Monthly Archives: September 2011

Social Media Manager – could be your next title

Lately, I have been trying to check in with the various
social networking sites that I am affiliated. When I stopped by LinkedIn to
update my title at work, I came across this interesting article. It should come
as no surprise today to know that being a beer-loving Facebook diva can earn a
decent living.,0,6158114.story

This fact alone shows the impact of social media on our

The number of social media-related jobs on Monster has surged 75%
over the last year, O'Reilly said. About 155 positions are available a month,
up from an average of 88 a month a year ago.

At first, I thought that the position and the article in
general would be a bit of fluff; however, they are darn serious! To think that
someone is actually monitoring Twitter and Facebook for information about users
that “like” products and services puts an entirely new spin on how I see social

Social Media Revolution

There are tons of these types of videos, see here, but I’m using this one since it’s associated with our Socialnomics author, Erik Qualman:

Week 4 | It’s a Social Media Explosion!

Upon reading this week, I gained a better understanding of social media. I see it as an influential exploding social force. Having a social media presence is not just for teenagers, but for professionals and companies alike. The readings better defined social media, and I picked up a few great vocab words along the way. These include:

  • Braggadocio-describing Facebook posts that boast of awesome fun adventures one recently had (I went mountain climbing and parasailing last weekend, and wow it was awesome—aren’t you jealous sort of thing).
  • Vanity search-Using a search engine to search oneself and especially one’s company to get a clear picture of what the public is saying about the person or the company.
  • Microblogging-Short form of blogging, like Twitter
  • Web 2.0-Website view interacts with the website, as opposed to viewing it passively
  • Social Media-Content developed by users
  • Social Networking-Building relationships and sharing information (a part of social media)

All the readings did not draw a clear line between personal social media use and professional social media use. They all bounced back and forth between the two. It is somewhat symbolic though, as I read in Socialnomics that the lines between work and play for young generations tend to be fuzzy. For this generation, some would prefer, using some of the the work weekday for play (i.e., social networking) and using the weekends to catch up on work (Qualman, 55).

I was surprised to read that social media was overtaking email and that young generations feel that it is yesterday’s method of communication (Qualman, 46).I was even more surprised to read that Boston College was no longer providing students with BC email addresses. An article on Read Write Web stated that students already have online identities established, including email addresses.

Companies are discovering how to leverage influence in consumers’ eyes. Companies like Nike are providing valuable and useful tools like jogging aps. The consumer uses the tool and feels like they own the brand—make it a part of who the person is. The person using the ap shares results of a jog with friends on Facebook (with subtle Nike branding), and voilà, Nike’s sphere of influence expands to all the people on the jogger’s Facebook page.

My company started a Facebook page. It’s safe to say that whatever is posted on the Facebook page is a part of the West Yost brand. Whatever I put on my own Facebook page becomes my individual brand. A corporate Facebook page is slightly different in that it’s more about what other people are saying—good or bad.

Comcast came up several times in the readings as case studies. Comcast provides internet, cable, and phone to millions of customers. However, Comcast has strong competition, including Time-Warner, AT&T, DirecTV, Dish Network, and others. Comcast must pay attention to what people say about the it, especially customers who make decisions about which service provider to use. People—potential customers—pay attention to what others are saying. What was said about a company use to be more company controlled. With social media, the user now plays a strong role in what is said about a company. Companies like Comcast must find out what others are saying and make sure
customers are happy.

Social media is influential in behavior modification, in both companies and individuals. If a company with a Facebook page doesn’t have anything to brag about (like winning awards), social media dictates that the company might modify its behavior and do things that are more interesting or beneficial. Likewise, a teenager might be influenced to behave herself if she knows that her mother, who is in her social friend network, might see whatever mischief the teen has been up to if it is posted on Facebook.

Social media is definitely influential at a corporate and individual level. I thought of a few types social media may not be as compatible with. This includes psychologists  with crazy stalker patients, recluses, members of the CIA, indigenous tribes on remote tropical islands, criminals, and antidisestablishmentists. The article, “Is Social Networking for You?” discusses that in claiming and shaping an online footprint, businesses can grow their sphere of influence and take charge of their initiatives (Molisani, 11). Professionals alike should use social media because having an internet footprint can bolster credibility. (Molisani, 12-13). Those not in the groups I mentioned should give social media and social networking a shot.

