Justin wrote an Interesting post on Awareness, Social Presence and Connectedness.
Is a blog successful if it draws many visitors? May be.
Would it depend on how one defines success? Many visitors (bloggers or readers) may just visit a blog without any comments, despite its content and concepts wonderfully insightful. Why? Not all visitors would like to comment or evaluate a blog post. Different visitors could relate to different blog posts, depending on the interests of the visitors. Also, many academic bloggers use blogging as a means of reflection, not necessarily for the sole means of attracting others to visit. So, a blogger may be very successful in achieving his/her learning goals by thinking out half-baked ideas aloud, and reflecting on such ideas with his/her experience in the blog posts. This could indeed form part of the awareness that Justin mentioned.
My experience as a blogger hinted that it would be important to develop posts that could both reflect my thoughts and experience and connect with others. It would be a bonus if some one is connected with me, and thus forming a sounding board which helps me to understand others’ perspectives and thus share further experience.
Such connections are normally weak initially (the weak tie), and the bonding could be strengthened when the nodes (the blogger and visitor) find some common interests, or resonance, leading to further exchange of views and insights.
Relating to the social presence, I think Dave White’s visitors and residents may be of interest. Social presence would also relate to one’s identity with the network.
As computer-mediated communication has evolved a more relational view of social presence has emerged. Social presence has come to be viewed as the way individuals represents themselves in their online environment.  It’s a personal stamp that indicates that the individual is available and willing to engage and connect with other persons in their online community. Social presence is demonstrated by the way messages are posted and how those messages are interpreted by others. Social presence defines how participants relate to one another which in turn affects their ability to communicate effectively.  (from wikipedia/social presence theory)
As a blogger, I have found myself involved in a number of social media, like Facebook, Twitters, and YouTube, Pbworks, and Ning etc., apart from my presence in the typical emails, Google Readers, and Flickr and Slideshare.
I see my social presence as defined by my interests in that particular network or media space, and the significance of my learning as a result of interaction and communication with the networkers or artifacts that are left as traces. Ones social presence is then a relative concept when relating to the media one is associated with, which to me is dependent on the degree of participation, interaction one is having at different stages of our life long learning journey. It is also a dynamic concept as one morphs through the different media and communication channels, in response to ones’ needs and at times in response to other networkers’ needs. That is also my social identity, based on the social identity theory.
I like to refer to previous research findings, except that I would prefer to quote more recent researches that are based on Web 2.0 rather than those in the pre-internet era. Also, exploration and research to validate the principles and pedagogy that are often related to the Web 2.0 interaction are crucial to success in understanding how the media has changed us, and how we have changed the media.
Connectedness based on social media is quite different from the face to face and traditional media, so do you think reference to more recent researches could help?