Thursday, June 30, 2011

Building an Active Audience

Thanks to those of you who have been visiting regularly; your readership is appreciated.  I started blogging for several reasons, but one of them was to have readers for what I write.  One of the sad facts about being a poet is that very few people read poetry and while I am accepting of this as a poet, I thought I could try blogging to build an audience who may someday also read my poetry.  (Look at My Publications in the tabs above for information about my poetry and academic essays.)

I’d like to extend a special welcome to my international readers.  I’ve had readers from Germany almost from the beginning, my friend Lauran in the U.K. has been visiting regularly, and some of my newest readers are from Poland and France.  I know much of what I write applies to Americans more than Europeans (who generally eat healthier and can buy safer cosmetic products, for example), but I hope you are enjoying what you find here. 

I have a few suggestions for how to be more involved as readers of this blog.  I run an active learning classroom, where students have to get involved in the conversation, and they learn more in the process.   I encourage my students to share their ideas, assuring them that their observations and experiences make valuable contributions to our discussions of contemporary society.  In this classroom environment, they develop mutual respect for others as they realize that when they speak, others are learning from them, and when they listen, they are learning from others.  These are key elements of both feminist pedagogy and cooperative learning, two important influences on my teaching style.

I actually don’t think of this blog as a classroom, but some of the reasons people read and write blogs are to learn, to share ideas, and to converse with like-minded people.  So, here are some suggestions toward that end:

1.   When you have questions, comments, or suggestions, write them in the comment section.  I’ve seen blogs with long conversation threads in the comments area.  Maybe we can learn from each other by conversing this way.  You can also send comments directly to me if you’d rather not have a public conversation.

2.   If you like a post, please share the blog address with others who you think will like it too.  You can click on icons at the bottom of each post and in the right sidebar that enable you to share the post via e-mail, facebook, twitter, etc.  Of course, you can also share this blog address when you are already in your e-mail, on facebook, etc.  If you have conversations about this blog or my blog topics, please post these in the comments, or let me know about them.

3.   Follow this blog by clicking on the “Follow” button on the left sidebar.  If you already use the Google Reader, you can start following and see updates in the reader with a few clicks.  I know some of my readers use the reader bloglovin’; I don’t know much about it, but I assume it works the same way.  I really like seeing the most recent updates to the blogs I follow in the reader; I know immediately if there is a new post to view.

4.   You can also subscribe to this blog via e-mail; you will find an icon at the top of the right sidebar and another at the very bottom of the blog.

5.   Check back often to see what I’ve posted, especially if you have suggested an idea or made comments.  I always reply to comments, and maybe there will be a conversation to contribute to.

6.    If you also blog, link to my blog in yours.  I promise to return the favor.  My friend and co-worker Sylvia linked to my blog last week, so now I’m linking to hers as an example of how to do this.  Thanks, Sylvia!  She blogs about feminism, teaching, her dissertation topic (Spanish Literature) and related ideas at Sylvie’s Passegen-Werk.

In addition to getting you more involved as an audience member, these suggestions may also build the readership of this blog.  The more readers I have, the more we can converse, share ideas, and learn from each other.  Thanks for your efforts in this area.


  1. I follow via Bloglovin', which is a great way to keep blogs you read organized in categories, extend your readership, and "like" posts.

  2. Thanks for the info, Lauran. I just explored the Google reader a little more, which also enables you to organize with folders, "like" posts, and share them. I mostly look at updates in the Google dashboard, which doesn't organize them, but gives you the opening lines instead. I need to look closely at Bloglovin' one of these days.


Your feedback, reactions, and ideas are appreciated!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...