Know Thine Audience

Obviously, I’m on a big student blogging reflective kick right now.  Another discussion that piggy-backed off the one with my son on privacy was related to a blogger’s audience.  Who’s reading what you post? (Yet another reason to push for online transparency with student blogging…. you can tell where I’m located by that little ClustrMap on the bottom- either than or I have a mega fan base in one little pocket of the US! A few innocent clues, and BAM!  You know pretty much where I am down to the GoogleMaps grass in my front yard.)

Students at the elementary level tend to be fairly comfortable with a familiar audience… family, friends, and peers from school. Matter of fact, they’re almost complacent in their comfort level.  Saturday morning, bed head, dragon breath, jammies-on-the-couch complacent. Even mentioning that their teacher or principal can read their posts doesn’t seem to impact them.

What does? Here’s who I see motivating them:

  • Global friends.  (I’m finding that the idea of students on the other side of the globe, like Mitch Squires’ classroom site, The Blog Dogs, are reading what they post is hugely inspiring.)
  • Famous people. (One thing I mentioned was that President Obama could read Caleb’s blog, if he so desired.  That resulted in some pretty big eyes and an “O” shaped mouth.  And no more whining about capitalization, spaces, and spelling.  Politics aside, it’s a pretty heady thing for your thoughts, feelings, and interests to be accessible to people you admire.)

In keeping with those two thoughts, I’m revising my bulletin board plan to include an area for our audience or potential audience.  My initial idea was to create our own Clustr Map of student/classroom blogs we read and comment on, thus building some global citizenship concepts.  However, I think we need to find some space to create a collage raising student awareness of their audience. We might even have a blog assignment about the Top 10 Readers.

My personal Top 10, in no particular order:

  1. Bud Hunt of Bud the Teacher
  2. Kelly Tenkley of iLearn Technology
  3. My Mom (silly, but don’t we all still want our Mom to know what interests us?)
  4. Camilla LoJeske (My admin)
  5. My Teachers (yep, that’s more than 1)
  6. Michele Bourgeois of Milobo’s Musings
  7. Diane Lauer of Leading4Learning
  8. My peer Technology Facilitators (again, more than 1…. hey- it’s my list!)
  9. Val Downing of Thompson Blogs
  10. My husband (Great man- he’ll talk through ed tech ideas with me when he’d rather be sleeping!)

This exercise is interesting to me because the majority of my selections are incredible thinkers and innovators in the field of Ed Tech- not famous movie stars or politicians.  For me, the process of having my reflections and projects read by others is specifically so that I can learn from their wisdom and experience.  They’ve been down this road before, and if they can point out the potholes, and can help me travel further along the road without a breakdown…. well, I’m satisfied.

Who’s your target audience?  Do you wish you were in the company of famous people, great thinkers, political movers and shakers, or some other group of people? Who are the top 10 people you’d like to have reading and commenting on your blog?

3 thoughts on “Know Thine Audience”

  1. Great idea for helping your students really think through and understand who their audience is and who they want it to be. Thinking about my 10 now but quickly realizing that 10 is a hard number to keep it to!

  2. I like the idea. That said, I’d admit that, often when I write on my blog, I’m writing as much for me as for anyone else. So I’d add yourself to your list and ask your students to think about themselves as audience, too.

    1. Good point! When I first started blogging, my intention was to show proof of learning and to remember that learning. I’m wondering how intermediate students will interpret that “seld” as audience idea. Do elem teachers instruct in self-review prior to the whole peer review concept?

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