After considering the two mind maps I made on the topic Attracting More Participants to SerendipEd I came to the conclusion that the SerendipEd webinars are well named. Jo Hart has often said that attendence numbers vary with the time of year (class times, holidays, daylight savings time etc).
By making a Venn diagram based on the mind map which was made with iMindMap we can see that the participants come from the fortunate group who have reason, incentive and most importantly available time to attend.
So to answer the question ‘What can be done to attract more participants to SerendipEd webinars?’ we need to look at what can be done to enlarge the areas of overlap especially the vital centre section of full congruence which I have shaded in violet because that felt like a serendipitous sort of colour!
I know that Jo Hart is doing these things already
To address the question of most suitable times
(i) Check comparative times with Time and Date World Clock Meeting Calendar http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html
(ii)check for clashes with other edchats and webinars eg Cybraryman’s list of Education chats on Twitter http://www.cybraryman.com/chats.html
(iii) conduct a poll
To address the question of reasons and what else could be offered
(i) Ask for input This already happens with the Wallwisher where topics can be requested http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/EdublogsSerendipity
To address the question of Incentive we need to consider that motivation can be intrisic or extrinsic See RSA Animate
Drive the surprising truth about what motivates us
adapted from Dan Pink’s address
Most of the Incentives listed on the iMindMap are intrinsic motivators.
Are some concrete external motivators needed to attract participants?
Would making the webinars constitute part of training courses be an option?
This would lead to a whole extra set of questions in regard to certification and funding sources and time required and whether, if the webinars were completely formalised, they would still retain their Serendipitous nature. Another aspect of Attracting More Participants is spreading the word or advertising and that is another whole topic of discussion.