Monday, June 04, 2012

Edu-bloggers survey

Blog Alice Bell writes:
I’m currently working with colleagues at the OU’s Institute of Educational Technology on a small research project exploring communities of education blogging. The first stage of this is a survey of people who blog about education. Questions and some further explanation here -

So here's my response:

Blog URL:

What do you blog about?
Higher education, educational technology, social media.

Are you paid to blog?

What do you do professionally (other than blog)?
I'm currently a Senior Lecturer at at UK University.

How long have you been blogging at this site?
Six years.

Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?)
I publish academic papers and also blog at:
MicrobiologyBytes: (public understanding of science/microbiology education)
AoB Blog: (public understanding of science/journal public relations)

Can you remember why you started blogging?
I've written about reflective practice for many years and participating in a blogging community seemed to be the best contemporary way to put this into practice. Of late my focus for reflection has moved more towards social networks and this site has become more archival in nature, more of a document of record and a shop window.

What keeps you blogging?
Discipline! And the satisfaction of facing my ignorance and confusion.

Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How?
Mostly people involved in higher education, a few scientists who teach. This site gets around 5,000 unique viewers per month (Google Analytics).

What’s your attitude to/relationship with people who comment on your blog?
These days most people who comment here tend to be personal friends. Most of the discussion on what I write here now happens on Google+ and to a lesser extent on Twitter.

Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre of blogging? (e.g. schools, science, education, museums, technology)
(Higher) education. To a lesser extent, STEM education.

If so, what does that community give you?
I like to think I have a mutual relationship with my regular readers, taking from their work and giving back in equal measure. In reality, I'm sure I get a net gain on this transaction.

What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations?
I don't have the discipline to write a private journal so having a public audience imposes the pressure I need to reflect regularly.
Some of the disadvantages I can't discuss publicly but would be happy to do so in private correspondence.

Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss)
My close family know I blog but don't care. I can't ever recall telling anyone else I blog other than in the context of a workshop on blogging or social media. My employer knows I blog and hates it (loss of institutional control). Read the disclaimer on this blog.
I blog for my own benefit and am delighted if anyone else reads it. But unless I published, it just wouldn't happen.

Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked?

I've written a lot about my attitude to blogging, it's all here:

And now over to my readers - anything you'd like to add about this blog?


  1. Just to say that I am glad you announce posts over at Google+ ... I'm far more likely nowadays to visit a blog post that has shown up in my stream there! :-)

  2. Interesting rumination about publishing platforms over at Scholarly Kitchen today:
    I "publish" on Blogger and announce (and discuss) on Twitter and Google+. By their narrow definition of publishing, I'm an author not a publisher because I don't assume any risk. Blogging feels plenty risky to me.