Day 14 is to make an analysis of my 'competition'. This is to help ensure I find a niche for my blog and am not copying other bloggers. It is also a strategy to help strengthen networks with bloggers who have similar interests.
I decided not to even think about looking at education blogs because there are so many out there, especially those who are working their way through issues of using social networking and Web 2.0 in education. The aim of this blog is not to 'compete' because I know I am repeating themes that many others are talking about. I blog about these issues because it helps me process my own learning about them, and if people choose to interact with me as I do that, all to the better.
Midwifery is the other area of interest I belong in. There are a number of key blogs in this area.
Sagefemme is probably the blog that is referred to most frequently. It certainly made a considerable difference to Carolyn's visitor numbers when she was mentioned on Sagefemme's blog. Sagefemme is a homebirth midwife and birth activist in the USA and she attracts the most comments when she writes about natural childbirth and issues that are impeding midwives from practicing with a midwifery philosophy.
Navelgazing Midwife is another American midwife which is in a lot of blog rolls. She writes a mix of things from issues that face birthing women to personal stories. Again, she appears to get the most comments when she write about birthing issues such as her post about how sore Christina Aguilera was feeling after her cesarean section.
Another blog that comes up on Google search is Midwife with a Knife. It is not a blog that crops up in midwifery blogging circles, probably because the author is an obstetrician. The reason I have looked at this blog is because she appears to get a reasonable number of readers, if her comments are anything to go by. And I am very intrigued about the title of the blog and look forward to reading more about why she sees herself as a midwife.
Midwifery in the NHS in the UK is the theme of the blog by A Midwife's Muse. I suspect her readership is not as big as Sagefemme but again, the posts that attract the most comments are those about midwifery issues such as recruitment and retention rather than personal posts.
Other commonly cited midwifery blogs include Meconium Happens, Mamma Mid(Wife) Madness, At Your Cervix, and The Midlife Midwife. It appears that the posts that attract the most attention are the issues that affect midwifery practice and birth activism. In other words, anything that is controversial/worrying for midwives such as the growing rate of cesarean sections or litigation.
So what does that mean for this blog. Well, I think birth activism is covered especially in the UK and USA and as I have said before, that is not really an area that really interests me in this blog. However, apart from Carolyn, there is no one else that I can see who is talking about midwifery in New Zealand, so that clearly is a niche for me to exploit (if that's what I really want to do).
Midwifery education is one of the main themes of this blog, and as yet I have found very few midwives writing about education, which is great news for me. The only other midwifery education blog I have come across apart from Carolyn is Midwifery Education, hosted by Elinor Clarke. She has literally just started this blog so it will be interesting to see how it develops.
So to summarize this analysis:
- posts about birth activism attracts readers but I have made a conscious decision that I do not want to write those posts on a regular basis
- no 'competition' from blogs about midwifery in New Zealand
- very few blogs about midwifery education, which clearly is the 'niche' that I want to build on.
I have not talked about the growing number of blogs by student midwives who are charting their way through midwifery education. This will come in another post soon.
How do you feel about this strategy of looking at blogging? Is it a useful activity or should I really be concentrating on doing what I want to do rather than worry about other people?
Have you come across any great midwifery blogs that I have not mentioned, especially midwifery education?
Image: 'Rainbows cut the sky in two (or three)'