Friday, March 28, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion

How much is too much?

Technorati Lover

What brought you to my blog today? Am I in your news reader? Do I come to your email? Did someone else link to me? Or, did you see my tweet on Twitter? Did I share this link with you on Del.icio.us or Diigo?

As a blogger, I like people to read my blog. I do check my Technorati rating and I'm psyched when it goes up. In January my Technorati rating was 13, today it is 63! I love when people comment on my blog and I love when other people link to me. It makes me feel like I'm not talking to myself. I have thus far, been very fortunate to receive a lot of positive feedback about the things I write.

If I build it, will they come? I struggle with the self promotion aspect of blogging. When I tweet a blog post, I get traffic to my blog. If I tweet it more than once, if I share my post with my network on Diigo or Del.icio.us, I get even more traffic. I worry that I'm bugging people, that I'm being selfish and self-serving.

Is this a female thing? Do male bloggers worry about this? Is this a teacher thing? Do commercial bloggers worry about this? How much is too much? Where is the happy medium? Are there rules for this? Should there be? What do you think?

18 comments:

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach said...

I have struggled with this myself. I came to the following conclusions:

1. If you subscribe to me on Twitter- you know that I ask questions, share resources (other than my own), say hi when you have someone new on twitter, tease and play, attend the advertised ustream sessions and read the blog posts that are tweeted out (how I came here)-- as well as share posts I write. (which in the last few days has been more than usual because it had been months since I blogged with any regularity and I decided to catch up on my writing.)

2)If you subscribe to me on Twitter, then I assume you are interested in what I am doing/writing. If you become uninterested- I assume you will unsubscribe.

3)Part of a community member's responsibility is give and take. Not just to consume content others create- but share content you create.

4) I do not post with enough regularity to get real serious about rankings. I rarely (once ever few months) check the ranking engines.

5) I am busy. You are busy. I know how to use RSS and I have my feeds but I will be honest-- twitter advertised blog posts get my first attention-- simply because they are first on my radar screen.

My vote-- PLEASE tweet when you post. I promise to come read if you do.

Betty said...

I read your blog when I see your posts on TeacherLingo. I love technology and try to learn as much as I can from blogs. Although I am way behind other bloggers when it comes to being tech savvy, I find it fascinating. Now I'm going to have to see if I can figure out my Technorati rating. It sounds like fun.

JenWagner said...

Hello Liz

I like when you twit your blogs -- it drives me to it more quickly than my RSS feed. So I do thank you.

I don't think there is anything wrong with self-promotion unless it becomes extreme -- and you have not yet shown that at all.

What you say is valuable, is helpful, and as a follower, I do care what is going on ....so I will rush to read your thoughts.

If you become too SELF PROMOTING -- smiles, we will let you know.

Jen

Grace Kat said...

Hi Liz, you're in my RSS reader as are most of those I follow on twitter. Twitter has been a help to me on my steep learning curve re use of web2 tools and PLNs. I often read a blog that's been tweeted before I check my RSS reader. Twitter is sooo fast and current. Why not advertise - I'm learning and so are others and as Sheryl said, people could unsuscribe. Most bloggers mention that the link is to a new post which I think is great. I usually add a short tag after I tweet a tiny url so people can see what it is I'm linking to and they can choose to click or not. Thanks for your screencasts on flock etc - gkat

B.C. said...

I can't exactly remember how I first came across your blog. But I do know that I love reading it. After discovering it, I added your feed to my iGoogle page. I guess this Twitter thing everyone is talking about is something I should explore, but I have no experience with it yet.

Whatever the case, just keep doing what you're doing, because it helps me as a teacher! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

HI Liz: I follow you on Twitter and subscribe to your blog. I tend to follow your blog when you post to Twitter. I am finding I look at my RSS less and less often.
I like what Sheryl said about give and take. Because we are all busy we may give in spurts. So everyone is spurting (or spouting) something new all the time. But boy I sure appreciate the takes! It's so great to have everyone out there if you need them! Sometimes I feel I take more than I give, but then I guess I give in different ways (to my students and colleagues).
Thanks for your posting. I find the information of your blog really helpful! I hope your ratings continue to go up!

Anonymous said...

HI Liz: I follow you on Twitter and subscribe to your blog. I tend to follow your blog when you post to Twitter. I am finding I look at my RSS less and less often.
I like what Sheryl said about give and take. Because we are all busy we may give in spurts. So everyone is spurting (or spouting) something new all the time. But boy I sure appreciate the takes! It's so great to have everyone out there if you need them! Sometimes I feel I take more than I give, but then I guess I give in different ways (to my students and colleagues).
Thanks for your posting. I find the information of your blog really helpful! I hope your ratings continue to go up!

tommyl said...

demogirl's blog led me your Flock screencast, which then led me to your very useful screencasts on Twitter and delicious networking. So useful, in fact, that I added your RSS feed to NetNewsWire.

I've kind of been dabbling on the fringes of the whole web 2.0 thing for a while, craving more how-to type information. Then a blinding flash of the obvious: why not learn from an educator!

Though I've been blogging about my Feldenkrais Method practice and the informal learning connected with it, I'm thinking of including more technology and communication stuff. Your blog helps clear some of the fog of that new landscape.

Anonymous said...

@dragonsinger57 here ... i like when you do an update tweet - i always click on it - but i have a technorati question - do you do a ping after you post - or is it automatic?? (to let technorati know you've updated)

Lisa Thumann said...

