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Derek McMillan

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Cyberspace - the final frontier

Andrea Chester at RMIT is doing research into the psychology of blogging: http://weblearn.rmit.edu.au/surveys/blog/

There is a very good psychological questionnaire and a number of questions about blogging. As a neophyte blogger I felt a bit over-awed. I think it is something I could encourage pupils to take part in but it is restricted to over 18s.

There is a glitch in the questionnaire which prevented me from citing my educational level as postgraduate and it automatically ticked high school. The standard psych personality test followed...if I say I am 2 for untidy must I say I am 4 for neat?.....and then some questions about why people write blogs. In my case it was mainly a matter of organising things I write and keeping them online where I can find them.

Overall it looks as though it will be a fascinating piece of research. Andrea asked me who I had in mind when writing. This is actually a fascinating question. If you are writing a blog or a diary you are basically writing to yourself....I always tell my students to have a specific person in mind, for example a stranger they have met for the first time.

I suspect that all too often the only audience they have in mind is me and they wonder what sort of mark they think I'll give it and whether they have written enough to get away with it :)

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