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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Peer Review vs. Search Engine Places - Quality of Information in a Web 2.0 Sources

Interesting article from EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 41, no. 6 (November/December 2006): 12–13 - Scholarly Reputations: Who's Got Buzz? that discusses whether:
scholars would choose (1) to have their work published in the premier journal in their field or (2) to have that work regularly come up on the first screen in an appropriate Google search

Having gone through a PhD process and having been in academia for 11 years where you needed to "publish" - this is a really interesting question to me. I often argued with (older) colleagues at the university that it would be better to have open, fast publishing sources than the very slow, peer review process associated with most publications. But what really caught my eye was the statement:
For information-seekers using their favorite search engine, quality is simple to define. If a result displayed on the first screen seems to be clearly objective in perspective, if it is not part of some commercial scheme (e.g., a link to buy this book at, and if it is immediately available for full-file use, then it is deemed to be of high quality. Moreover, because the seeker has quickly been successful in obtaining a work of high quality, there is a transferal of quality to the work's authors, who receive a high "expert" ranking. The effect may not be rational but it is increasingly true, regardless of whether the work is otherwise associated with any peer-reviewed process. New graduate students in physics can be taught to begin research with review articles such as those in the highly respected Reviews of Modern Physics. Yet it is increasingly likely that they will first search Google; the article that shows up on the first page of results will be a winner no matter what its published pedigree.

My gut tells me that this is pretty accurate which argues that its possibly more important to be high up in Google search results than to be published in peer reviewed publications. Of course sometimes, both things happen such as in the case of Stephen Downes' article on eLearning 2.0 which comes up first in the Google search of eLearning 2.0. Of course this is a self-serving example, because looking at the list you'll see that I'm listed second and Stephen comes up again third. I'm grateful to be listed second but a few other scholarly articles on the subject are quite buried.

It's interesting that being ranked second and in-between two things by Stephen (who coined the term), definitely lends a mark of quality and high expert ranking for me on the topic. Is that right? Is it appropriate? Well as the authors point out, that's almost no longer the point - it simply is what it is.

But that's not always the case, even in a Web 2.0 world and even with the same term. Consider what happened around the definition of eLearning 2.0 on Wikipedia. I contributed the original definition using a combination of writing from Stephen, myself and a few other folks (mostly bloggers). I also included links to articles and posts that I thought were relevant - and who influenced the definition. About 3 months later, a Wikipedian came along and edited the article and selectively deleted links to some of the sources I had cited but not to others. Okay, I admit it, I'm a bit sore because links to my posts were deleted. The comment I received on how it was decided was that my posts were in a blog not in a peer-reviewed publication. I almost responded, "but there are other links to blog posts" but luckily realized that might mean deleting links to other "good sources" (in my opinion) and loss of all links to sources that are critical of the term. Don't worry though - I have an article coming out at some point and then I can add another link to something that has more credibility than my blog. :)

The point of this is that while the Educause article says:
In the Web 2.0 world, the quality of a resource is determined by the intensity of its use. What is rated as "the best" is what is used the most and what shows up first.

that's not quite right given that within some Web 2.0 domains there is still a form of review even if it shows up second. Ratings are often used. And all of this together is a form of review. What Web 2.0 does is distribute "review" more broadly and makes it much, much faster. The authors of the article clearly favor old-school peer review's quality filter. And, while I guess I'd agree that maybe not every vote should be equal, I don't necessarily agree that old-school peer-review is all that great. Maybe it's old scars in how peer review processes often work (political, old-boy network).

The real point is that even within a distributed, fast review model of Web 2.0, there are examples of old-school type review such as in the case of Wikipedia. And that felt even worse than the journal peer review process because the expectation is equal treatment.

Blogs, Automated Translations, and a Better Site Feed

I ran into a little utility this morning - Snap - that let's you add previews of any link on your site as a quick little pop-up. It's kinda cool. You'll have to visit my blog to see this in action.

While you are there, definitely check out the new translation capability that can be found at the bottom of each post. This is provided by Yahoo's, AltaVista's, BabelFish - aren't acquisitions fun? Since I've found that about 30% of the links to my posts come from blogs in other languages, maybe this will be of value. I've certainly been using it to translate from other languages to English so I can see what people are saying relative to the topics in my blog. I'm actually surprised at how much you can understand from automated translation. It makes me wonder if this isn't something that we should all be doing with our content whenever we have a multilingual workforce?