Yes, social media is for me.

I benefit so much from social media and I believe it is for  me.

Most customers look for information in the internet life has been made very easy with social media because people need not go anywhere but to sit on a chair and get on the internet to brouse for sales and  shop at the comfort of their  homes. I am one person who believe that social media is for me.

Web seminars are becoming popular customers are interested in content that is the reason they visit company’s websites.

I do  a lot of business through facebook. I am a distributor for and an independent consultant for Social media has played a crucial role for me to manage to sell products and recruit other distributors for both businesses .

Benefitting so much through social media gives me confidence that social media is for me. I am not trading social media for anything for now.

Is Social Media for You?

An quote from this reading really hit home fore me:

“Why should your company have a Facebook presence? Because that’s where your audience is.”

At my job we recently created a Facebook and Twitter account for our patients to follow us and access our information through those two media outlets. Facebook allows our practice to reach countless prospective patients as well as current patients with our advertising and information, all without us spending a dime to do it!

The way the world advertises, persuades, and markets has changed. Companies no longer strive as hard to plaster their faces on highway billboards, but instead they post their ads on social networks such as facebook, since they get the most bang for their buck while reaching the highest number of people. Another advantage to Facebook advertising is through affiliating the different markets and companies with one another. Such as a fishing tackle store being linked with a company that specializes in outdoor equipment. Because all types of advertising can be found with the click of a mouse, a prospective customer can easily find the companies that are best going to fit their specific needs/wants.


Jenkins’ White Paper

Jenkin’s White Paper got me thinking about the differences in social development between the youth of today and the youth of the past.

Personally, I have noticed a lack of social development in the young people of today. For example, when I was a kid I was expected to look at the person I was talking to, respond when someone spoke to me, and be polite when meeting someone new, and lately I have been appalled by the lack of “social graces” exhibited by some of the young people I have met/encountered. However, in today’s society, so much of the social aspect of a young person’s life is via different types of media. Is this lack of true social situations effecting the young person’s overall social development?

The social rules of society are different in a social situation versus a social situation through media. If a young person experiences the majority of their social situations only through a form of media, there is a chance they are not receiving enough social feedback to form accepted social norms practiced in real society.

I enjoy social media, but I think there comes a time when certain activities need to be limited, especially for those that are easily effected, such as young people.

Social Networking is for Me

First off, I would like to apologize for my day late post. I had a really busy weekend. I got engaged. I never realized it would be so exhausting and time consuming. Phone call. Text message. Facebook. Email. Phone call. Text message. Rinse and repeat.

Anyways, the reading that really stood out to me is the Jack Molisani article, “Is Social Networking for You?” I liked how he offered definitions of Web 2.0, Social Media, and Social Networking. This is something I always wondered about. I used all the terms interchangeably, but I guess I was not supposed to. However, it sounds like the terms are interchangeable because social networking sites use social media, and social media sites have social networking capabilities, and Web 2.0 sites have them all.

I can’t tell you how many times my office talked about integrating social media into our communications with our customers. The key word in the previous sentence is “talked.” We talk about it a lot, but we never do it. OK that’s not true. We do have a Facebook page. But what do we use it for? RSSing our boring news stories to our Facebook fans. Not exactly cutting edge or making use of Facebook’s full potential. Why does our social media strategy suck? Because the person in charge of doesn’t even have a Facebook account.

I appreciate Molisani telling me to take the initiative and start using Social Media to talk about my organization. However, that doesn’t really work in the real world. There are rules in the real world. If I were to all of sudden set up a Twitter account for my organization and start tweeting about our services, my boss would freak out. I imagine her reaction would be something this: “This is not part of our strategic direction. We do not have the resources to sustain this service.” The Twitter account would eventually dry up and die.

Social Media Influencing Behavior

Is anyone else with me when I say I am really enjoying Socialnomics? It’s such an easy read and it really holds my attention though out the entire assigned reading.

Anyway, that being said, I’m going to focus my blog post to those readings.

In chapter 2, Qualman talks about the rebellious guy and the prudish girl and how the guy’s behavior might change if he is in the girl’s online network. That got me thinking: So often we view social networking sites as a way to express ourselves, however, I think we publish what we want others to know about us because we want to be portrayed in a particular way. In a way, social media acts as a gatekeeper for information for who we want to be, instead of who we truly are.

