Why blog? There are oh so many reasons why I love to blog, and would recommend it anyone and everyone.
“While there are many articles written about why you should blog to grow your business or become an expert or make a whole bunch of money—the best recommendations are still found in the personal realization that blogging changes you, the writer.” – Joshua Becker
In reflecting upon my blogging experience for #BCM240 this semester I have learnt many things including: connecting with and attracting readers; blog design as a whole including producing a blog that is easy and efficient to navigate; tweeting to promote my own blog and others, as well as engaging with fellow students about media and space; and producing a curated online environment which prompts discussion and debate.
I aimed to attract readers by using the BCM240 hashtag on social media sites, which led people to easily find my blog in the course. This hashtag on twitter also allowed me to visit other peoples’ blogs, and therefore get inspiration and ideas through what others have written and articles they have linked to.
Using categories and tags on the WordPress site itself also allowed other readers of the public to find my blog through information that is relevant to the tag they are searching. Also tagging things such as #multitasking and #mediaspace on twitter attracted readers outside of BCM240 which was a pleasant surprise. One follower tweeted me a podcast that was relevant to attention spans, that I then later included in my blog post to further enhance the information I was providing.
On my blog itself, I including a ‘recent comments’ section in the footer, which allows readers to view other posts which I have liked, followed or commented on; adding to the overall picture of what I want my blog to portray, and what it says about me as a person.
In relation to my theme, I wanted to keep it simple, yet adding a contrast of the bright ocean (an image from New Caledonia I took myself) as I feel not only does it make the design visually appealing and not cluttered, it also says a lot about myself. I love the water, travel and re-connecting with myself and the world around me; I always have, so that was important to me in communicating my personality.
This blogging experience, as well as the many articles which we were provided with in the course, allowed me to learn more about this online environment. When reading other peers’ blogs, the use of images, large fonts, quotes and links truly strengthens the piece. I believe the shorter the blog, the more interesting and attention grabbing it is. A long, essay like blog isn’t what I’m personally attracted to so I tried to sharpen my work and condense it as much as possible from the last assignment, so as to communicate to a larger audience.
Ferdig and Trammel noted four distinct learning advantages for blogging: the use of blogs helps students become subject-matter experts, increases student interest and ownership in learning, gives students legitimate chances to participate, and provides opportunities for diverse perspectives both inside and out of the classroom.
Much of the research and methodology I used were articles recommended in the lectures, however I also used other sources found through Google scholar and on Blergh.org.
A few ethnographic interviews were also conducted adding a primary research element, which I think enhanced my blog. In the future, I think I would try to find more articles to include, and even conduct more of my own primary research as I found this methodology was most effective. Being able to speak to my parents about their experiences with television, the internet and media, added depth and further insight into media, audience and place.
In attempt to make my blog a more curated environment, I tried to engage my readers in further conversation by asking questions throughout the post. I also linked to other students’ blogs in order to convey a collaborative effort. These connections with readers and other bloggers/students will hopefully continue on throughout my life, as they gave me great insights into thoughts of media, place and audience.
From this experience I have learnt that posting frequently, and continually engaging in followers is important between blog posts in order to keep your audience interested – this I only learnt right at the end, and my twitter favourites, comments, views and likes on blog posts increased. I also learnt that conducting research is so important and adds so much depth to a post, something I wish I used more. Time management and resources were lacking in this department, as I regret not doing the week 6 blog ‘Public televisions and personal devices’ even though I found this the most interesting subject of them all. Unified in Social Media, But Segregated in Reality was one of my favourite posts from that week, and a blog in which I engaged with frequently.
I am very thankful that blogging was apart of this course, not only because it is enjoyable, informative and I got to engage with new and exciting people; It has also created a curated online environment in which I can show future employees my writing skills, and how I connect with other people. A job add for a large company I came across, also includes that personal blog management is required/preferred. This further clarifies the importance of producing a curated environment.
An article I found online, that has inspired me to write not only throughout this experience, but also in everyday life, is by a blogger herself. Victoria Michelson explains that blogging and the conversations that it created, increased her job opportunities. The article talks about the benefits of blogging, and how important having an online audience/presence is.
“The aim of any blog, no matter how big or small, is to create conversation.” – Michelson
I hope that I will continue to blog on this site, as well as creating a secondary more personal blog as I believe having an online presence definitely gets you out there and teaches you so many new things. James R. Baker and Susan M. Moore believe ” blogging has beneficial effects on well-being, specifically in terms of perceived social support.” I am thankful that BCM240 has taught me many things about the online, media world, and just how important staying connected with others is in today’s society.