Monday, March 24, 2008

31 Days to Building a Better Blog: Day 31

This is it...the last day of the 31 Day Blog Challenge! The last challenge is to do a SWOT analysis of my blog.

1. Define my blog's mission and goals
The goal of this blog is to disseminate information and encourage discussion and collaboration in the areas of midwifery and education.

2. Strengths
  • Easy to read both in terms of writing and navigation
  • A resource for students and midwives
  • Is one of only a handful of midwifery education blogs
  • Is looking good with less side clutter
  • Has tools that help readers keep in touch with me, like the 'search' and subscription
  • Small core of regular readers and contributers
  • Has been noticed by MIDIRS and Creative Commons
  • I always respond to my readers both here in my space and also in theirs
3. Weaknesses
  • Too much of a mish-mash. Wanders between education and midwifery so not interesting enough for educators, but not 'clinical' enough for midwives and sometimes is too technical for midwives who know nothing about web 2.0 tools
  • Only has small number of regular subscribers
4. Opportunities and threats

My main opportunity is the fact that there are so few blogs on midwifery education. However, that is also a threat because it is such a small field of interest. So the question is whether to be a big fish in a small midwifery pond or small fish in the much bigger education/web 2.0 pond? I think I have to come to terms with the fact that this blog bridges both ponds and remember that this blog is as much about my learning as anyone else's, and not get too hung up on statistics and readership numbers.

5. Analyze my refections and make a plan

The 31 Day Blog Challenge has been a great learning project although I think I benefited more from the experiences of people such as Sue Waters and Michele Martin who had worked through the challenge before me. The community aspect of this challenge is very important ie having people critique what you are doing, giving advice and sharing their experiences. So if you decide to take part in this challenge, it is very beneficial to join a community such as the 'Building a better blog' community at Ning.

The aspects that have been the most useful have been thinking about:
  • the technical tools that support blogging such as statistical analysis and RSS subscription
  • format and layout, the most important being my 'about page' and the development of my ePortfolio which complements this blog and visa versa
  • the 'human' side of blogging, interacting with people who visit this blog as well as commenting on other blogs
  • this blog as the hub of my personal learning
My plan is to re-visit this challenge regularly, especially the elements that are devised to encourage reader participation. To be honest, Michele puts it a lot better than me, so have a look at her page that summarizes the 31 Day Challenge.

Have you thought about taking the 31 Day Challenge? How have you got on? What feedback would you give me about this blog?

Here are all the challenges I addressed.

Image: 'North Shore Clouds 2'

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