Creating a blog is always easier than maintaining it. In this fast pace world it is literally only a couple of clicks away. You choose a host, your blog’s domain and title and you are ready to go. In many cases, the software even publishes the first post for you. But that’s about it. After that we are on our own when it comes to grow our blog. We need to feed it with our texts, or rather, our posts, as they are often referred to in blogsphere.
It is also often there where we meet the first challenge. Let’s not even talk about lack of time, but focus on answering the initial questions that populate our minds:
- Where do I start?
- What should I post?
- What kind of speech and writing style should I adopt?
- Who will read it?
- Will I have anything interesting to say? I don’t want to give my research away…
In other words, how do we develop our (cyber)voice, gain confidence in doing so, and do not end up as one more blogger enthusiast who has not gone beyond the setting up of a personal blog space.
So with that in mind it is important we analyse the importance blogging will have in our activity, and most importantly, in our learning, if we choose to do this as part of our research experience. Above all, it has to offer us something. And it has to have a personal purpose. Thus the goals to achieve need to be defined by the individual…like a personal compromise which will keep us going.
I personally have no definite answers why blogging is “good for you” or why one should blog on a regular basis. But I do have some experiences to offer, and maybe, just maybe, some other people will be able to relate to it.
I started blogging the year I started my Masters program. I don’t even remember anymore if that had been a requirement of the course, but I do recall being asked to look at blogs and reminded that in that subject my assessment would include a reflective essay on my experiences in that class. I also remember that most my colleagues went on setting up a blog, just like I did. Even during those days, where blogging was starting to emerge in education as ‘an amazing learning tool’ most of my colleagues soon gave up on recording their experiences in that format. That was, I thought, a pity, because in post-graduate courses bonding with our colleagues is always less frequent than in any other academic environment I had experienced before, where we would spend a greater amount of time in school and were ‘put’ in a group which would meet almost daily for at least that academic year. Having access to their blogs felt almost like bridging that absence of constant class content. Somehow I had access to some of their experiences, readings, etc and I could also interact with them, leaving my comments, providing my views.
By the same token, they could link to my “blogspot”, see how I was “digesting” the topics we were studying, what ideas, most often questions, emerged from my readings, who else was commenting on my posts, who else’s blogs I was reading and commenting on – my wider blogging network (through my blog roll),etc. It’s that exchange of perspectives and access to a wider community, in parallel with the recording of my learning progress that made it work for me.
So in a nutshell, and particularly as a learner, I think blogging is for me, because:
And what about you? Is blogging for you? Why? Why not? 😉