Imagined audiences


In the short time since my previous post, I have reflected upon my understanding of blogging as something more than a platform for reflective practice. Despite conflicting definitions surrounding blogging from journaling to journalism, whereby blogging is considered both a genre and a medium, there is no doubt that it is a phenomenon that can no longer be classed as a fad, or purely as a stage in the progression of communicative practice. With blog sites numbering in the millions and growing exponentially by the day, blogging is both pervasive and popular worldwide. Whilst those who blog cannot be designated as a single demographic, and engage in this practice for a variety of reasons, there is one commonality of purpose in that we do so as a means of self expression and to fulfil the desire of connecting to others. This raises questions regarding the nature of connectivity: is more importance attached to how connected we are, rather than who we are connected to; and given the fact that our audience is largely unknown as it is not specifically targeted, how does this affect our perception of the self in relation to being ‘seen’ by an imagined audience?

Further, by positioning blogging in an academic context these considerations take on particular significance especially in terms of reciprocity and democratisation of learning potential. For this reason, I am undertaking a small ethnographic project focusing on blogging as the cultural practice of producing spaces for learning and public pedagogy, as a means of answering the question of connectivity.

Would anyone who engages in blogging like to answer the following questions as part of a small ethnographic project? I have amended the questions for clarity.

Questions for educators:

1) what impact does your unseen/imagined audience have upon your own perception of being ‘seen’.(Do you mind who reads your blog? Do you perceive yourself as having to have a specific persona/identity in order to write for specific audiences?);

2) what degree of reciprocity do you feel you receive (in terms of shared information/research/links/ or promotion of your work);

3)to what extent do you feel ‘exposed’ in terms of vulnerability of scholarship? ( How do you feel about the process of ‘thinking aloud’ and sharing the process of that thinking?)

All responses will be welcomed, and acknowledged in the project (with the permission of individual respondents).

Many thanks,