Of course, this then raised the question - can't I add this to my feeds? Well, I blew it a long time ago and didn't point everyone to my feedburner feed. Using FeedBurner, I can add lots of fun stuff to the feed and I've turned on publishing a daily summary of my links.

I would suggest that readers of this blog might want to change over to the FeedBurner feed to get these added functions:

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Web 3.0 - eLearning 3.0?

First let me apologize for talking about Web 3.0 and eLearning 3.0 when we don't really understand much less have digested eLearning 2.0, but there's so much buzz, I can't help myself.

Will Thalheimer posted about Web 3.0 and Learning where he is discussing what is being called Web 3.0. In particular he cites a recent NY Times article. But Web 3.0 has been getting lots of attention for a while now. The basic idea is to use the knowledge embedded within the web and include possible semantic web elements on top to begin to extract greater meaning so that we would be able to answer questions like:

"I'm looking for a warm place to vacation and I have a budget of $3,000. Oh, and I have an 11-year-old child."

Will (and I would agree) says that there will be big impact on learning if the web could answer these kinds of queries. However, Stephen Downes says:

OK, now, think about that. Do we ask questions like that? Well - no. First of all, we tend to forget to add the qualifiers (such as the budget and the child) when we ask. But even more importantly, we don't want to include some of this information in the question. It's an old rule - never tell the sales person what you're willing to spend. But also - I don't want to limit what I'm looking for. I'll spend more than $3000 if the trip is worth it, and I'll find a sitter for the child if I have to. What this means, then, is that whatever we're looking at, it won't be set up like a search or a query. It has to be much more subtle, much more interpretive, much more dynamic, much more immersive. The Web 3.0 people are talking about is the old Web 1.0 - we deliver content, you listen. But the next generation web will be more like Web 2.0 on steroids - the web itself will warp according my needs, my interests, my contributions.

I'm in the middle of grappling with similar questions for a particular client. They have very rich information with lots of meta-data and the question is not only what can we answer with the information, but what questions can we help to formulate. How much structure do we want to provide?

I think Stephen is onto something when he says that the web will warp itself to "my needs", "my interests" - but that's exactly the contextual stuff that he's saying that people often forget to add themselves. The web of the future will know that I'm not rich or poor (so $3000 is probably an okay number) and that I have an 11 year old. I shouldn't need to tell it again.

But there's also an aspect of the web providing suggestions that you wouldn't have thought to ask for ... and that's where I'm finding value today. Suggest potentially related results. Like more expensive vacations that are a little better. Or, if you'd only leave your child home you could go here.

I agree completely with Stephen that we are generally pretty bad about formulating questions. And I still believe this is a bigger stumbling block than formulating answers. See: finding answers and power of questions, better questions for learning professionals, and be an insanely great professional conference attendee. Because we aren't good at formulating questions, a big part of Web 3.0 has to be helping to:
find the right question to ask!

Web 2.0 Tool - Great Collaboration Example

Andrew McAfee has posted about Avenue A Razorfish's (AARF) Intranet that uses Web 2.0 tools as part of information sharing:

AARF has built interfaces to the bookmarking site, the photo sharing site Flickr, and Digg, a site where members vote on the importance of news stories. All three use tags, or something close.

AARF employees have learned to add the tag 'AARF' when they come across a web page (using, a photo (Flickr), or a news story (Digg) that they think will be of interest to their colleagues. Shortly after they add this tag, the bookmark (look at the top of the box), thumbnail of the photo (middle) or headline and description of the story (bottom) show up within the AARF E2.0 Intranet. So AARF has found a fast and low-overhead way to let its employees share Internet content with each other. It's also free; these interfaces with, Flickr, and Digg require no fees and no permissions. I find this simply brilliant.

This is similar to what I suggested in eLearning Technology: Personal and Group Learning Using Web 2.0 Tools and eLearning Technology: Social Bookmarking Tricks for Group Learning

Andrew has followed up on his original post with some concerns around security. Because the tags are visible globally, then other folks can see what is being tagged with AARF. This can be problematic. With some tools, e.g., Yahoo MyWeb, you can limit the visibility of your pages (or your tags) and I'd expect that to start happening with other tools as well. This is something I've discussed before: Yahoo MyWeb better than, rollyo, for Personal / Group Learning.

Both of Andrew's posts are definitely worth reading.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Great Example of Group Collaboration - e-Book: E-learning Concepts and Techniques

I found this via Eric Tremblay - e-Learning Acupuncture: Q: Does group collaboration online work?

