jeremy and the audience problem
jeremy freese, the hardest-working blogger in soc business, is taking a well-deserved break. one of the reasons he cites really caught my eye:
...sometime over the past year or so the audience problem caused by all the different relationships I had with people who were sometimes reading--family, friends, students, colleagues, prospective employers--made it harder for me to write with the same spirit with which I started.
i'm not certain how professor freese defines the audience problem but, like his cognitive runoff, this concept helps me make sense of my li'l online world. my audience problem involves my kids and their friends on the personal side, and the various constituencies of department chairs on the professional side.
on the personal front, esperanza brought me a sheet of myspace "grade my professor" comments last night that one of her friends had printed out. the students said mostly nice things about me, but esperanza saw such comments as embarrassingly nice. on the few occasions in which the kids object to something i've written in a post, i immediately delete the passage or the post. on the professional front, i've been surprised when my bloggy tributes to former deans or kvetches about life as a department chair get picked up by inside higher ed and blip up on the radar of administrators. they usually say nice things too, but i always have the sense that a bullet just whizzed past my ear.
sometimes, when a series of fascinating but non-bloggable events occur at work or home, i'll ask, "well, what can i write about?" i guess i could probably write several years worth of posts on the unsung heroes of rock and roll, but i can't imagine anyone would be interested in reading them.