How widespread is this sentiment? It’s been discussed a few times during the social media day I’m attending and it’s made me realise that I don’t really address this fear properly in my upcoming social media book. In part this is because my faith in narrowcasting had led me to assume that there would be an audience for any topic, no matter how niche. This is how Marshall Poe describes narrowcasting:
The Internet, however, can make these connections because it permits economical, finely calibrated “narrowcasting,” that is, the transmission of specific information to specific interest groups. Of course print and — to a much lesser extent — radio and television also allowed some narrowcasting. Academic journals and industry newsletters are perhaps the best examples. But the scale of narrowcasting on the Internet is orders of magnitude greater than anything known before. Take the blogosphere for example. Here tens of thousands of interest-specific public intellectuals talk to tens of thousands of interest-specific publics concerning every imaginable interest. If you want to know about it — beer brewing, Italian shoes, organic chemistry — you can probably find someone with considerable expertise blogging about it. That’s truly remarkable.
But is there much to this story? What do people think? Is it possible that there is no one out there who will care about your research? I’d like to think that this isn’t the case but the conversations earlier have left me aware that this is an assumption I’m making.
Categories: Social Media for Academics