Bookmarked Memoir and the Creative Process | Dr. Ian O’Byrne (Dr. Ian O'Byrne | Literacy, technology, and education)

The truth is that I’m absolutely fine. I needed to come to terms with some skeletons in the closet. The funny thing about skeletons in the closet is that when you don’t deal with them…they not only stick around, but they start lifting weights and getting stronger.

I’m fine. If I wasn’t…I wouldn’t have written that post.

Thank you Ian for your openness and honesty. I like your point about ‘the skeleton’s doing weights’. I was left thinking about comment about being a facsimile.

While talking with a friend after my last post, we both agreed that I’m not truly myself in my writing in these spaces. I’m a facsimile of what I think others want to see from me.

This had me thinking again about Chris Wejr’s post about not always being able to share who you are.

I was going to write another post about the importance of sharing who we are… and I still believe this is important;  however, it is much easier for people with a life that is more acceptable in society.

Although blogging allows you to step-away from the templated self of social media, there is still the contraints of society. As Edward Snowden touches on in his newsletter:

From the blue checks to the red pills, we all want to be free to speak as ourselves, and to be recorded as ourselves, without fear of persecution, and we all want to be able to decide what that freedom means, to ourselves and to our communities, however defined. My family back home in the States, along with many of my friends in the States and in Europe, are lucky enough to now be going around unmasked, but millions — mostly in the world’s poorer countries — have no such privilege. It’s here that the analogy with speech freedoms comes into starkest relief: until the air is clear for all, it’s clear for none.

I was also thinking about your point about speaking to an audience.

Identify one person that you know would value or connect with your words or content. Find one specific person that your message would resonate with. Your words and content should be directed specifically to them.

What then does th being truly yourself means for your audience?

Replied to Speak To An Audience by Sign in – Google Accounts (W. Ian O’Byrne)

As we create, it’s important to identify and speak to a specific audience.

Ian, I enjoyed this post about crafting an intended audience. It left me wondering if your ‘audience’ has always remained the same or whether this is something that has ebbed and changed over time? For example, is that why you changed your newsletter to Digitally Literate from Too Long; Didn’t Read?
Replied to by Colin WalkerColin Walker (

Posts can have meaning and purpose even if there is no audience, it’s all down to the intent of the author. If they do happen to land “with someone in some useful way” then that’s a bonus.

This reminds me of Clive Thompson’s discussion of the way in which even the worst bloggers make use smarter:

Just as we now live in public, so do we think in public. And that is accelerating the creation of new ideas and the advancement of global knowledge.

Liked ABC Weekend Reads (

In the end – and here is where the modern masters of metrics and data will roll their eyes – I think you can only go on instinct: on the idea of telling stories that seem meaningful and affecting and only ever wanting to talk to one person – one audience member – and trying damn hard to make it connect. It’s like your best friend is drunk and distracted at a really fabulous party and you very much need to tell her something extremely important, right now! How do you get their attention? That’s the whole job. You can be the judge of whether that’s working here or not.

Replied to Blogging Q&A (

Richard, as always, I love your openness to not only share resources, but also your thoughts. I really enjoyed your Q&A and agree with your recommendation of Edublogs and I also really liked your point about having a notebook for ideas. I must be honest, I use Trello to keep my ideas, but the point is that things come to life long before the literal blog post starts.

My only concern was your comment from Guy Kawasaki to just write great posts and people will find them. I disagree. Not because I think that I write great stuff that has not been found, but rather because I do not think that it is that simple.

I really liked a post Bill Ferriter wrote on this topic, in which he said:

Audience is a function of the content that you create, the consistency of your creation patterns, the length of time that you’ve been creating, the opportunities that you have to be in front of audiences in the real world, the relationships that you have with people who have audiences larger than you do — and, as frustrating as it may seem, serendipity.

His answer is instead to ‘Bring Your Own Audience’. As he explains:

The most powerful members of your audience are those people that you ALREADY have an intellectual relationship with. Maybe they are folks in your school that you have lunch with every day. Maybe they are buddies from other schools in your district that you meet for beers a few times a month. Maybe they are colleagues that you hang with once per year at teaching conferences around the country.

Those are the people who are the most likely to stop by your blog or respond to your Tweets and challenge your thinking — so instead of trying to build a huge audience of strangers, concentrate on building a small audience of peers.

I think that whether it be blogging in the classroom or starting a professional blog, the best thing that you could do is find a few people who you really want to share with and start there.

Bookmarked 9 Reasons Nobody Pays Attention to Your Content (You Need to Hear This) (

Just because you’re putting images on Instagram doesn’t mean they’re any good.

It’s not about just doing.

It’s about doing with purpose.

So, here are some things to think about as you continue building your brand online–and why people might not be paying attention to you in the first place.

Although I have questions about personal ‘branding’, there were a few useful points. However I also think that questions of message and value can be in the eye of the beholder. In part this returns to some of Bill Ferriter’s concerns associated with audiences.