blogs, Reflections

2014: My Blog in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Since WP put in the effort, I thought I would review my stats from the year — seems like the annual thing to do and all.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 22,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Who Views

No surprise that America is my biggest audience — as that is where I live. I wonder how US-centric WordPress is in general, and how that impacts those who blog, write, share, and produce content here. I’ve been pondering content sharing online since that talk Laura Czerniewicz (@Czernie) gave on visibility and presence in scholarship in #scholar14.

“Some of your most popular posts were written before 2014. Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again.”

Maybe I was more interesting from 2010-2013? Or at least my post topics or titles were. Based on my click view stats from this year, compared to the last few years, my overall readership has decreased. Then again, it looks like I posted 48 blog posts total, which is down from from 59 post in 2013 and 62 posts in 2012. Perhaps I was a tad busy writing other things in 2014 (*ahem* Dissertation *cough*). It is no wonder why a number of readers decided to look back into the archives of this blog – top 5 hits included:

I am not concerned. I started and continue to blog to share ideas, reflect on learning and put a few things out there with regards to my own teaching, service and research scholarship. I blog for myself, and the community of practice who shares similar sentiments and values. It’s quality not quantity, right? I am honored to have a number of new followers and loyal subscribers from my PLN who read, respond, and engage.

Top Commenters for 2014

I’d much prefer to get comments and thoughts shared on posts then just click views any day. Plus you never know what a blog post might lead to. Often it has been a new connection, collaborative writing, and even research fun – OH MY! {Yes – this even includes random meet ups and spontaneous dance/beach parties. True story.} Beyond my blog reflections, is where the real networked magic happens. These posts are really just a springboard to more learning, fun, and research.

If you care to learn more about the TechKNOW Tools stats from 2014, feel free to click here to see the complete report. Thanks to the many social platform links and even a shout out to Josie for referrals here. Happy blogging to all in 2015! Blog on.

p.s. Why the heck would I want to use the new WP editor? I much prefer the classic wp-admin mode ANY day for my blogging experience. Seriously.

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#TBT Blog, Reflections

#TBT Blog Post: My Life According to Matthew Good

So, I have been blogging “officially” blogging since May 18, 2006. I have been writing on this blog since 2008; however I know that I have been publicly sharing web logs on other platforms for a while. That being said, I recently discovered a piece or two, that caught my eye – so I thought – why not re-blog to reflect what I have said.

Time flies when you write, reflect, and share in a few social spaces. Blogging for me has been a space to document happenings, archive ideas, and share memories. Instead of a Throwback Thursday (#TBT) photo – I thought I would try out a new feature – #TBT Blog. I am considering where I have posted various posts (written, video, photo, etc.), and how they have developed who I am in these spaces today. My goal is not just to re-share older content, but rather to process my own development as a blogger, writer, and then some. Welcome to my #TBT blog journey – join me every Thursday on here… until I get bored.

——

#TBT Blog Post #1:

Music has been a significant influence in my life. Whether I am playing new music, going to a concern, or part of an impromptu jam/signing session – I am a fan. Not only am I am a fan of how music can bring people together, I am also partial to the collaborative spirit for how music is made. Most importantly, some of my writing and blogging influences have come from the artists I have followed over the years — one of these artists is Matt Good:

“Somebody gave you a choice
And all you do is abuse it
If God he gave you a voice
Then use it”

~From Lullaby for a New World Order

24 July 2009 from a Facebook blog post:

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to 10 people. You can’t use the band I used. Try not to repeat a song title. It’s a lot harder than you think! Repost as “my life according to (band name)”

Pick your Artist:
Matthew Good

Are you a male or female?:
Song for the Girl

Describe yourself:
Generation X-Wing

How do you feel:
Haven’t Slept In YearsI’m a Window
Describe where you currently live:
North American for Life

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:
Bright End of Nowhere

Your favorite form of transportation:
Metal Airplanes

What’s the weather like:
Blue Skies Over Bad Lands

Favorite time of day:
Running for Home

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:
Life Beyond the Minimum Safe Distance

What is life to you:
A Long Way Down

Describe your most recent relationship:
True Love Will Find You in the End

Your fear:
Middle Class Gangsters

What is the best advice you have to give:
The Future Is X-Rated

Thought for the Day:
My Out Of Style Is Coming Back

How I would like to die:
Everything Is Automatic

My soul’s present condition:
Near Fantastica

Most Faithful Companion:
Lullaby for the New World Order

My motto:
Oh Be Joyful

 

Note: I would selected tracks from  Radiohead if my friend, @hungrypo, did not snag them first.