E-Learning Concepts and Techniques is a collaborative e-book project by Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania's Department of Instructional Technology students and guest authors. It was a project-based assignment for the online class, E-Learning Concepts and Techniques Spring 2006.

As an example - look at the section on Instructional Design Models. Quite well done. This is both a great reference piece and a great introduction to eLearning.

A link to the assignment.

Great stuff.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Guy Kawasaki - Art of Panels

Good post by Guy - The Art of Panels. He points to some other good resources:

I generally agree with everything presented with one exception - preparation and PowerPoint. Panels where the speakers just show up and answer questions often end up rambling and not nearly as effective as panels where speakers are prepared for introductory discussions and context setting. As a moderator I always have speakers prepare a few context setting slides and have them prepared for the topics we'll be covering.

At the same time, I agree with the suggestion that you don't want too much preparation. Instead the point is to drill into key issues and show parallels and contrasts in view among the panelists. So, from a more prepared context setting (often with PowerPoint slides to support) you go into a back-and-forth as discussed in the above pieces.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Clark Aldrich - "Second Life is not a teaching tool"

Clark Aldrich's recent post on LCB - The Learning Circuits Blog: Second Life is not a teaching tool - has me wondering what he thinks a "teaching tool" is?
Having said all of that, Second Life, as is, is not a teaching tool. It is content free. It is closer to a virtual classroom tool, or even a real-world meeting room or water cooler (without the actual water). Any content has to either bubble up from spontaneous conversations (great when they happen, but not predictable or scalable enough to provide an intellectual payoff), or be "brought in."

Ummm ... but aren't virtual classroom tools or meeting room tools a "teaching tool" if used correctly? And, if you are able to enhance these with persistent content, doesn't that become a teaching tool.

How about the ability to fly around the solar system? Could you maybe learn about the solar system that way? That's in there?

I think maybe Clark is more worried about distinquishing something from something:
mostly, I worry that educational simulations will be lumped together with Second Life

Not sure the point he's making. If someone scripts a simulation in Second Life, does that not count or something?

No matter what Clark says - Second Life is a teaching tool.

I personally believe that the next generation of Second Life that gets around some of the current technical issues and provides presence audio is going to have adoption patterns similar to virtual classroom / virtual meeting tools.

Knowledge Management Core Issues

Great post by Denham Grey - Perennial KM issues that are very similar to the core problems that we deal with in eLearning:
  • How to speed learning, increase awareness and share experiences.

    With an ever deceasing half-life of knowledge , just keeping up has become a major corporate imperative. Sure we have improved search engines, more stuff on the web and many ways to make connections, but the difficulty is making sense and finding people really 'in-the-know'. We need practical ways to build personal informal networks.
    Helping groups learn from mistakes and errors, practices to carry over learnings from project to project and improve corporate memory. We have made little progress in preventing those repeating errors, as firms grow in size and complexity, building relationships that enable knowledge flows, keeping in the loop and finding stuff becomes a huge issue. Could we improve the situation by adopting some emergent mindsets & web2.0 practices?

  • Discovering opportunities and gaps in knowledge flows, improving personal networking and finding experts (in larger firms).

    This requires ethnographic digging, an understanding of the organization, a deep appreciation of knowledge practices and emergent affordances. Not many firms recognize or care about sub-optimal performance in this area - the results you see, are diffuse, obtuse and difficult to fit into classic ROI models.

  • Providing environments, tools and processes that encourage informal learning, knowledge sharing of effective practices and stimulate innovation.

    Communities of practice, incentives & recognition for personal mentoring, story collection and telling, cross-domain and silo sharing can be useful, but there needs to sustained executive drive and support for this to have an impact.

  • Improving competitive advantage, agility and adaption by making staff more aware, sharing the small insights, building on incremental improvements.

    Open space methods, creating forums and 'Ba' for trusted exchanges, blogging and informal wikis may help. Once again top level support, legitimization and walking the talk - leading via example is the key.

  • Finding tacit knowledge sources and helping to put these to work.

    Tacit knowledge discovery is tedious, slow and difficult - most firms shy away from allocating resources to projects dealing with intangibles, where outcomes are unknown and ROI is hard to prove. As knowledge retention becomes an issue due to workforce transitions, this problem is not going away soon.

