Thursday, March 3, 2011
Through a glass darkly metrics and modalities
Any form of measurement for which there is a preferred outcome creates distortions, whether its school completions, or listings of the best performing schools in terms of students proceeding to college or any other thing. For the two school based metrics mentioned above: in one case we retain students when their time might be better spent elsewhere, in the other case we teach to the interview or teach to the test depending on the college entry requirements in the country concerned. This distorts the system and moves us away from a well rounded education appropriate for the entire educational cohort concerned.
It’s the same in the blog-o-sphere. The search for traffic whether the numbers are important for cash or self esteem reasons distorts the medium.
Distortion is not all bad, the classic Haiku or the sonnet are literary forms where a very constricted format leads to great art.
Stephen Downes in this post http://www.downes.ca/cgi-bin/page.cgi?post=54933 describes describes many of the tricks Bloggers use to drive traffic to their sites. He is deeply critical. giving out that the result is neither deep, well aruged or authentic. These are all good points, but may misrepresent how many of us use blogs.