Feel free to share your artist & responses in the comments below. Rock on.

Professional Development, web 2.0

Q: Should I Start Blogging? A: Maybe.

A common question I field from teachers, faculty, graduate students, higher education professionals, and researchers these days:

Q: Should I start blogging?

My response:

A: Maybe.

write-your-own-blog

Image c/o Blogiau

Blogging and maintaining a blog is not for everyone. I often ask a follow up question to this inquiry to learn more about the motivating factors for the blog:

  • Why do you want to start blogging? [purpose, goal, sharing, reflection, etc.]
  • Do you enjoy writing? i.e. beyond 140-characters & comprehensively
  • What format do you want your blog to be? Written or other, i.e. video, photo-sharing, podcasting?
  • Do you want to express and share your ideas in a public, online forum?
  • What focus will your blog take – work, education, learning, research, or all of the above?
  • Who is your audience? Professional group affiliation? Research discipline? Just for yourself?
  • What platform are you thinking about? Blogger, WordPress or other?
  • Do you have an idea about how often you want to post to your blog?
  • Where will you be getting ideas for your writing? [Content IS king.]
  • How will this contribute to your learning, professional development, etc.? [depending on the person]
  • When will you post to you blog? Daily? Weekly? Bi-weekly? Monthly?

Everyone has different reasons for the WHY they blog, or even how they started blogging. Some use blogging as a forum to connect to a professional or academic community. Others use their blog to share resources and ideas. Bloggers often present concepts and challenge the status quo in their field. Then there are other bloggers who use it for shameless self-promotion and self-marketing. The main point is – you should blog because you WANT TO BLOG.

My blogging tale started back in 2006 when I initially took up blogging to share my travel adventures and general life happenings on, Souvenirs of Canada, for family and friends who wanted to stay in touch. In 2008, I created TechKNOW Tools as a professional development space for an academic advising technology seminar for NACADA, and after that I continued to use this space to discuss my own work experiences, research projects, and share what I have been learning.

blogging requires passion and authority

Image c/o Gaping Void

There are a number of reasons WHY I blog.  Thanks to a researcher reviewing educational bloggers, I audited my own blogging experience, and I have considered what [really] prompts me to blog and continue to blog. For me, blogging and writing about my progress is very reflective and I enjoy documenting, sharing, critiquing, and writing about what is going on in my professional (and sometimes personal) sphere. I appreciate the community of research and educational bloggers who play in this blog sandbox. I like their comments, questions, challenges, and support — and at the end of the day I LIKE BLOGGING — otherwise I would not blog. Really.

If it sounds blogging might be just space for you to share your interests and express your ideas — go get your BLOG ON! Here’s a quick “HOW TO” Set Up a WordPress Blog I created for my learners, with a few helpful resources posted at the bottom to get you fired up for your blog writing. Want some more ideas? Here you go:

Do you have resources for the beginning blogger out there? Any advice or comments for new or potential bloggers? Post it in the comments, and also be sure to say HOW LONG and WHY you blog. Blog on, my friends. Blog on.

Social Media

Curating Tweets: Social Media Content and Marketing Planning

With the 2014 CASE Social Media Survey results recently published, I thought I’d curate a few of my tweets shared regarding social media content creation and marketing practices. Although this sounds similar to my dissertation research on social media guidance, it is not. This exercise was to provide a few quick resources for an education organization as they redesign their communication (social media, publications, website, etc.) plan and develop a more effective social media content calendar (Example 1 or Example 2).

calendar

Content Creation

 

Content Sharing Strategy

 

Social Media Marketing 

 

SEO & Metrics

 

Email

 

Facebook

 

Twitter

 

Blogging & Blog Content


A number of these are relate to content sharing, marketing & targeting an audience; however this is not an all inclusive list. I have not included using other social media platforms, like YouTube, LinkedIn, or Instagram, or even provided “suggested reading” books and articles on this topic (yet).

