Sunday, October 26, 2008

Caveat blogger - putting on a naive face

The good news: The questions I have posed on the use of social media in community development have engendered responses. That is good. Friends who have more experience with blogs counsel me to keep writing, regardless of the limited responses. My analytics graphs show from a high of 40 visits on one day to three.
The bad news: Posts that are of great personal interest and condense strong feelings have gone almost unnoticed while others that are not as connected to what I'm passionate about get read, and attract responses.
Consider the personal dilemnas with social media that I peridically post. I've gotten into several long dialogues with readers about them. What frustrates is that the responders clearly are reading the problem differently than I am experiencing it. It's especially frustrating when the responder is thoughtful and attempting to give good advice.
But most frustrating is that I realize that somehow my public questions are making me seem unsophisticated and naive at best...stupid at worst.

The fault is clearly in the question posed with little context description. When I posted "What social media to surf" the responses were interesting. See below:

As somone who has substitute taught classes including kindergarten, special
education, middle school and high school classes and worked with computers
for a living as well, I would offer the following comments: COMPUTERS ARE A
TOOL (nothing more) WHY IS IMPORTANT (Computer can be intimidating and take work. Students should be able to state why computers are so important
that they are willing to do triple the normal amount of work to learn them. )

HOW IS ESSENTIAL ( Drill, practice and rehearsal are important just to let
a student feel at home. It is important to do things that make a student
feel comfortable with them. Repitition and consistency are an important part
of building comfort) PLAY BRINGS OUT THE BEST (Students who play and imagine with computers learn much faster because they are driving the process. The
computer help them build self esteem) The thrust behind my comments focuses
on the need to grow student need and awareness of computer software value to
the point where the process is driven by students. As somone who has substitute taught classes including kindergarten, special education, middle school and high school classes and worked with computers for a living as well, I would offer the following comments: COMPUTERS ARE A TOOL (nothing more) WHY IS IMPORTANT (Computer can be intimidating and take work. Students should be able to state why computers are so important that they are willing to do triple the normal amount of work to learn them. ) HOW IS ESSENTIAL ( Drill, practice and rehearsal are important just to let a student feel at home. It is important to do things that make a student feel comfortable with them. Repitition and consistency are an important part of building comfort) PLAY BRINGS OUT THE BEST (Students who play and imagine with computers learn much faster because they are driving the process. The computer help them build self esteem) The thrust behind my comments focuses on the need to grow student need and awareness of computer software value to the point where the process is driven by students.


The response is from a teacher seeking practical solutions within a class but
I'm seeking something outside of that viewpoint. The last phrase 'process is
driven by students' is the most congruent with my point of view.
I'm grounded in a student/parent/client centered approach and my challenges are really much more complex than should I use TWITTER or not. I'm also experienced enough as a teacher that simple formulas don't work, at least not to replace my shortcuts to excellent teaching.

I also must also be ready to accept all those humane, people-centered friends, who though they personally are quite involved in online social media, see computers, technology, the internet and social media tools as a terrible imposition on the poor community with other priorities and urgencies.

The many suggestions to ignore technology, or at least stop imposing it on the community and to focus on cellphones tell me that if blogging, twittering and such are going to be of any practical use my blog should be the third draft of a carefully constructed piece...or continue to be barraged by helpful but off-the-target responses.

Do other bloggers have similar challenges?

1 comment:

BROWN PAC said...

I think questions which are appealing to a broad audience always seem a little naive; sophisticated questions are for a specialist audience.

I think that the pundits are correct that the blog as a method of creating community is on the way out. Social networking and twitter type sites allow for the kind of rapid connections that a social and action communities require.

Blogs will still be useful for creating intellectual communities, much as scientific, literary and political commentary journals fulfill this role in the print media world. And just like in the print world, bloggers will have to be good editors to separate wheat from chaff in responses. Here's hoping I'm the latter and not the former.