Great stuff Denham.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Social Bookmarking for Link Sharing

On TrDev, we've been discussing the sharing of links via forum posts vs. social bookmarking tools such as I've discussed this before:

But it might be worth looking at how Nancy White has been doing this. See her recent post about Second Wave Adoption and her follow-up post on Time to Experiment. She lets folks know to use the tag "2ndWave" and then you can look at the list of links that she and others have collected.

The nice thing about doing it this way is that you have those list of links available to you later. Why is that important? Well how many of us will actually go through and read the links right now? With (and better yet Yahoo MyWeb), you can go back and find them later. Ever had the experience of going back and searching for the list of links?

Of course, the question is whether people will adopt this. Any thoughts?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Use of iPods and other Mobile Learning

Not sure if this came from the same person, but I saw a question posted on TrDev and was sent to me via Yahoo 360 that covered the same basic topic: How are iPods and PDAs being used in corporate learning applications?

The unfortunate answer is that it's doubtful that any numeric answer exists for this, but there are lots of examples out there. Some places I would suggest you look to get a sense of what's going on:
Search under "mobile learning" and you'll find a ton of stuff.

If anyone knows a source that will give us an idea of "how much this is happening" - that would be great.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Facilitating Adoption of Web 2.0 Tools

Nancy White just posted Second Wave Adoption where she discusses various aspects of helping adoption of Web 2.0 type approaches. This is definitely an interesting question and something I've written about before:

These posts may be worth reading, but the basic gist is that adoption starts from the personal utility - actually its the perceived usefulness (PU), but that's roughly the personal utility.

Nancy's post has some ideas (slides) about how to facilitate adoption and she points to a few other posts: Focusing, Stimulate people's imagination, trigger inventiveness.

I simply wanted to add to what she is saying that adoption is going to be dependent on us first learning how to use these tools ourselves and then showing others. Maybe take a look at:

Second Life and Learning

I just read through a great post by Rich Hoeg which talks about his learning around Second Life. A few of the things he points you to:

These are great resources and will likely open your eyes a bit. I think that Second Life is not going to turn out to be the winner because of technical issues, e.g., firewalls. However, I think that the next generation of Second Life will displace tools like WebEx for many online events. Once you add in presence audio (you hear people close to you) and whiteboarding tools, it will make for very interesting opportunities.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Will Richardson - Owning the Teaching…and the Learning

Must read post - Owning the Teaching…and the Learning. A few comments - but make sure you ask yourself if you fit into this yourself around use for corporate learning:

I hate to generalize, but the thing that seems to be missing from most of my conversations with classroom teachers and administrators is a willingness to even try to re-envision their own learning, not just their students.

Lots of teachers I talk to want blogs and podcasts and wikis. Without question, there are thousands of teachers, tens of thousands in fact, who are already using the tools with their students. I see new examples every day. But I’m still bothered by the fact that very, very rarely do I see new pedagogies to go along with them that prepare students for the creation of their own learning networks. That allow them to take some ownership (or at least envision the possibility of it) over their learning. That help them learn self-direction and get them to stop waiting for someone else to initiate the learning. And even rarer is to find one of those teachers exploring his or her own learning through the tools.

More than anything else, I think, teaching is modeling.
While his audience is a different audience, I think a lot of what he is saying applies to us. This is something that I've mentioned before:
but Will's post really crystalizes the thought. And challenges each of us to do more.

Stephen Downes is Wrong? Is It Really Cool?

After Stephen and I recently lamented in our blogs about the problems with comments getting buried (see How Do People Interact with Blogs and Stephen's comments) - now I'm completely throwing away all blog norms because I don't want my response to Stephen on a different topic to get lost.

My recent post - Incredibly Cool! Vision of Future of Application and eLearning Development - Stephen responded:

OK, I know why Tony Karrer is calling this "incredibly cool," but no, it's not, it's a mess. I know it seems really cool, because it brings so much stuff into a page. But I couldn't put my mouse down n it anywhere without clicking on something, windows would stay open, I have tabs piling up on each other, and through all of it I couldn't find anything useful, and there was no place to actually create anything. We're not there yet - Web 2.0 is going to be, more than anything, simple, not a horrendous desktop mess.
I just have to respond to the "it's a mess" comment. I agree with Stephen that right now this stuff is early stage and it's a mess. I'm not planning on using that particular tool anytime soon. It's more of a toy than anything else. Oh, I am using something similar to create my personalized home page. And, none of that is the point.

