Here are some questions I’d like to ask of my fellow South Dakota bloggers. I’ll to answer them myself as well. If you are a South Dakota blogger, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!

  1. Who is your community?
  2. For whom are you writing?
  3. What do you consider your best work?*
    1. What is your best single post?
    2. What are your favorite posts?
    3. If you write on more than one topic, which topic do you think brings outor represents your best work?
  4. What are the best comments you’ve ever received?
  5. Are you trying to make money blogging?
  6. Which blog technology have you chosen (Blogger, WordPress, etc.), and why?
  7. What licensing, if any, have you adopted? [see Oi, 2006, pp. 85-88; consider this question as a measure of commitment to free flow of information and social knowledge management. Consider also that this could be a whole chapter filled with juicy why questions!]

*Note that asking a blogger to identify her “best work” touches on a lot of issues. What individual standards does each blogger apply to evaluate her own work? Do bloggers have a sense of success and failure with their work? Success could mean anything from a big traffic spike and long-lasting Google juice to provoking a multi-voice conversation to helping the author finally figure out a problem.

Remember also that in asking about “best work,” we might face some difficulty in pinning down the unit of analysis. Some can argue (this might be in Bruns and Jacobs) that we can’t look at individual posts in isolation, that we have to look at each blog as a whole (and maybe even then look at blogs as integral parts of a community!).

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So who is my community? And for whom am I writing?

I went back to my mission statement from August 2005 and found it defined my community very much how I still see it: “town, county, and state.” I defined my community in very local terms:

Madison already has two main media outlets — the Madison Daily Leader and KJAM radio. Alas, the local media have a tendency not to say things that would ruffle feathers; after all, small-town newspaper publishers and radio station managers have to play nice with their friends at the Chamber of Commerce and the country club as much as — if not more than — their big-city counterparts do. The editor of The Madville Times, a lifelong resident of the area and outspoken English teacher and debate coach, feels no such obligation [CAH, “What Is the Madville Times?Madville Times, 2005.08.11].

That introductory post clearly defined my aim to speak amidst local voices, in a media micromarket that doesn’t reach much farther than twenty miles from my home. I define my voice in the context of Lake County neighbors and South Dakota neighbors. I leave the door open to address almost any topic, but I feel the need to justify most topics as having some bearing, however tangential, on life here in South Dakota.

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