Writing an About page

I had a bit of time to myself with an offline laptop recently, whilst Linda was using my main computer to record an interview podcast as it happens. So I decided to write a reflective “about” page for the blog. The main purpose was for myself, trying to get some focus on where the blog is currently situated, in terms of topics, appoach and sense of audience, and where it might be going next.

I’d been sent via Linda’s Furl, a link to lifehack.org so I thought I’d try using the questions and prompts in that artice. I think they worked quite well as stimuli, although no doubt I’ll need to tweak the page from time to time, and rethink it altogether in a much shorter time than I usually expect! Anyway, it’s up on the web version of the blog, accesible from the rightmost page tab in the blog header. That has a url of https://distributedresearch.net/blog/about and may become a landing point where new visitors arrive to see if the blog has anything of interest for them. I’m going to reproduce it below for the benefit of those reading via RSS or email, which frankly should be most people these days. You can always come back to the blog itself to leave a comment :-) Since writing the about page, I’ve just seen Stephen Downes’ article “How to be heard” which could also form the basis of a good “about” page or rebranding. In fact if you read bothlinks first then you’re almost guaranteed to produce an even better one than this:

Who is Andy Roberts?

I am a blogger and wiki-er, an explainer, researcher, musician, online community professional with both a technical and creative background. I work from home in London, UK and hope to move pemanently onto a narrow boat in a couple of years. I’ve been fascinated by online groups for ten years, joined hundreds, started many, facilitate a few, but I don’t always fit in easily with norms and expectations so I’m active on my own spaces as much as others. I love WordPress and MediaWiki.

What is this blog all about?

DARnet blog is a vehicle for tracking my journey through internet life, as well as a shop window into my work and learning. It adapts and changes as do I, so the content can be somewhat random or clearly focussed, depending on the period.

My main theme is the process of change, particularly in the context of distributed communities of practice, using the method of action research and applying the theory of social objects.

I’m trying to tell the world that these amazing ‘new’ phenomena are governed by universal laws of change, although complex, can be understood and guided to some extent, and are every bit as real and human as offline communities.

Because I am situated in the UK, you will also find posts related to some topical news and events and my participation in the vibrant London internet startup and social media scene. Homeworking and changing the nature of work is at the forefront through my work with pajamanation, and there’s a separate page for my acoustic music making.

Why Does Your Blog Exist?

See myblog story

How Does Your Blog Work?

Sometimes I don’t post for a week, sometimes twice or more in a day. Comments are open and encouraged with no registration required. Upon commenting, you get a chance to subscribe by email to future comments on that post, so a that a conversation may ensue.

Who Is Your Audience?

I hope the blog is of interest to anybody who knows me through the various social networking events and sites, to facilitators and moderators, geeks and homeworkers, newbies and net veterans, at home and abroad.

I read three hundred RSS feeds daily but the blogroll in my sidebar only contains links which have some relevence to the DARnet blog, mainly individuals.

As far as I know I’m the only blogger writing about communities of practice combined with action research, object orientated sociality and a dash of marxist dialectics. I’m passionate that good theory is important, and try to communicate my ideas in a clearly understandable manner with an informal yet grammatically correct style.

Why Should I Subscribe to Your Blog?

If you subscribe for a long enough period, you will receive unique insights and discoveries, technology tips and developments as well as an unfolding story about the new web entrepreneur lifestyle. All written in an accessible style with illustrative but not gratuitous graphics, and occasional podcast or video.

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