I was just reading Wordpress's suggestions on this same topic and isn't it really just letting people know that you have written something that you had to say and then it's up to them as to whether they want to read or not.

I have my Google Reader - which I frequently neglect. I rely heavily on Twitter for blog posts because I see people that are part of my PLN say that they have read and commented on a post more than the actual Blogger posting a link to their own blog.

You are not being pushy at all Liz - and I am following your lead!

Lisa

Liz Davis said...

Thanks for everyone's comments on this. I do try to pay attention to how much I am giving to my network and how much I am taking. I agree with you Alice, there are times when I do more giving than taking and vice-versa.

I too find that I am more likely to follow links on Twitter to blog posts than to get to everything in my RSS reader. I'm a little overwhelmed there.

Kiwilessa - I have a widget on my blog that gets my Technorati rating. I click on it periodically to see who is linking to me. There is probably a better way to do it.

I know the ranking isn't really important, but it is fun when it goes up. And it does inspire me to post more. I guess I'll have to see how I feel when it goes down. (What goes up must come down.)
-Liz

Charlie A. Roy said...

I can't remember how i found your blog. I think it was through a listing of blogs people like on Clay Burrell's Beyond School. I'm a principal and I am looking to push web 2.0 in my schools. i might as well practice what I preach and subscribing to some teacher blogs as a means of modeling PLN's is useful. Your posts are well written and useful.

John Larkin said...

Liz,
A nice post. Tweet your posts Liz. Go for it. I think it is a good idea. I subscribe to your blog in Google Reader and I also follow your Twitter feed.

You ask if your thoughts or feelings are a female thing. I think about it all sometimes as well. My Technorati rank is only 11. :P

That is a big thrill. ^_^

I wonder about gender differences in the education blogging arena. I think there is difference. Writing about gender is a tricky thing. I have not done any research at all but I seem to perceive a difference.

Please correct me if I am wrong but I cannot help but feel that the female education bloggers are more supportive of each other, more connected. There are, of course, male education bloggers that are supportive. Perhaps those particular bloggers are more in touch with their feminine side? Who knows.

Kate Olsen recently did her age survey and I commented that it would be neat to do a survey based on gender.

I just used Google Reader to search the phrase "shameless self promotion" and most of the blogs that turned up in the list had male authors. I did not read each post and I know that was an imperfect research approach but interesting nevertheless. Maybe the results are skewed. Maybe most of the blogs I read are by males but there are many female bloggers in my blog roll. You can access it on my site.

Still on the gender question how many of the commentators for this post are female and how many are male Liz? I think that is an indicator of how supportive female education bloggers can be.

This is a convoluted reply. I hope some meaning can be found within these words.

I enjoy reading your blog a great deal Liz. Keep on blogging and you should be very proud of your readership!

Cheers,
John
TeachTech

Jeannine said...

Hi Liz - I found your blog because I saw your tweet on EdTechTalk and I had read/heard great comments about you over the past year that I've been lurking in the edublogosphere. Now that I've read your post, I'll be adding you to my Bloglines and Twitter feeds.

I empathize - double your uncertainty and you'll get to how I feel. My hesitancy in commenting on Twitter and edublogs comes from the fact I am neither a teacher nor a tech - I am a parent involved in educational governance - one who believes strongly in the potential of web tools and 21c learning.

I enjoy when people tweet new posts, so I look forward to seeing you in my feed.

jenny said...

Hi Liz,
I've thought the same thing when i post a tweet about a new blog post. I think it's all a part of what we need to do to make important network connections. I still love my google reader - I like the depth of thinking in blog posts as opposed to tweets, although some tweets lead me to blogs I didn't know about - it's how I found you. You're doing a great job helping to inform this community of learners.
Jenny Luca.

Aaron said...

The art of shameless self promotion is NOT a bad thing. In fact "tooting" ones horn is an important way of not only gaining respect, but also of gaining insight. Without the people coming to your blog, there would be NO input. And for a teacher and lifelearner such as yourself what would you be without input.
Stay strong and keep going!

Lisa Stevens said...

Hi Liz
I struggle with this too - but I'm getting better. I've come round to thinking - I've taken the time to write it, so why not encourage people to read it? People sporadically have a clearout of their Googlereader or like, and might just be interested in my blog.
Lisaxx

Robert Talbert said...

I've got you in my RSS reader, because (I think) I read a post you wrote some time ago which you tweeted about. I forget the details. But somehow Twitter alerted me to your content, and the quality of the content was what got you into my reader. (I have a strict limit on the number of feeds I keep around, so I don't just add blogs willy-nilly.)

There are other bloggers on Twitter who put up links to new posts all the time, and the posts end up being useless stuff like "Here's what I had for breakfast today". That sort of thing is no better than spam. I don't mind it when Twitter people tweet about new posts, as long as (1) those posts are substantive things that I *ought* to be alerted to, and (2) those tweets aren't dominating all the other stuff coming in my Twitter "inbox". I think I'm probably not the only Twitter user who thinks this way.

As for self-promotion in general, just remember, moderation in all things. I know for myself, I used to worry a lot about Technorati rankings and trying to mine all my Google Analytics for every possible spin on data. But then I just decided that that sort of thing was taking my mind away from the main thing about blogging, which is producing quality content on a regular basis. So I stopped worrying about traffic, or even monitoring my traffic -- and in a zen-like fit of irony my traffic picked up substantially. My sense is that blog *readers* don't like to read posts *about blogging*. (On the other hand, this post of yours here has 18 comments and counting!)