Thursday, April 24, 2014

here's what I really think about #blogchat

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Blogchat is a weekly conversation about blogging held at 8pm Central on Twitter and hosted by Mack Collier.  Each week the group discusses different blog-related topics and last night they reviewed four very different blogs in an hour, offering the authors positive comments and suggestions for improvement.  I have always found reading these reviews really helpful, for it helped me think about ways I could improve my own blog. 

I never much cared for the group chats on twitter.  They are incredibly challenging as the group is like the worst cocktail party ever, everyone able to simultaneously yell about anything and everything.  These comments come at the reader in a fire hose of information.  If you even think about pausing to respond to one comment, a dozen more have already passed you by.  Most of the time I just read.  Some folks are great an adding 140 character pithy comments and responding effectively.  I end up scrolling through the feed later reviewing what I read and what I missed, collecting my thoughts. 

But my personal opinions don't change the fact that conversations like Blogchat are an incredibly effective method of opening up a conversation, providing a huge amount of information in a short period of time, and fostering future connections.  I'd like to thank the folks at Blogchat for their time and expertise.  You gave me a lot to think about and I'd like to share a few of my many takeaways.

  • Many of the comments were focused on my need to be more present in the blog.  My father always told me that people should let their work speak for itself, that who you are to others is based on what you do.  I was surprised by these comments, but understand that strangers might want to know they are reading from a credible source.
  • There were many suggestions about moving this "about me" information and a lot of other things around to make sharing, following, and contacting me easier.  This is easy and I thank you for your suggestions.  (As any blogger knows, if you really want to contact me, comment on a post.)
  • Some mixed messages about the background, header, title, tagline, and description leave me with the ability to tweak some things and see what happens.  All blogs need a little refreshing.
  • I am embarrassed to say that I had to look up SEO to even understand what people were asking me to do, but the reality is that I currently don't know how Blogger supports the use of keywords.  In the beginning, I started out just wanting to write.  This whole year has been an exercise in learning about technology as well.  If I can't figure it out, I'll probably have to switch to a more robust platform.  I am sure readers have suggestions for me there too.
  • Finally, Shane Arthur (@shanearthur) left me with a suggestion to try doing podcasts or videos, to try to "coolify" math.  I am intrigued, but will have to think on that.  It would definitely be a summer project, but in the meantime, the teacher in me wants to share that there are lots REALLY cool videos about math made by Vi Hart.  Check this one out!

My thanks to all the folks at Blogchat for their insights, to Mack Collier for choosing my blog, and to all of you for reading this far. 
You can find the transcript of the Blogchat here.
You can find the Storify summary of the comments on my blog here.  

And come back soon to see the changes! 

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