait for your words, wants to know what you have to say, and relays on you for information and ideas. Very few students see audience as community in the educational/creation space. Although they totally understand it in Facebook, hence the reason you MUST update your profile so many times a day…the community is waiting for it! A community of followers or readers is a powerful learning tool. It’s the reason why some of us in the blogosphere continue to blog. We have a community of people that we feel obligated to blog for. Whether true or not, there is a sense of obligation to people who have bookmarked your site or have your RSS feed. Audience as Community allows you to engage that audience into becoming what Dean calls an “Audience of Co-Learners“, or an “Audience of Teachers“. I believe before you can have either of those audiences you need to have an audience as community. Only after you have turned your audience into a community can you make something of them, empower them to help you, to teach you, to learn with you. Without that community they are just an “Audience as Eyeballs“. Much of this thinking comes from Seth Godin’s book Tribes which I highly recommend (the audio book via iTunes or Audible is my favorite). Both Clarence and Dean talk about students and their views on audience. I also like Chrissy Hellyer’s comment on Clarence’s blog about age being an issue. Yes….5th graders still check their Whos Amung Us maps to...

Read More