I found the case studies on microblogging to be very interesting, in particular the story around Comcast. I thought that was great that they hired someone to follow Tweets on Comcast, however, I feel it is somewhat reactive in nature because they only acted after a problem was identified. However, I will give them kudos for righting a wrong. Additionally, it’s a great PR move on Comcast’s part because it shows they care about their customers.

I found conclusion that a friend posting on a social media site to be very interesting. Qualman stated that if you have a friend who is known to be very picky about a particular product or service, their posted opinion could be easily dismissed. For example, I have a brother-in-law who works with computers and I could see him easily dismissing a particular brand of computer because he has much higher expectations of a computer than the average user.

In chapter 3, I loved the sub-heading: “Are you on Facebook?” is the new “Can I get your phone number?” From my experience, this is SO true! I was trying to set my sister up with a guy from my work and he simply said, “Tell her to add me on Facebook.” I think the idea of blind dating as we know it is gone because someone can easily look up someone on Facebook by a first and a last name.

Overall, it’s interesting to see the way social media influences our lives and the choices we make.

Social Media

Social Media has played a very important role in our lives both negatively and positively. I will start with the negative impact of social media. According to Qualman,34. Students are experiencing  expulsion from universities for collaborating on Twitter, hi5,Facebook. I think students turn to over share information and teachers and employers do not take the information kindly hence expulsion. The point that Qualman mentioned the advantage of parents being able to follow their teenagers through social networking. Being my sons network is ok but its not worth it. I feel as a parent kids should be free and be guided. Being in my son’s network cannot change anything especially that there  will always preventative behaviors knowing mom is on his network.

Social media can destroy both a person’s and company’s reputation because it enables frustrated customers to instantly post their frustrations. The paparazzi can follow celebrities to an unwelcoming settings like when they even follow a person to cause accidents and death. An example would be the late princess Diana’s tragic accident which was caused by the paparazzi.

On a positive note effective companies spend time addressing and resolving customer complaints. Effective companies relish critical feedback via social media. Customer comments that identify areas for improvement are valuable because it helps companies to improve.

Social media allows people to take an introspection of their lives and this is a positive way of improvement. Society benefit in the process because more people get involved in productive activities.  Social media helps consumers to brag their product.

Baron: My most interesting part on Baron’s passage was the Goffman’s notion of “presentation self” I find his argument very interesting. He said, “people consciously or unconsciously present themselves to others as if they were actors on stage”.

On the type of messages which sometimes are intentionally mispresentation I thought that could be another reason why social media can destroy people.

I liked most in this passage the intertainment messages

Boyd and Ellison: I like the fact I got from their passage regarding  facebook use. According to Ellison,Steinfield and Lampe(2007) Facebook is used to maintain existing offline relationships or offline connections, as opposed to meeting new people. I think this is true.

Just what is Social Networking, and can we learn about society by studying this phenomenon?

Reading Response:

Just by looking at the titles to read, it is plain that the beginning of our blogging starts at – the beginning. While this may seem simplistic to some, it is a vital art of setting the stage for the articles that lay ahead. As communicators, it is always a great idea to lay everything out so that we are all on the same page.

My reference above to laying everything out was definitely confirmed when I began to read Boyd’s definitions.  More specifically, I always wondered about the term “social networking” it almost gave me the impression of working to socialize with people you do not know.  I always felt that this was not an apt identifier for blogs, Facebook and the like because as we know, these sites are most often utilized between people that already know one another. Our text agrees when it says “…instead, they are primarily communicating with people who are already a part of their extended social network” (Boyd, 2).

The site that most accurately fits this description for me is LinkedIn. Here I have not only linked to others in my own industry, I have made connections to people that I have yet to meet.

Early Development:

It was quite refreshing to see how many references there were to the actual development of Social Networking. The internet itself did not develop into this full-blown entity over night, and neither did sites like Facebook.


The references made to the fact that “…servers and databases were ill-equipped to handle its rapid growth…” (Boyd, 6), are so accurate. I remember early internet usage being so frustrating due to the hardware issues at many different sites not to mention providers themselves.  But, we didn’t know any better and most often took it with a grain of salt.  If these same issues would happen today – it would get quite ugly.

