Stop Fixating on the Size of Your Audience

Mark Carrigan, Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb 01, 2018
Commentary by Stephen Downes

"Social media carries risks for scholarship, and many of them hinge upon these popularity metrics," writes Mark Carrigan. "Many scholars seem to think the huge scale of social media means they are talking to a vast undifferentiated public whenever they post anything. In reality, most of the time we are connecting with only the tiniest subset of potential readers." This seems reasonable to me. There is an upper limit to the size of the audience for the content in, say, OLDaily, and attempting to expand its reach carries with it the demand to change the focus and content into avenues of broader appeal, actually reducing its value. So I focus on content, not marketing. Related: the high price of popularity.

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