The point I want everyone to take away from doing the exercise in the original post is the ease with which you can pull together an application made up of services being provided by separate entities and the ease of doing this authoring of your home page through a web interface.

You need to use a bit of imagination, but picture the objects on the left as a series of Question Types and Interaction Types that you can drop onto your page. This is authoring 2010. And the components may come from places other than your authoring/LCMS vendor. And they can easily include interaction with your learners.

That's all I'm saying. :)

Beyond Search - REAP

via Jack Vinson's post Knowledge workers do more than search, found the article: Beyond Search is REAP. The point is that searching is really just the beginning for most activities. From the post:

Beyond Search is REAP - Retrieve, Extract, Arrange, Present. We’re still not there with the deeper tools and the whole experience we desire for truly reaping the value from all that’s available to us on the Internet.

Consider the typical information work flow of a professional:

  • Retrieve — collect information from a variety of sources
  • Extract — extract data, facts, examples
  • Arrange — arrange documents and facts for use now or later
  • Present — compose information into artifacts of value
Search is just about the retrieve and the -eaping is pretty much left to the person.

This is really on the mark and my only wish is that his article or Jack's had pointed to more help with the rest of the process. But the point made in comments was that the process becomes different quickly. On the other hand, I think there are some common techniques that we all use. I've pointed to a few in various posts probably the most notable are:

This feels like the most important battleground in learning how to learn.

The Big Question for November - Future of ISD / ADDIE / HPT?

November's Big Question on the Learning Circuits Blog has been posted. The question this month is:

Are ISD / ADDIE / HPT relevant in a world of rapid elearning, faster time-to-performance, and informal learning?

To me, this is one of the most important questions facing us today. If you look at the shift between eLearning 1.0, 1.3 and 2.0 – and particularly the shift in who creates content, you’ll notice that the bulk of content creation moves from the learning function to SMEs or workers/learners.

I believe that we will continue to create linear learning experiences (courses, courseware) but that this is going to be a smaller portion of learning. As I've pointed to before: Course and Courseware are Fading - The Future of eLearning. What you have to ask yourself is:

What business are you in? Are you in the business of creating linear learning experiences? Courses and Courseware? If so, then you are the railroads of the future.
Instead, I think of our industry as being involved in the convergence of management consulting, human performance, learning and technology. Our job is to understand the business objectives, understand how human performance impacts them, identify the gaps and opportunities, etc.

My mental picture of what we do all the time I've shown before (Learning Design in a Nut Shell):

I personally believe that a lot of what we know about analyzing the business issues, human performance issues, information issues, human performance needs are similar today as they were 10 to 20 years ago. There are some new considerations such as greater audience distribution, less time with learners, alternate information sources, etc. And all of this affects the resulting blends. However, the analytic skills we use to understand how to impact human performance are more valuable today than ever.

What has changed is what we produce. At a minimum, we are creating much richer blends. This is probably the easiest change to understand and the easiest transition.

What is much more challenging is that as we look at eLearning 1.3 and 2.0, we change roles from direct content creation and control of delivery to a set-up, aggregator, guidance role. We also take responsibility for helping people “learn how to learn.” (Of course, it would be helpful if we all first became experts in learning how to learn ourselves - see Do Learning Professionals Make the Worst Learners?)

So, back to the question - are ISD / ADDIE / HPT relevant? My answer is a definite: Yes, but. And the "but" is that they will be marginalized unless you do the following:

  • Figure out Rapid HPT, ISD, ADDIE

    Even in the case of eLearning 1.0 solutions (where you create the content) we must become more agile in our models. I personally believe that everywhere in business we are being forced to make choices between fast and best. In software, having something tomorrow may be more important than having all the functionality and maybe not even thoroughly tested. Doing big market research studies may fall prey to just putting it out there and trying to sell it. We have to adapt to faster choices and the fact that we may not have found “the best” answer.Definitely look at Thiagi’s Rapid Instructional Design and One Week Course.

    I'll leave it to Harold Stolovich, Allison Rossett, Ruth Clark and others to talk about how these models can be streamlined, but I would suggest that we all need to ask – how quickly can I get an 80% solution? What is the value of the last 20% vs. the time cost?

  • Increase the Breadth and Improve Your Understanding of New Models / Tools

  • We need to learn when and how to use eLearning 1.0, eLearning 1.3, eLearning 2.0 and other types of solutions.

