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...

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The Stick turns 3!

I told this story as my 10 minute TED talk at Learning 2.008. As September 19th was The Stick’s 3 year anniversary. The Thinking Stick turned 3 a few days ago and it’s hard to imagine that it’s been 3 years since I installed WordPress and just started writing. As I started looking back through those first posts I started thinking about the journey that this blog has taken me on. My first blog post was about a 5th grade classroom called the Polar Bear Class. The website no longer exists but this was my beginning into blogging. Talking about a class that was creating there own website. The website was not another subject, but was just what they did. It was apart of their classroom, it was a part of their learning. My first comment came on post #10. Made by a good friend who at the time was teaching in Dubai. It was at that moment that I realized people where reading, even if only my friends….people were reading. Post #14 Titled: Microwave Popcorn. One of the great first posts. Those of you that blog you know this post. The one that is going to get lots of comments. The post that will make people want to write, want to respond, want to engage in a discussion. The post talks about how technology works it’s way into our daily lives. How in 1982 I remember my father driving a combine in the Palouse all summer to save enough money to buy our first microwave and how today it is a part of every kitchen. My wife and I just moved to Bangkok, Thailand and our first major purchase…..a microwave. The post was great, well written, well scripted. Guess how many comments……0! Post #21 The Stick gets its first comment that is not from my friend Reece. The comment was left by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach. Little did I know at that time that Sheryl would become part of my learning network and over the next three years I would learn more from her about building virtual communities on the web than from anyone else. You see, The Stick was the start of our connection. Post #25 I recieve my second comment from someone other than my friend Reece. This one left by Dean Shareski. My favorite part of the comment was this: PS. Did you know your flickr zietgiest...

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Three Gems for the day

I use to look over people’s blogs that had del.icio.us post linking to all the things they bookmarked that day. I use to think that this was a waste of my time, that those links are just links. Then I actually started reading some. Which lead to clicking on some. Which now has me waiting for people like Dean and Tim to post their next round. The great part is I know I don’t have to read them everyday. I wait until I have five or six days worth of links from Dean and Tim and then I go at it clicking and opening tabs. Basically I’m using Dean and Tim to be my search engine of great educational and technology links. I let them do the leg work and I just sit back and reap the benefits of two guys who love to bookmark sites they find…thanks guys! Of course I do it as well using Diigo. You can find my daily links (many of them the same…but not always) on my U Tech Tips blog. In fact, you could sign up for the newsletter there and each Friday find all my great links for the week in a newsletter in your e-mail box…or grab the RSS. It’s up to you! So that leads me to my first gem of the day from Tim. It’s called Simple CC flickr Search (Thanks Tim for the link). Basically it searches flickr for Creative Commons photos. But the cool part comes when you click on a photo. It gives you the embed code with the appropriate Creative Commons attribution. So the above photo looks like this with a simple copy and paste. Photo by phitar Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License Now that’s pretty cool! It will even left or right align it for you and you can choose a small or large picture. You never have to worry about attributions again! (On flickr photos anyway 😉 ) The Second gem comes from a good friend, Alicia Lewis, who I worked with in Saudi Arabia and is now a consultant for Rubicon Atlas. My last three school’s all used Rubicon and now they have a podcast. Might be helpful if you are implementing curriculum mapping and Rubicon Atlas in your school. And finally from Will’s blog comes this must watch TED video about the next 5000 days. Use it all by itself as a PD...

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