Networks and Network Structure:

I have to say that the most interesting section for me was in the Boyd paper under Networks and Network Structure. At the very outset when the author states: “Social network sites also provide rich sources of naturalistic behavioral data” (Boyd, 10), I got a glimpse of some of the ways automatically collected data could produce interesting sets of information.  What concerns me about this data is its credibility. Can we really rely on this information when the people providing it are hidden from our view and used to putting on a show? Or, is it the show that provides for the best data?

On this note, I found an amazing video featuring Jon Kleinberg, the Tisch University Professor in Cornell’s Department of Computer Science. This speech was recorded on July 20, 2011 so has a great deal of relevance and immediacy.

In this 1 hour 22 minute video: What can Facebook, Amazon and Google teach us about society and about ourselves? Jon provides insights not about what the “answer” to the question is, but to how to think about the question to obtain answers.

On a Personal Note:

My first experience with a social networking site was MySpace and I only became interested in it because I was monitoring what our teenage children were doing on the Internet. Prior to this, the other social experience was with Microsoft’s chat rooms and online games.  I was what was considered a “sysop” for the
community along with my husband.  We were empowered with special tools throughout the system. Our job was to monitor openly and in a hidden mode, the gaming chat rooms to be sure that codes of conduct were followed. Our toolset allowed us to gag, kick and ban people from these rooms.

In addition to the job at hand, I also spent a great deal of time “training” other sysops.  This entire structure fell apart as the internet grew more sophisticated. Eventually (not unlike the Musketeers) our ranks were disbanded and technology took over.

This was an early trial and error attempt at social networking. I can only look at where we are now, and wonder where we will be tomorrow.

This Week’s Readings: Likes and Dislikes

Boyd & Ellison: Like

I have long been a fan of danah boyd. Ever since I first heard of her back in 2009 when I started the program, she has been a great source – my go-to specialist when it comes to social media. She seems to be very tapped into the social aspect of social media and I appreciate her insight
and the way she interweaves herself into her commitment of the discipline. I’d love to meet her someday.

Her collaborative “Social Network Sites: Definition, History and Scholarship,” with Karen Ellison was an excellent look into the background
of the phenomenon that so many of us are interested in. I especially was fascinated by the idea that who you are friends with is a social marker showing how you fit into the context of your peer group. They state, “Another aspect of self-presentation is the articulation of friendship links, which serve as identity markers for the profile owner (boyd & Ellison, 2007).

I also enjoyed reading the history of the different forms of social media, just like I enjoyed watching the fictionalized movie The Social Network. I like to know where our overarching, taken-for granted phenomena come from. I’m kind of a history nerd that way.

Qualman: Like…with reservations

I’ve read either all or most of Socialnomics before. In the portion that we read, I am fascinated by the fact that people are, “…willing to have open diaries within social media because their ultimate desire is to feel a part of something larger” (Qualman p.42). Although I agree, (as I do with most of his points), sometimes the evidence backing his very broad assertions just isn’t there. He does a good job of using quotes and giving examples, but I don’t see any hard research backing a lot of his stuff up.

For chapter three, he uses one anecdote of an 83-year-old man and one of a “mother of three” to back up his claim that social media makes
us more reflective on our lives. Maybe, but that’s shaky evidence. Also, his claim that “reality tv” is out and is being replaced by “reality social media,” seems ridiculous. If anything, the horror that is reality tv seems to be expanding and driving out all semblance of common sense and dignity from television programming. (Ask me how I really feel…)

Turkle: Dislike

The ethics of this study are mentioned a few times, but this trainwreck of a study is unconscionable. Testing AI dolls on vulnerable populations (emotionally fragile children) made me sick. Exploiting them by writing about it in this book is horrible. I read most of this book before for another class, and I don’t remember reading this. It was painful. “What we ask of robots shows us what we need” (Turkle, p.87) may have turned out to be true for these kids, but the cost of finding out was too much, in my opinion. It was like pulling the wings of an insect to see what it would do.

Molisani: Like

This quick overview of uses for social networking was concise, yet comprehensive. It showed social  networking benefits that many may have been overlooked by newcomers. It also reinforced the idea that what you put out there tells people a lot about you, so be careful what you say. I also appreciated the mention of the importance of one’s “internet footprint.” That’s something I am hoping to develop through this class.

