Updated: 6/23/2005; 11:50:56 AM.

Mathemagenic


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  Thursday, April 10, 2003


  BlogTalk paper: need your help to contact "would be bloggers"

It's less than 5 hours since I posted blogging adoption questionnaires: I've got 10 bloggers and 1 "would be blogger" reply.

So I need your help. I guess that there are some people around you asking about weblogs and discussing how to start one. Could you ask them to fill in the questionnaire?

This is the link - http://blog.mathemagenic.com/blogtalk/wouldbe.htm

If we know their concerns we will be able to help them better :)

More on: BlogTalk paper 

  BlogTalk paper: questionnaire choices

As I promised: why it took me so long to get ready with blogging adoption questionnaires

1. I was struggling with the method. Main choices I considered were:

  • Survey (web-based): most of the questions are multiple-choice
    • pro 
      • less time for the participants - better response rate
      • I could quite easily make a list of answers even for the difficult questions like motivation (almost every blogger writes about it earlier or later :)
      • easier to process
    • contra
      • risk of missing important choices (we are only discovering blogging)
      • risk of suggesting answers that people would not think about themselves (especially with "would be bloggers"
      • more difficult to prepare
  • Interview (e-mail and/or phone)
    • pro
      • better understanding of important issues
      • better ratio between bloggers and "would be bloggers" (those are rare between blog readers)
      • I have to contact most of "would be bloggers" I know by e-mail in any case
    • contra
      • takes more time for participants (I mentioned to one of "would be bloggers" about 30 minutes and her reaction was convincing :)

There is another method I thought about - observation of bloggers. It doesn't suit this specific study (I can't observe "would be bloggers", but I think that this is a great way to study: read weblogs, note posts about specific issues, extract and analyse. I wonder if someone is doing it.

Back to the choices:

  1. I decided for e-mail interview and I asked several people to comment on the draft
  2. I've got comments that it's too time consuming
  3. I redesigned it: removed some questions and added multiple-choice answers where it doesn't provoke new ideas
  4. Then I found out that in this format it would be more logical to have it web-based rather than e-mail based, so I made on-line version

2. I was struggling with the target audience. 

In BlogTalk paper: would be bloggers I distinguished between professional weblogs and personal ones. After some comments it became clear that I was not convincing even myself, so I dropped it.

Then I also distinguished between three groups (note, this is the second iteration - there are two groups in the paper proposal):

  • "would be blogger - 1" - considering blogging
  • "would be blogger - 2" - trying out 
  • bloggers

What happened next:

  1. I made three questionnaires and realised that I have same questions for "would be blogger - trying out" and bloggers.
  2. I realised that "considering blogging" may differ between "interested" and "decided to start, but still choosing right tools and hosting".
  3. So, I made two questionnaires with some choices (the funny thing is that I ended up with 5 choice in total, similar to the stages of acceptance of innovation that triggered this whole study)

3. I also had some fighting with formulating questions to cover all what I wanted to know and my English :)

More on: BlogTalk paper research 

  Blogging as jazz (2)

Sebastian Fiedler comments on Blogging as jazz 

What a coincidence. I have just read through a German paper (pdf) about a change project in learning culture in which the authors make heavy use of the Jazz Band metaphor. Burow and Hinz suggest a "Jazz Band Model of leadership" for the intended change of learning culture in an educational institution. These are the characteristics they are focusing on:
  • people are getting together who are experts on a particular instrument
  • they choose a common theme (in a meaningful context)
  • they offer each other an 'open space'
  • to create something together they need to listen to each other (dialogue and participation)
  • if one takes the lead the others step back and support her/him
  • not everybody has to be able to do everything, but individual skills need to be integrated into the composition
  • everybody has to be open for new creations
  • participation can also mean that one remains silent, takes a break, and leaves room for a solo
  • the band does not need instructions or a conductor
  • instead it needs a set of shared, internalized rules
  • bands often emerge around a "point of crystallization"; a person who is able to articulate a shared vision and to support its realization
Burow and Hinz go one step further and extract "basic principles for self-organized team learning" from this description:
  • bands emerge through self-organization
  • bands need a manageable size
  • bands emerge through a time-consuming process of self-selection
  • bands create a "community spirit"
  • bands are based on division of labour and shared rewards
  • bands function through mutual challenge and stimulation
  • bands are based on win-win-games: everybody profits

The more I think about it the clearer become the parallels to what I see happening in niches of the personal Webpublishing and Weblogging community. It's not a bad methaphor, is it?
More on: learning metaphors 

  Blogging adoption questionnaires

Finally. Two questionnaires for BlogTalk paper are ready (paper proposal - Blogs: the stickiness factor).

The goal of this study is to understand factors that support or inhibit adoption of blogging by comparing bloggers and "would be bloggers". I would appreciate if you can spend some of your time answering my questions. I estimate that it should take between 10 and 25 minutes (I took me 15 minutes).

- if you have a weblog - http://blog.mathemagenic.com/blogtalk/blogger.htm

- if you don't have a weblog - http://blog.mathemagenic.com/blogtalk/wouldbe.htm

Later on today I will write why it took so long to come up with them :)


  Blogging as jazz

This day brings "Conversations" with Dina Mehta weblog. Dina writes on her Ryze page:

Chaotic rambles and butterfly wings and rainbows .... and am looking forward to many such interactions here. I see this space on Ryze as a piece of Jazz ... it reminds me of Doug Little, a jazz musician and a member of The Motion Poets, an improvisational jazz band. Doug described improvisational jazz:

"What I play will inspire the drummer to play something. The drummer might inspire me to play something. The musicians listen to one another and make spontaneous decisions. The possibilities are endless. It is always within the form and it is always interconnected with each person but it is never the same.

The joy of performing is the group sound. I can't play whatever I want whenever I want. Jazz is democratic music and everybody gets to solo but only within the context of the whole. The group is what is the most important thing. Sometimes the best thing for me to do is not to play. And to respect another's musical space.

When I do solo, I still have to pay attention to what the rhythm behind me is. I can't ignore it. I have to be a part of that. Playing in a group means giving up some of your space for the group. If a band isn't playing with any interaction, I walk out because it is no fun."

And I, still one foot in the discussion about blogging and dialogue, think - what a powerful metaphor to describe blogging: If a band isn't playing with any interaction, I walk out because it is no fun.

More on: blog new blogs 

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© Copyright 2002-2005 Lilia Efimova.

This weblog is my learning diary. Sometimes I write about things related to my work, but the views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

 
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