For this week’s assignment I chose to talk about the Invisible Audience of social media. It is definitely an interesting topic, and I wasn’t expecting to get the results I found.
When I read the instructions for this assignment stating “quote a passage from the chapter that challenges your conception or the common conception of blogs or social media” I was honestly a little anxious about it, because it is usually so easy to pick a topic from such a well-researched book and find that Google results simply corroborate what the textbook says. I was pleasantly surprised that the presence of the invisible audience (online and offline) is much more well-known that Rettberg leads us to believe.
I think this ties in to last weeks topic of shaping discussions because the blogs I found who wrote posts addressing their invisible audiences have tried to shape the discussion in a way by attempting to draw the lurkers out of their, um, lurking. Including such previously silent readers could also play in to the topic many others have written about this week: the echo chamber most social media platforms create. The invisible audience may have opinions that differ from the bloggers they follow (not on everything, or else why would they follow them? But perhaps on a couple things) which could bring new information to the discussion.
As always, the production of original posts has been lower than ideal, with only two that weren’t related to the assigned topic (Wednesdays are the Worst and Being Less Wasteful at Work). However! While looking at my classmates’ blogs I’ve noticed that this isn’t far from the norm. I think perhaps the definition of participation must include comments and discussion as well. If we’re counting comments, then I’ve actually done seven things this week. As always I shall continue to strive for daily posts, but I won’t beat myself up over a lack of posts so long as I continue to participate.