One of the biggest challenges new bloggers face is finding an audience. It’s easy to say, “If you write it, they will come” but the reality is it just isn’t that simple. Everybody wants an audience. If you’re going to be putting the time in, you want your work to be seen.
One of my goals has always been to find a good way to share blog posts from other amongst the DEN community, to raise awareness of each other’s individual blogs as well as to provide a way for us to support each other. I think I’ve found a site that may allow us to do that in a very clean way that looks like it has a ton of upside.
I know many of you are probably thinking that RSS is the no-brainer way to do this. There’s two problems with doing it via RSS. The first is that it doesn’t distinguish one post from another. Let’s face it, there are some posts that we’re more proud of than others. If I were going to send somebody to my site and recommend they read something, it just might not be my most recent post. The other thing that RSS doesn’t handle well is frequency. When you aggregate dozens of feeds together, the people who post more often typically will dominate the RSS feed. Or the inverse happens, where you restrict how many items can be in the feed based on a number per blog, and some items wind up becoming stale because they aren’t being replaced by a new post.
So with all that in mind, I’ve been pretty excited by the upside I see in Adoptic.com. Essentially, it creates a widget that will scroll through recent posts by other blogs in the communities you choose to be a part of. However, as the blog owner, you have complete control over which exact posts will be pushed out into people’s widgets. You can decide which are worth promoting and which you might like to leave off. Not only that, you can assign a frequency to each post, allowing you to decide that you want certain posts to be displayed more often than others. Since there is only a limited amount of space available, for each post you must ensure that the title is brief and the summary is no more than 140 characters (Twitter users have PLENTY of experience confining themselves to that limit).
That’s all there is to it. Once you choose a few articles and join a community, your posts will then start appearing on other people’s blogs that are members of the same community. You can also hand pick members that you’d like to promote your posts on outside of your community. As I understand it, there are also ways to block specific people from promoting their posts on your blog, but I wasn’t able to find that feature when I looked.
I think this could be a great way to learn about each others blogs and to help raise awareness of the great work each of you do. So I requested that the people behind Adoptic create a Discovery Educator Network group and they agreed to!
The site is still in alpha, so dont’ be surprised if you find a few bugs. However, the great thing about being involved so early is that you have a chance to help mold the product into something that’s really relevant to your needs. It’s by invitation only right now, but if you leave a comment here I’ll send you an invitation so you can join in. As it stands right now, if you join the Discovery Educator Network community there, at the minimum your posts will be displayed on the DEN National Blog as well as Teach42.com. Of course, the more people that register, the wider a net we’ll be throwing. So help me spread the word!
Sample Adoptic widget