On another topic altogether…

1) To all those who hear that we home-educate (not ‘home-school’ – why ever would we want to replicate school at home!), and ask how we’re qualified to do such a thing:

I just wish these folks would stop and think about what is REALLY bothering them, what their concerns really are. Usually, their objections are based on assumptions they have never seriously analyzed.

Like this one. If I had a nickel for every time someone has said to me, But youre not a scientist. How are you going to teach them biology, chemistry, trigonometry? I could pay my mortgage and have change left over. I always answer, quite seriously, Well, I took those classes in high school. Didnt you?

Of course, the skeptic will say, but its not like I REMEMBER any of it.

This cracks me up. Sometimes Ill say, if Im feeling snarky, Then surely I can do a better job than your teacher did!

Great post – go have a read!

2) Sometimes in the Lotus community we get a little introspective, and think how big we’ve got, how many readers we have, and how, like, “everyone who uses Notes must know about all these great blogs out there!”  Well, sad to say that just isn’t the case, and I know others have realised that and are taking steps to change this perception.

Well this brought it home to me… My wife is an avid reader of blogs herself, typically of “Moms” that home-educate or else just have interesting things to say on topics that she finds relevant.  Well, you should see these blogs published by supposedly non-IT folks, using beautiful blog templates, clever widgets and web elements, and with huge readerships.  Take this one, Rocks in My Dryer.  It looks great, has super content, and oh boy, gets huge numbers of readers and comments.  

Rocks In My Dryer

For comparison, what’s the most comments you’ve ever seen on a Lotus blog?  100, 120 maybe? Probably on Ed’s or Nathan’s blog?  Well Rocks in My Dryer gets an average of 100 comments, and has been known to get more than 1000.  And this isn’t unusual for this kind of blog.  They are hugely popular and really engage their audience even if you and I might find the topic of conversation a little… mundane?

So, as John and others have been suggesting…  I think we need to all step it up a bit.  How do we get our blogs up to that kind of readership and engagement by those out side the ‘clique’ we live and work in?

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!