Whispering into the world: blogging for my own amusement
Long ago, in the times when Facebook was only available to college students, I began my journey with social media. In addition to Facebook, I had a blog of my very own, originally a Xanga because that was the cool blog to have in my circle of friends and acquaintances. I wrote silly stories, funny anecdotes and terrible poetry for the general consumption of the ten people who knew that I wrote it.
I loved it. I loved having that tiny voice in a big loud world. At least at first, I followed the then unknown advice of Belle Beth Cooper’s “16 Top Tips from Blogging Experts for Beginners” to write for yourself. Writing for myself was the only thing I did right, I think. Contrary to Cooper’s advice, I did not bother to try to get people to read what I wrote, but in fact I actively chose not to market my blog. I also really didn’t think too intensely about my audience, which I now find rather appalling after taking so many technical communication classes.
When I look back at what I wrote, I see the bad writing and the grammatical errors, but I think that I can also see how blogging shaped my voice in a way that academic writing couldn’t. The article “Why Blog? Searching for Writing on the Web” by Alex Reid points out how a writer’s voice can be sublimated to success in the context of academia and I can see clearly how blogging built my voice as I was allowed to be myself (or whoever I chose to be) rather than having to be whoever I needed to be in order to succeed with each teacher.
After awhile, blogging started being increasingly about getting likes and comments from my largely non-existent audience and the whole process became wearying as my capacity for being consistently amusing diminished. So I ceased to blog.
In the subsequent years, my experience with blogs has been contained to reading them. I have read only a few blogs consistently. In fact, I can think of only two that I have spent any real time reading, Hyperbole and a Half (a hilarious blog which is basically like electronic picture books for adults) and Beneath the Crust (an interesting blog about faith and life written by a clinical neuro-psychologist that I know). I will read an article occasionally when they are recommended or shared by others, but I don’t follow many closely anymore.
Although I have had some experience with blogging and have taken many courses that required weekly posts, English 745 will be my first experience actually blogging within an academic context. It should be interesting.