Technorati Profile

[Digital Nations in the making: Update Page 127 – Blogging].

I need to experiment more with blogs – who doesn’t? – to see how they are best optimised. Today I have been looking at technorati and setting up a link (see above). Earlier in the month I saw that Charlene Li in her blog Calculating the ROI of blogs (5 June) was saying that she did not know how much of a return there was on her efforts from blogging and the following week Roy Greenslade from the Guardian was writing about blogging being a big experiment for him. But both of them have got effective ways of independently promoting the blogs, which I haven’t.

Mine seems to be averaging about 10-12 viewings a day over the last month, though I had 120 on one day, thanks to a mention by Chris Swaine from Becta in their Apollo listing. I also want to know how many organisations are using a blog as a way of communicating with the users and members instead of a website, like the Connaught Adult and Community Learning Centre in Hove. Charlene Li from Forrester Research Group, which has just recently carried out an evaluation of 9 blogging platforms, comments that “The general take of the report is that blogging is quickly moving beyond simply managing posts into a lightweight content management system.” Its use is certainly being widely encouraged in the US in the corporate sector, as a way of engaging with customers and clients. The WordPress platform used for this blog comes out in the report as a leader in terms of functionality in a group with two others, iUpload and SixApart.

What is the potential for blogging for adult learners and how are they being used at present? There is some useful background material about blogs on the aclearn.net staff development e-learning centre (SDELC) site. An interesting weblog pilot, supported by NIACE, has been run between October 2005 and March 2006 in several ACL bodies in England. Experience differed and depended substantially on the subject matter, group members, PC skill levels and the enthusiasm of the tutor. But Sarah Sweetman’s conclusions about the experience of Bromley Adult Education College were clear: “An unexpected benefit (although perhaps it should have been anticipated) was that the weblogs catered for a different learning style….. [With some caveats] I would definitely recommend weblogs to other tutors and will be promoting them within our college.”

Comments and advice from other people on this range of issues about blogging would be welcome! Is it easier to get the tutor to write and get the learners to respond? Who has used it to encourage their students to link with a photo gallery on flickr.com or similar site? What tips are there for using technorati to widen your readership?

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