Posted by: beagle4 | February 2, 2011

Blog Evaluation with Self-Interview

Blog Evaluation Round 1: (Fight)

For my blog, I have posted a total of 11 posts (1 welcome post, 2 communicating science required posts, and 8 content based posts). The topics I have discussed so far included: an introduction to dreams, bulleted notes from a PBS documentary (in response to a suggestion by another classmate), a dream log page, dream control (lucid dreams), what part of memory dreams come from, advertising in dreams, color in dreams, and a post providing a variety of resources. All of my blog posts are focused and specific to my topic. The length of each blog post varies depending on the topic. Sometimes I’ll find a cool resource and post that as a post alone. Other times, the length is longer including more detail.

The design of my blog is simple and hopefully creates the effect of calming. The light blue with a white background for each post, I create an atmosphere similar to when a person wakes up from a dream. With each post I end with the same signature, “Now just close your eyes and dream…” and include a weird image/photograph similar to what a person would experience during a dream. Usually I attempt to find a picture that relates to the topic discussed; however, sometimes it is just a random picture. On the sidebar of my blog, I have included a subscription widget, search widget, stats widget, recent posts, recent comments, blog roll (links), and pages. I have created an about me page, and a page for students to document and post their dreams (no one has done so yet).

I do my best to post as often as I can. Usually what happens is I think of one idea and immediately come up with another idea for a post, and usually do both on the same day. This causes 2 posts on one day, and then there won’t be another post for a couple days. I will do my best in the future to post consistently every other day. However, at this point in time I have produced a reasonable number of posts.

My blog features a variety of multimedia including: podcasts, magazines, radio, video (interviews/speakers), news/journal articles, and documentary. With each post I try to include at least one of these resources with a hyperlink or post the video/picture/radio clip directly into the blog. The multimedia I choose for the blog post fits with the specific topic I am discussing and is not completely random. I have added 2 polls that incorporate the topic being discussed in order to seek public engagement. With the multimedia I have added, I have attempted to make my blog interesting.

My blog has a total of 23 comments(includes comments from readers and my responses). I read each and every comment (wordpress makes you approve the comment before it posts it on the blog) and then decide if there is anything I can say to respond to the comment. I have posted a total of 13 comments on other student blogs (does not include my responses to comments on my blog), hopefully this number will increase. In the future I need to continue to comment on the blogs of the people that comment on mine (by returning the appreciation by commenting on theirs, they hopefully will continue to read my blog). For this blog evaluation period I commented on every student’s blog that posted a comment on my blog. Also, I will try my best to comment on every comment on mine (so it is not a 1 way conversation, and can create a conversation/discussion/debate).

I have yet to post comments on other dream related blogs. So far I have only found one and have posted it as a link. I will in the future comment on their blog. I have also provided a variety on similar links in the blog roll sidebar. The one thing I need to incorporate into my blog is the use of labels/tags. I originally did not do this, but now that I actually have posts it will be helpful to briefly view what the post is about (although the search sidebar does work). I should also add more pages to my blog, but I’m not exactly sure what else to include. If you have any other suggestions for me let me know!

Blog Self-Interview:

Another post not relating to dreams. In order to produce a more focused blog, it is critical to understand the purpose of the blog. By having a self-interview, I can improve my blogging skill and produce higher quality posts in the future.

What is the purpose of this blog?

The overall purpose of this blog is to provide a background of the understanding of dreams, and provide insight to current and future research conducted to understand more about dreams. On a smaller scale, the purpose of this blog is to provide a method for me to practice communicating science.

Who is the imagined audience(s) of this blog?

The imagined audience of this blog is a person that is curious and has a desire to understand more about dreams and learn how they work. This could be a person that just watched the movie Inception and go, “Woah! I wonder if that could happen in real life?” It could also be a person that has very vivid dreams and feels like they are in a whole different reality/world.

Have my posts matched up with my purpose/audience?  What/who might I be overlooking in defining my purpose/audience this way?

I feel that my posts have matched up with my purpose/audience. I provide a basic understanding of dreams and identify technology and experiments that have been conducted. I may be overlooking a person that is a physiologist or scientist that has an in-depth understanding of dreams.  This blog is only an introduction to dreams.

What can I do to encourage more reader participation with my blog?

To encourage more reader participation with my blog I have added the dream log section. This will allow people to post their dreams if they want to share. In addition I have added polls that relate to the blog post to potentially spark interest. To encourage more reader participation I could ask what topics the audience would be interested in learning about in relation to dreams.

How can I expand my audience in this class?  Outside of this class?

To expand my audience in this class I could show an active participation in their blogs. By the golden rule, “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself”; if I want to receive comments, I should read and comment on their blog. Same goes for outside of this class. If I can find blogs that have a similar topic and comment and link to their blog, they will hopefully return the favor and participate in my blog.

How would I characterize the tone of my blog?

The tone of my blog is informal. I am providing sources where information can be found since it is sometimes difficult to know where to look on the internet. I try to talk in a language that I would use with my friends. 

What do I hope to get out of writing this blog?

By writing this blog I hope to learn how to communicate science. This is a necessary skill that can potentially be helpful for my future career. This blog will also force me to spend time researching a topic I have always been interested in (i.e. a push in the back to get me started).

What would I like others to get out of it?

I would like others to be entertained while reading my blog. It is something they can do in their spare time to relax and learn about what they do every night. I also hope my blog can be used as a resource to learn where to find out more information.

What are the strengths of my blog/my blogging?

The strengths of my blog is my interest in the topic. I have a desire to want to research the topic and learn more about it. This motivation will hopefully lead to posts regularly (3-4 blog posts a week). I also provide a variety of multi-media with each post.

What are the weaknesses?

The weaknesses with my blogging style is I sometimes ramble and get off topic. It is difficult for me to discuss one thing and not get off track on a tangent. Another weakness with my blog is that I am not an expert on the topic and have to do research to first learn a basic understanding for me to pass on the information. This will reduce the amount of posts that I am capable of producing.

Have I used a deficit model in my writing, or something else?  How would I know?

I don’t believe I have used the deficit model. I try my best not to lecture anyone and because I do not know that much knowledge on the topic in the first place, it is difficult to use complex scientific jargon. One way to know would be to have a lay person on the topic of dreams read my blog and ask if they understand what I am saying.  Then you could ask them if they feel like I am lecturing them and if they feel scared commenting on my blog. Comments are a good method to judge if I am using the deficit model or not.

How have I characterized (implicitly or explicitly) science, engineering, and/or technology in my blog?

I have characterized the science of dreams explicitly. I have provided my understanding of the knowledge I have read and provide links for the reader to also click and read for themselves.

How have I characterized myself?

I have characterized myself implicitly. I try to include myself slightly with each blog post, but I do so in a hidden manor. I do not outright explain details about myself unless they specifically relate to the topic I am posting on.

Now just close your eyes and dream…


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