For now, if you have any tweets and websites about said topic, please feel to comment on this post or UPDATE THIS GOOGLE DOCUMENT if you have suggestions. Please feel free to add to and share!

blogs, Reflections

TechKNOW Tool 2013 – Blog Posts In Review

In the process of auditing my social media and web life, I thought I’d take a gander at what I blogged about in 2013. What the heck was I reflecting and sharing in 2013?

Screen Shot 2013-12-20 at 8.26.57 AM

Photo from  marsmettnn tallahase on Flickr

TechKNOW Tools received a number of views on older blog posts; however the key themes that were clicked on for 2013 included: academic writing, research gathering, teaching support, role transition, job search/application, conference sharing, learning design, and social media auditing.

Thanks for reading, and following along. I’ll be sure to share more in 2014. 🙂

Title

 

Digital Clean Up: Social Media Audit & How Not to Be Hacked
Lucky 13: Top Blog Post Views for Summer 2013
The PhD: Troubles Talk… and Moan… and So On
Using Verbs for Specific Learning Outcomes
Supporting Student Success at #UFTL13
#EDUSprint 1: Beyond MOOCs – IT as a Force of Change
Do You Have Social Media Goals?
The Dissertation Proposal. #phdchat
Your Higher Ed Website + Search: “Social Media Guidelines” or “Social Media Policy” = A Database for My Dissertation Research
Help My #ugstSTORY Class Tell Their Story
Gathering #SocialMedia Guidelines from Higher Education #SoMe #edusomedia #highered
#SXSWedu Panel: Social Media in Higher Ed – Where Are We Going? #smHE
#AdvTech at #nacada13…More Than Just a Hashtag!
#AcWriMo In Review: My Output
#AcWriMo & Accountability to Write
#AcWriMo Peer Pressure: Time, Challenge/Support & Cheerleaders
My #AcWriMo Goals for November
I’m “On the [Job] Market”: The Application Process
Passing the Torch: Leadership Transition in Our Professional Organizations
The Vitae: Brewing Academic Experience for Your CV
#phdchat, ATPI, PhD, Professional Development, Reflections

ATPI Doctoral Portfolio Reflection

This weekend will involve the usual researching, writing, and editing of projects – however I have one more item to polish up before it’s time to be thankful in the U.S. – my doctoral portfolio.

For the Applied Technology & Performance Improvement Doctorate (ATPI) program, the doctoral portfolio is a new requirement for us young, budding scholars. Rather than sit in a room for two 8-hour days or respond to a set of questions over a period of time, ATPI doctoral students will need to complete our departments Ph.D. portfolio to officially become a Doctoral Candidate and move forward with dissertation work. Some students in our program are still opting to take the comprehensive exam route while they still can, only because the requirements include research, teaching, and service scholarship experience that is akin with academics who might be seeking tenure/promotion. I think that this portfolio makes sense, professionally it helps to document my PhD Journey and encourages students to gain scholarship experience before being launched into a dissertation or even the academic job search.

Here are the ATPI Doctoral Portfolio Requirements [DRAFT] that I have been using to guide my portfolio development. {I say draft as this document is subject to change since our department will have myself and another student defend in December for the 1st time.}

I promise to share my ATPI doctoral portfolio, after I review it and put the finishes touches on it. I learned a great deal from our “dry-run” on Friday, and I was reminded about some of the key things to highlight in my 15-minute presentation. I am also pleased to say that I will be sharing my digital PhD journey (blogging, tweeting, and then some) with my doctoral committee for my portfolio defense. My faculty advisor and another committee member thought it would be valuable to discuss my philosophy and experience as an open educator/scholar/researcher.

In thinking about how to “show case” some of this, I am looking through my blog for musings and what I have been up to over the last 3 years of my doctoral course work. So far my TechKNOW Tools Wordle reflects this:

TechKNOW Tools Blog Wordle

I also know that my digital footprint can be found in my Google Docs (or now Drive), YouTube channel, Dropbox, shared on my SlideShare account, posted on my Flickr account in photos, and even among my  23, 926 tweets (good thing I auto-send these into Delicious with hashtags for easy searching). Time to mine my own digital data, review what I’ve created, and compile my professional development and scholarship.

