The blog I chose to analyze comes from the website of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, or ASHA. This is an association for speech-language pathologists and audiologists, under which they must be certified. This blog is unlike any other blog I have come across. On this blog, different authors, mainly practicing speech-language pathologists, write different entries, and they are all compiled into a blog for the entire website. Because each blog entry is written by someone different and aimed at a different audience, I chose to analyze one blog entry that I found particularly intriguing.
The blog entry I found is titled "Google Forms and Spreadsheets - Fun Times with Data Collection." I believe it is aimed at practicing speech-language pathologists who may be looking for a new method of data collection and collaboration with teammates. The author, Ruth Morgan, may have also written this entry into order to persuade her colleagues and superiors to adopt a new system of data collection. Morgan argues that since new technology has become available to her and those with whom she works, they might as well take advantage of it to aid in data collection of clients. Morgan says, "Now, progress report time is cleaner and more data oriented, because much of what I need has been systematically collected by Google forms into the spreadsheets," in one of her opening statements.
This blog is written with a very informal tone. Morgan includes many exclamation points and humorous examples of her real-life experiences with using spreadsheets and Google docs. The author also creates a list of the many ways in which she uses these technologies in her practice, from recording data and notes from a therapy session with a student to weekly written feedback with a graduate student. This list was made so the audience, speech-language pathologists who will hopefully utilize her suggestions, are able to view and understand each easily. Within each of these examples, Morgan includes a screenshot of the different forms and documents she uses to further demonstrate the examples and clear up any potential questions from her audience. Also, to conclude the blog entry, Morgan includes a link to a tutorial for readers who wish to create these forms themselves.
There are many comments that follow this blog entry, most of which are positive. They come from other speech-language pathologists praising Morgan for her innovative ideas. One speech-language pathologists even goes as far as to include a link to a blog she wrote, revolving around basically the same topic. I believe this blog is more aimed at being a spring board for more discussions. At the end of the entry, there are links to click on in order to post this blog on Twitter or Facebook. Social media sites like these have become an irreplaceable tool for spreading information quickly, and including these links is a great way for Morgan to let her blog be shown to many audiences. She did not write this blog simply to be viewed by visitors of the ASHA website, but for anyone interested in data collection in speech-language pathology.
Here is the prompt for this assignment, found on the blog of my professor.
What is the blog's purpose? Why does the author keep this blog? What does he/she intend to achieve through the blog? What kinds of topics does the author address? What is the tone of the writing? Who is the audience? Does the blogger link to other online sources? If so, what kind? Does it seem that the blogger is entering into some "larger conversation" on the web, or is the writing limited to text only? Any images or design features? If so, how does this affect your experience of the material presented?