Baron: Like

I remember having read this a while back, and it’s a good refresher. It’s interesting to read this stuff that was – just a few years back – so fresh. Although the technology has zoomed along apace, I think that the behaviors (avoidance, screening people, racking up the friends) is as true today as it was five years ago when they did the study.

I have to admit that I am totally addicted to Facebook. I am kind of an introvert in a lot of ways, so Facebook allows me to stay in contact, without it being too overwhelming. That’s part of why I like this major, too, is because I like time to be able to digest information before I interact. Don’t get me wrong – I like hanging out with people and being around people, but it often wears me out rather than gives me energy. Facebook provides me the information and light interaction that I crave, and it also provides a platform for further contact.

Are All Companies Ready for Social Media?

I’m confused as to what readings I’m supposed to respond to. The Week 4 readings start today (Sept. 25) but we have a blog post due today, too. Are each weeks blog posts supposed to be about that same weeks readings? Anyway, I’m responding to the Week 4 readings.

All of the readings were super good today, but the most valuable one was Is Social Networking for You? by Jack Molisani. The best part of the reading was the story about Frank Eliason and how he took the initiative to find Comcast customers on Twitter that were upset about the company and how he reached out to them to handle their concerns. Every company could learn something from Eliason’s story.

Many companies don’t understand that social media is an interactive tool between the company and it’s customers. Customers don’t always say positive things about the company and that’s why Eliason’s story is so valuable. If a company wants to have a social media presence, they need to monitor what people are saying about them so they can learn and prevent unnecessary negative comments. Eliason took the initiative to reach out to disgruntled customers to solve their problems. That is something pretty rare, and it would be interesting to know how many of those disgruntled customers that posted negative tweets about Comcast went and posted something positive after Eliason contacted them.

For a company to have a beneficial social media plan, they need to hire people that are technologically literate. Old-school bosses that don’t use social media are not the people to put in charge of a social media campaign because those bosses aren’t going to know how to effectively use social media. Old-school bosses think social media is free advertising so they want to use it but social media is so much more than that. Social media is a way to develop your brand in an online environment that customers haven’t seen before. Customers are used to seeing a company’s products on TV or in a printed ad, but they haven’t always seen those products in an interactive online environment.

If a company is going to commit to a social media campaign, they need to really consider if their products are right for an online environment and if they are willing to commit to the ‘up keep’ that social media requires. It seems that having a social media presence that isn’t up-to-date can be worse than not having a social media presence at all.

WooHoo! I am Blogging

Personal Experience 

I’d have to say that I am not necessarily a fan of blogging–not personal blogging anyways. I don’t care to have people read my daily thoughts because I am just not that exciting of a person. I also don’t care to read other people’s daily thoughts. With that said though, I do see the power of blogs. It makes ordinary people the news writer. They enable people to collaborate and share ideas. And for those reasons, I respect them.

Work Experience

At my job we use a blog to deliver our news, but we use it completely wrong (in my opinion anyways). We do nothing bloggy with it. Basically we enter our news story into the system and then threw RSS it feeds to the news section of our blog. That is cool and all, but it doesn’t allow for any of the cool bloggy stuff like commenting, sharing, rating, and etc. I hope in this class I learn some strategies that I will be able to bring back to my team and advance our use of blogs and other social media.

One last thing before I sign off. I will say that so far I am enjoying this blog more than the discussion board *cough* 1996 social media *cough*.

Week 2 | It’s Like a Book, Only Better

Blogging is communicating through reading and writing, but it is reading and writing evolved. From our readings this week, I watched the clip of two monks, one monk trying to show the other monk what a book was on, “What does it Mean to be Literate?”. That is perhaps a bit how I feel about blogging for the first time, a bit like the confused monk. I’ve only admired other people’s blogs from a distance, but never blogged myself. I found the clip of the monks humorous, so I posted it on my Facebook page. A few friends commented on the link, and two even shared it on their own pages. Even though the friends who shared it on their own Facebook pages were not in the same state as I was, I was able to present the ideas in the clip to them—a distant collaboration. I am hoping that this is what happens through our class blog—meaningful, open collaboration. My thoughts are out there for my class and the world to see.

