Digitalang, my teacher training and educational technology consultancy has been alive for very close to five years now. In this time I have trained several hundred teachers, from scores of different institutions, both public and private. We have learnt about dozens of different tools to help  teachers introduce technology into their lessons in creative and constructive ways. This blog has also been going since 2007, but to my shame, all too often it takes a back seat to whichever of the most pressing, or demanding projects I’m working on. I’ve been trying to think about how I can grow a better blog.

Grow A Better Blog

Image made from an original Creative Commons photo by: Anamorphic Mike

Basically, as a (relatively) young dad, I want to make sure that I am at present as possible in my daughters lives, while at the same time trying to make sure we have a regular income. As I already mentioned, this means that blogging is not one of my first priorities, as It’s done for free, yet takes heaps of time, which is a shame, as I feel I’ve learnt a lot writing these posts and reading your comments. The steady readership numbers shows me that people who follow this blog will feel the same. so what’s the solution?

Click “More”to find our my plans, after the jump:

I’ve turned down countless offers to blog commercially, when companies basically pay you to talk about their products. It just felt wrong, I think it has also got the derogatory nickname “Astroturfing.” I’ve also been offered a couple of times to hand over control of the blog to the company which would write articles and post them on my behalf. Yeeurghh! That sounds even worse!

So, I’ve come up with a couple of ideas which I’m going to be trying out over the next few months as a bit of an experiment. Basically, I have decided to start up my own little educational technology shop, which I’m going to stock purely with tools that I have used, like, look interesting or cool and are in some way noteworthy and get my seal of approval. Each time I review a new EdTech product I’m going to post it to my blog, and obviously link to it in my little shop. This way, hopefully I’ll be able to share some of the cool little tools that I’ve found and which over time have become essential to me in my teaching role. Oh and of course, if you like any of the stuff, you can buy it and a tiny weeny commission (maximum 15%) will come to me. Seems like a win-win situation, hey?

I have no expectations whatsoever of getting rich from this, I’d be surprised even if it will pay for more than a couple of pizzas a week, but it will give me impetus to write more often and hopefully will also provide a useful service to the EFL and MFL language teaching communities.

You, my dear reader, and your thoughts are important to me on this though. Is this likely to be interesting to you? Is the commercial side of this going to be annoying, or off-putting to you, or do you think that the added reviews, news and so on that I’ll be encouraged to post will provide an additional service to you? DO PLEASE  let me know your thoughts in the comments section – I’d love to hear from you!