Grad Students & PhD Friends: How do you track your progress? Professional development? Teaching, service, and research scholarship? Please share!

blogs, Learning Community, Open Education, Reflections

Education Bloggers Research – My Blog Survey

After reading @mweller ‘s blog survey for Alice Bell’s research on education bloggers, I thought that I might as well contribute to the study since I sometimes write about education, learning, and the likes here on TechKNOW Tools. From the post from Alice, it looks as though she will collect responses via e-mail (edubloggingstudy@gmail.com) or via your own blog (so you can share responses with your readers) – and send her the link. If you’re an education blogger, perhaps you too should contribute to the research. All responses are due by by the 15th of June. This sounds interesting and useful – I look forward to hearing about the analysis, but for now here is my blog survey…

Blog URL: techknowtools.wordpress.com 

What do you blog about? Learning networks & environments, academic advising, educational technology, higher education, doctoral stuff, research and writing, training and development, instructional pedagogy & design, social web & open access, podcasting, student affairs, and then some.

Are you paid to blog? No. Only in digital high fives and thanks.

What do you do professionally (other than blog)? Academic Counselor/Instructor & Doctoral Student

How long have you been blogging at this site? Since October 23, 2008 [say my WP Sitestats].

Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?) I have published book chapters, academic papers, peer-reviewed journal publications, conference papers and proceedings, other blog contributions (like BreakDrink.com and personal blog), and online magazine contributions.

Can you remember why you started blogging? I started blogging personally in 2006 when I was working and travelling around to different countries (on another blogging website); and I started to blog here after reading a number of educational and learning blogs. This blog was created  as a space to share ideas and resources for a NACADA Technology Seminar learning community back in February 2009 – my friend Eric Stoller suggested I try out WordPress since I was using Blogger for my personal blog.  This blog soon evolved into a space where I curated content around what I was reading, writing, researching, or working on related to learning technologies and other issues related in education and training development.

What keeps you blogging? I enjoy it. My academic background in history and education might take some of the credit for blogging. I use my blog to reflect and think about things. It is also a great space to archive, document and curate what I am up to and what I am learning or reading about.  Now blogging is just part of my regular routine. I like starting the conversation here, sharing it in my networks and then learning what others think.

Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How? My Google Feedburner says I have 61 subscribers & Sitestats says I have 29 follows on WP with 115,072 views from 49 countries. I might consider using Google Analytics to track this better in the future, but at the end of the day I think I blog for me than my audience. My audience is composed of higher education professionals, faculty, teachers and instructors from fields in training and development, marketing, management, technology, and education.

What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog? Typically I have seen more shares of my blog posts on Twitter and Facebook. I have a great network and community that often engage on there more than here. Although the traffic and views are outside WP, I do appreciate and I am delighted to receive a blog comments on here from time to time (Thanks!). I would say that I have better relationships and interactions with those who comment “off the blog.” Some of my blogging prompts shared dialogues on other networks or with other peers who share similar interests.

Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre of blogging? (e.g. schools, science, education, museums, technology) Sort of? I think technology and  learning – but I have been known to dive into training and development, organizational management, and higher education due to the nature of my academic program/professional interests.

If so, what does that community give you? I think this community is like the “Office Water Cooler” I have always wanted. It’s a great place to catch up, share interesting news, find out about new resources, swap great ideas, and stay in touch with my personal learning network.

What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations? I shared my thoughts in the “What Prompts You To Blog?” post last month => https://techknowtools.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/what-prompts-you-to-blog/

I think blogging has supported my digital scholarship as a transparent and open researcher and writer. There could be limitations to this, as I often share ideas and references before the referred journal article is published and there is that possibility that others could “borrow” it. The other challenge I can see is the need to publish or perish to make it through the academic ranks for jobs and tenure. Although my writing style is more informal and offers a variety of structure I do enjoy the practice of writing and processes what I am writing. Unfortunately blogging does not equate a journal article and I am aware of the need to contribute to traditional publications and peer-reviewed work to support my career path in academia.

Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss) I think most of my offline (i.e. not in social networks) family or friends know that I “do stuff with technology” and most have some idea of what a blog is. I share the odd blog post with a limited number folks who are not exposed to this blog regularly  (like my boss & parents) if there is a topic something that might interest them. I use another blog and a Flickr account to share more of my “life happenings” so my friends and family are not bored with any of my geek/nerd ramblings on this blog.

Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked? I think you have covered most. Good luck with your research! I look forward to hearing how it goes. 🙂