There’s been lots of discussion about whether one blogs for themselves or for others. I’m too lazy to find the hyperlinks but I know Miguel has argued he blogs for himself while others, is it you Dan? that argues you blog for an audience. For me it’s somewhere in the middle but certainly clicking Publish means anyone can read it.
I too often make the assumption that most of my audience is like me. Involved in education, interested in technology and change and all that stuff and live in North America. Probably for the most part that’s true. But when realize your Uncle Bill, a retired veterinarian, Jim, a radio disc jockey and Willem an technologist from the Netherlands, read your work, occasionally comment you begin to think more deeply about what you write. To ignore it would be presumptuous.
When I go to give a workshop, I usually begin with finding out as much as I can about the audience. What do they hope to gain from our time, what is their current level of understanding and so forth. Most good teachers work with where folks are at. I realize that with as my audience grows it becomes difficult to consider all perspectives but at the same time I think perhaps our readability ought to invite a broader, more diverse audience.
Now, also I realize it’s much easier for us to comment on a weblog in English than the other way around. So what about globalization? Should the whole world start posting in English so it’easier for everyone to comment? I’ve tried the translators from MS and Google on my weblog but after translation I could’nt understand my own posts anymore.
While I don’t think we can accommodate every reader who may speak another language, either literally or professionally, I’m thankful for readers like Willem, Uncle Bill and Jim who make me think more deeply about what I write that conversations can expand beyond the typical and more homogeneous members of my network.
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