Sunday, January 27, 2008

Have I had an impact?


weight 2.0
Originally uploaded by Esthr
What was the impact, if any from my first year of blogging?

My web metrics show that my blog is being read. Sure, I would like to see an increase in the number of people reaching my blog. Though, it is more important to me that the articles help educators understand the potential of integrating technology into our educational programs.

In the first year, I have helped a few people become more aware of reading feeds, blogging, and sharing resources, such as photos, videos, and slide presentations. Several Extension educators have started blogging in a trial stage. Although the idea of social media is spreading in our organization, we still have more work to do. I will keep blogging.

I have not advertised the fact that I blog. Except in the last few months, while meeting with Extension professionals in my own state, I have used my blog as an example in showing them feeds and showing how they can subscribe to feeds. Thus, this is one reason my Feedburner subscriptions have jumped in the last month or so. :)

Several of us in Extension are talking about the importance of integrating social media into educational programs. No one individual can be effecive in bringing awareness and adoption of social media. We each say the message a little differently and we each have opportunities to chip into the influence factor.

Blogging is not the only application I started in the last year. I have also adopted:
The use of each of these applications have helped me learn, understand, adopt and use social media. Through these tools, I am also building an understanding how these tools fit in our organization.

My blog has become a centralized place for instructions and linking to interesting technologies and concepts. My blog isn't only a set of instructions, but rather my thoughts and professional opinion on how we can make our organization better. It is from some of these posts that conversations have been started. In the conversations, ideas are forming.

Blogging is not a one way communication tool. Blogging means participating. Knowing what others are finding and saying is as important as blogging itself. These others tools helped me grow my relationships with colleagues across the country and helped me learn from them.

The influence is not only about how much I have impacted the adoption of these tools, but it is also about the understanding and knowledge that I have gained.

The impact of my blog is not measured by the numbers. Impact is also about how scattered influence is being picked up, discussed, and diffused. Two examples are given in posts about never knowing when and how you are influential. One particular influential dinner conversation with Kevin Gamble sent me to the adoption phase. Another conversation on Sandia Peak sent a Brian Webster to the blogging adoption phase. It is hard to separate whether my blog is influential, because the other conversations that happen are just or more influential.

Blogging is one piece of the strategy. Other social media used and other conversations--those in-person or virtual --all play a part in influence and impact. Maybe the influence of my blog is not measurable, it is important, nevertheless.

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