Saturday, October 18, 2014

Authentic Audience

On Monday, I will be presenting to a small group of teachers about Authentic Audience and Genuine Connections. The process of preparing my presentation got me thinking about my sporadic blogging.

I have written posts on and off for my blog, but very seldom get comments on it. This is not a great mystery as I have not done as much as I could to publicize my blog. I sometimes tweet or post to google+ about a new post, but not in a consistent, energetic way. As such, I am not overly disappointed by the last of traffic.

So here is the question: does this lack of traffic mean that I do not have an authentic audience? I don't think that's true.  If I wrote in a paper journal that I kept tucked in my desk drawer, or even a digital journal kept safe on my hard drive, then I would not have an audience. I don't think that the important thing is the size of the audience, it is the potential for audience.

The fact that my posts are public and I have put them out there means that someone could read them and maybe even comment on them. I might contribute to someone else's thinking. Then again, I might not. As I write, I do not know which it will be. I will take the same care to ensure that I have written clearly and communicated my thoughts in a logical way for a potential audience as for an actual one because there is always possibility. My thinking and my writing must be better because it is more public than just for myself.

This translates very well to my classroom blogging. Students know that there is the possibility that classmates, or even people beyond the class could read what they have written. They step up their game because the potential for comments is there. Even if those comments only materialize occasionally, the potential is there. The authenticity of what they are doing, putting their work out there, is a great motivator for many of them.

This also applies to my presentation on Monday. The conference has lower attendance than expected and several sessions are being cancelled for low registration. Even though only a few people have signed up for my session, I intend to give it anyways. Those teachers are an authentic audience, if a small one. They are interested in what I have to say. I intend to put together a session that is every bit as good and perhaps better than I would have for a full house. They are my audience and I do not need large numbers for them to be a real audience. They deserve the best I can offer.


Anonymous said...

Very profound insight. If your goal is to enrich than the smallest audience is still authentic.

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