An image on the same blog post show a poster with all the skills that people can develop when blogging. It’s an extensive list. It includes:

  • Collaboration skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Communication skills
  • Media literacy
  • Technology skills
  • Typing skills
  • Writing skills
  • Hyperlinked writing
  • Networking skills
  • Information literacy
  • Digital citizenship
  • Reflection skills
  • Publishing skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Global awareness
  • Folksonomy
  • Reading skills
  • Commenting skills
  • Digital footprint

These are a lot of benefits of blogging, especially in our online classroom setting. I didn’t even know what folksonomy was (keywords assigned to images or information—aka, tagging). So, with all these benefits, I’m excited to try blogging—social learning; and I agree with Nate, it seems more conducive to natural communication than D2L.

P.S. Holy cow. It took me 20 minutes to figure out how to post this. I need a monk help desk…

Blogging and The Readings


When I first saw the test post assignment, I thought to myself that I didn’t really have very much experience blogging. I think it’s partially because I start to blog, get bored, abandon blog and then forget all about it.

My first blog was on blogger. I can’t even remember the name. I think it was from 2006, maybe. I wrote about weird and funny things that had happened in my day.

I also have blogged for the Department of Art and Design (now the school of Art and Design). It is really, really low on the priority list for the unit, so I only occasionally post. Mostly I solicit write-ups from faculty since I’m not an expert, but I sometimes write articles.  It’s found here:

I made a recent attempt at blogging. I was focusing on trying to be more mindful of the happiness in my life, so I put this together. However, I kind of got bored talking about what I ate every day, which I discovered was a big factor in my everyday happiness level. Here it is:

I’ve also anonymously guest blogged on a friend’s national blog.

The Readings

There was a lot of ground covered in these readings. In Reid’s “Why Blog” I found some of the reasons my blogs haven’t really been successful. On p. 311, he states “The most challenging task is finding a subject on which to write, or what we rhetoricians term “invention.” That’s one of my biggest problems.

I liked Davies and Merchant’s idea of blogging as a social practice, and was a little surprised at their assertion that blogging was a “seductive” activity, although I have seen why through my own experiences. This article struck a chord with me, because I am really interested in affinity spaces and communities of practice. I didn’t know what they were called, but I was interested in that sense of community that blogs engender. I am so interested in these communities, that I had been thinking about doing my thesis on the phenomenon with regard to memes. I think this will be a seminal springboard for that.

There were great bit and pieces in the rest, like Nardi’s five motivations for blogging, Du & Wagner’s correlation to teaching (which crosses over into my ENGL 750 class) and Gregg’s matter-of-fact, downer Debbie look at blogging for Ph.D. candidates and junior faculty. I really enjoyed reading about SMRs. They seem to make lots of sense.

Mayday! Mayday!

Personal Blog:

As if right now, I’m not a fan of (personal) blogging. Hopefully this course will help me get a better understanding of why people blog and why blogging is so mainstream. For me, blogging seams like a lot of work because a blog is almost like a living thing. It needs attention to grow or else it will just sit there and die and nobody will ever see it again. Since I can barely keep myself alive, I highly doubt I could keep a blog alive. A blog also seems to fill the area between a hand-written journal and a personal Web site. Blog authors want to share their thoughts but they don’t want to do it on a personal Web site. This is what I don’t understand. Many blogs seem incomplete because they are ugly, full of typos, and don’t have too much credibility. If a blog was set up like Web site and looked professional, then I might stop and read what is there.

I’ve had a little bit of experience with blogs. By “little experience” I mean I was forced into writing a couple of blogs as an undergrad in college (this is like Déjà vu).

I’m not completely against blogs. It’s just that blogging as I know it, doesn’t interest me at all. I don’t have any desire to share my thoughts with people and I also don’t have any desire to read other people’s thoughts (unless someone has invented a good blue pen).


Group Blog:

I think group blogging makes more sense. For example, in a company environment, I could see a group blog as a great tool for communicating with everyone in an organization. I also think a blog for this class will work really well because we will keep it populated and current. It’s also a nice break from the redundancy of D2L.


Bye now!


Blogging in Secret!

