My blogging experience, or my preference for Learning Blogs
I’ve been involved in some form of social media since I was in high school. Like many high school students at the time, I used MSN, AIM, and Yahoo messengers to communicate with friends. None of us had cellphones at the time, so that was really the best we could do without tying up the landline calling each other.
In around 2003, I joined a forum for miniature war gaming, where I became a regular contributor. It was not a blog, but it did serve as an opportunity to connect with like-minded people and to share ideas. Blogs were introduced on that site later on, but I never signed up for one. I preferred the forum format, where everyone could contribute if they wanted, but the degree of your involvement was up to you. Someone else would always be there to post something, so there was always new content to read and comment on. Many of my friends encouraged me to join MySpace or Live Journal, but I never had any interest in either of them. I think I still have a Live Journal page out there, but I wouldn’t even know how to find it anymore.
I joined Facebook when it was only available to college students. I remember the excitement that UW Eau Claire was being added to Facebook, and everyone with a campus email was registering. I had never even heard of Facebook at the time, so I didn’t really understand what it was for or why/if I would even use it. I reluctantly joined, but then barely used the site for a couple years. I almost never posted status updates. For me, it was primarily used it to keep in touch with other people and as an easy way to have updated contact information for my friends. I still use it that way for the most part.
The article, Press ‘Publish’: Start an Academic Blog by Joshua Mann, reaffirmed part of why I have never started a blog. I don’t currently have any new insights or epiphanies to share with the world on a particular subject, and I haven’t done the necessary research in any particular area to share even lesser known information. I can certainly see merit for it, but using the medium for this purpose doesn’t currently serve any need of mine. At this stage in my life and educational journey, I am very far from being an academic scholar.
Alex Reid provides a much less intimidating framework for the purpose of a blog in his article Why Blog? Searching for Writing on the Web. His article does highlight an issue I have with creating a personal blog. I currently don’t have a purpose for one. I certainly have interests, but I’ve always lacked a cohesive reason to create a platform to share that information.
I have enjoyed other people’s blogs, and have occasionally read a company’s blog for product updates, but I feel like that is only peripherally related. In that case, I am the audience, and I serve as an indicator of whether their blogging is successful or not. I never comment, mostly because I am not registered on their blogging site. I go there to visit and read, not to comment on their article. I don’t dislike blogs, but I feel like they can be a little impersonal at times.
This will be the third graduate school course that I blogged for, and I have enjoyed the experience. In this case, we’re peers working our way through the information, which allows us to share our thoughts and help each other make sense of the concepts. In a way, I feel like this is more like my past forum experiences rather than a traditional blogging experience. I look forward to blogging with all of you and learning from you.