  • Become Meta-learning Experts

  • We need to learn how to learn ourselves and find systems that support learning even when we don’t create the content. Then we need to be experts at teaching others how to use these systems and learn how to learn.

  • Learn to become guides, aggregators

  • Much of what we'll be doing in the future is not creating content ahead of learning, but working alongside, realtime of our learning community helping them with content, helping them to become better learners, and looking at the content that is being created and improving it, providing structure or guides. It's a radically different model, but I believe there's still relevance in ISD/ADDIE/HPT for this as well.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Incredibly Cool! Vision of Future of Application and eLearning Development

Last week I moderated an event on Web 2.0 where we had speakers from IBM, Google, Microsoft, Sony and others talking about what it really means (especially for corporations). One of the most interesting things was the Enterprise Mashup demonstration by Rod Smith at IBM. He basically showed how a business-user would be able to wire together an application. This is very similar to what I discussed back in March - Promise of Web 2.0 and eLearning 2.0 - Comparison to Macros, IDEs, and Visual Basic.

Now, you have a chance to play around with this kind of thing yourself. Do the following:
  1. Go to
  2. Click "Add tab" at the top
  3. Drag and drop Comics onto the page
  4. Click the little drop down arrow top right in the comic widget to change the comic
  5. Click the little blue down arrow below the list of widgets to see more
  6. Play around a bit

But is this usable by me? Now go look at the Google Gadgets which work on Any Web Page.

What's this got to do with eLearning? Now go visit my previous article: Authoring in eLearning 2.0 / Add-ins & Mash-ups. Take the poll while you are at it.

Wow, you mean I could put a dynamic poll in the middle of my courseware? Yep. Or allow them to make notes to each other? Or ???

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The "e" in "eLearning"

The issue of the "e" in "eLearning" seems to come up more often than it really deserves. It's currently being talked about by Harold Jarche, Dave Lee and Albert Ip. My guess is that there's not a lot to really discuss here. Of course, I'm adding to the discussion right now? Why would I do that if there's no issue? The problem is that there may be an implication that somehow people who talk about eLearning are only talking about technology.

No way! By putting the "e" on the front we haven't somehow cut ourselves off from learning. We are simply alerting people to the fact that we are likely using technology and specifically web technology of some kind to assist in learning (and really performance). I like how Harold summarized the topic area as the:
intersection of learning, work and technology

Okay, I called my blog "eLearning Technology." So I'm more likely to discuss technology right? Yes, I am. My Ph.D. is in Computer Science not Instructional Design. However, at the end of the day - like someone with background in ID, I'm trying to figure out how to ultimately help drive human performance.

So, can we all just learn to get along and learn to love the "e"?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

How Do People Interact with Blogs?

I just encountered a situation where I honestly wasn't sure what I should do. A comment was made by Paul Coyne on my post Corporate Learning Laggards? I think the comment is so good that I'm writing a blog post to respond to the comment. Normally, I would just write a comment back, but my belief is that most people (including myself) don't read the comment stream unless it is a really interesting post OR if someone specifically posts that there is a really interesting comment stream. Thus, I'd hate for readers of my blog to miss out on something that I think is pretty interesting. At the same time, this feels lame?

Part of the issue is that I have only rudimentary stats on readership of my blog and I'm making some assumptions about how people read my blog and how they participate. More specifically, I have a rough idea of how many people subscribe (500) based on a crude extrapolation of feedburner, feedblitz, and bloglines numbers. This could be way off, but I don't really have a good way of tracking. I also know that I get about 200 visitors a day to the blog site itself, but very few maybe 50 will come through an RSS reader. Thus, most people do what I do:
Most blog readers read entries in the RSS reader and never touch the blog.

This is why I argued previously that You Should Provide Full Feeds on your blog so that readers don't have to visit. However, the net effect is that if this is reality, then:
Most comments are buried in the blog - out of sight of most blog readers.

However, I could be completely wrong about how people interact with blogs. Obviously, if you are seeing this post, you read blogs. But, the question is: How do you Interact with Blogs?
  • Do you only read the RSS feed?
  • Do you ever click to the blog post itself (as opposed to the links it provides - which would be on another blog)? If so, why did you click?
  • Do you ever leave comments?
  • Do you ever read comments? If so, how did you find them?
Important: if you are a person who normally doesn't click through and leave comments, its okay to do it this time. :)

And if you are a blogger with insights into this more generally, I would love to hear it.