My Experience with Blogging

I actually have a personal blog, which I write for myself more than anyone else. Considering it’s password protected, and my husband is the only one with the password, I guess it truly is for myself. The first blog I ever had was in college before “blog” became a buzzword (does that make me sound old? I’m only 27!) and it was just called a “LJ” (short for Livejournal). My family and friends had my LJ URL and I updated while I was studying abroad in England. Fast forward to July 2010 – I started my blog, which is what I still write in today. I write an average of one post a day – mostly about what’s going on in my life, nothing very exciting at all. The main reason I haven’t shared my blog with anyone is because it’s my space to be completely honest with how I feel, while not worrying about anyone else’s feelings. Apart from writing in my own blog, I follow several personal blogs, and blogs on natural food eating and DIY/home improvement blogs (how many times did I say “blog” in one sentence? ha!).

Reading Reflections

In Nardi’s article “Why we blog,” they state that in blogging, the reader gets a strong sense of the author, which could be why we’re drawn to them as humans. If you respect someone and view them as creditable, it’s no surprise that you’re likely to tune into their opinions on topics you’re interested in. Something else that struck me in that article was this: “Most bloggers are acutely aware of their readers…calibrating what they should and should not reveal.” I think this is precisely one of the big challenges of blogging. Authors have to censor themselves to some extent so not to alienate or offend their readers, who make the blog successful in the first place.

In Du and Wagner’s article about learning logs, it stated that web logs could be used instead of written papers to prove understanding and comprehension on the students part, which I think is a fantastic idea because it creates discussion between students and the professor instead of one-way communication that papers provide between the professor and the individual student. Plus, I think there are some very interesting and insightful disucssions that could pop up in a blogging environment that normally wouldn’t be brought to light in traditional circumstances.

Robin Gotch – First Post (let’s hope I don’t delete it!) – EDITED 9/21/2011

I had a blog – and I deleted its contents.  I wrote some really cool stuff – but then reconsidered.  I still think what I wrote was good, but realize that more thought and planning is necessary before I jump into the fray. Being a very honest person, the sort of person that you best not ask the question if you are afraid of the answer,  I tend speak my mind and have a very strong personality.

I also want to be hired to write or teach some day!

So, should I blog?  And if I do, should I set limits or should I go “balls to the walls” as is my want and do this thing up right? As you can see, I usually have many more questions than answers – so, should I blog about what and who I am or what confuses me?

In the end, I think the most important thing I need to do is learn. I need to learn about what blogging is, what types of blogs are out there and where I fit in, if anywhere.

Thoughts on the Readings:

There is no question that my own, personal feelings on blogging were quite inaccurate. This is exemplified by my comments above. I was under the assumption that the only good blog was one that dealt with politics or other intense issues. Silly me, blogging is for everyone! In fact, blogging is akin many other internet activities. It provides a cultural release nothing short of a shared online diary for many people. How many people this is shared with is a matter of personal preference. At the very beginning of the article, Why We Blog, it is evident that there is no one reason that people take pen to paper – er – fingers to keyboard, and document what is itching to be told.

I also found it appropriate that blogs are typically found by other blogs. This makes sense to me. I was so unfamiliar with blogs primarily because I was not active in the blogging community. What hit home for me was the statement “Bloggers sometimes poured out their feelings or ideas and sometimes struggled to find something to say.”  This sums up my reticence in a nutshell. Do I dare pour out my feelings? And what if I don’t feel like writing for a time?

Getting back to the concept of how to find a blog, I did a random search in Google for “blogs about horses”. Low and behold there is a site:

DOH! Now, this may not be the exact blog site I want to follow, it sure showed me how far my head was stuck in the … sand.

First post!

Hi everyone!

Here is my test post, if anyone has trouble viewing/reading it please let me know! I am excited to be using blogs this semester. To be honest I have no prior experience with blogs before using them in this class, unless you count Facebook. I look forward to utilizing this way of discussing and sharing throughout the semester!

Mena Trott on Blogs

In the test posts in the coming weeks I look forward to hearing your opinions on blogs and hope that the use of a course blog allows us to grow as a community of writers.

To get a sense of the types of blogs I prefer to read, check out this TEDTalk. As an owner of a blog hosting service, Mena Trott has an interesting take on how she sees people using blogs to express themselves.

<for some reason the code wasn't working from the actual site, but I found the talk on YouTube.>