Test Blog # 1

Blogging: I Don’t Get –

In the course of my graduate studies I’ve posted on WordPress twice. Both were called blogs, but they were actually literature reviews. That’s the extent of my experience participating in this medium. So it was very helpful to review Belle Beth Cooper’s 16 Top Tips from Blogging Experts for Beginners. Turns out I have been implementing a few of the top tips, such as knowing and understanding my audience, and sharing my knowledge, all within my own blogo-spheres: email, Messenger, and Words with Friends. Or am I just posting? Is that what’s done on Facebook and if posted somewhere else it’s a blog? Well, I checked out Sue Waters’ 2008 blog, Differences between Blog Pages and Posts. I’m going to need more information. Maybe I’m too old to blog; what would I say?

Who Blogs and Why?

So I was interested in the survey results of Nardi, Schiano, Gumbrecht, and Swartz’s (2004) article Why We Blog. The authors searched Google’s Stanford portal for “blog” and “weblog” to categorize blogs and explore motivations. Oh no, emotional catharsis; I don’t do that in public. With a pool of 23 people aged 19 to 60, I’d hoped to see a breakdown of motivations by age. Had the 20-somethings expressed feelings, the 30-somethings rallied to a movement, or had the 50-somethings realized the changes and chances they started thirty years earlier? They didn’t say.

But I do know that when I ran my own Google Stanford search (https://itservices.stanford.edu/search?q_as=blog) that “weblog” no longer produced results, and that Stanford’s political blog of 2004, “The Cardinal Collective” died. But INSTAPUNDIT is still alive, and today was skewing Stephen Colbert for his all-white writing team of 17 men and 2 women. Yikes, he’s in trouble.
Is Anything Off Limits?

What’s off limits for a blog or post? Are medical procedures of a sick-or-soon-to-be-departed-loved-one appropriate for online? How come? If medical information requires a written release, why do people think they can splash it out for everyone? And I won’t even get into the “well-meaning” friends with their “tributes” after my brother died. Stop it! What happened to crying on a friend’s shoulder or visiting a therapist? And if they aren’t emotional outlets, blogs let the anonymous spew vitriol. Didn’t blogs start as factual journalism? So I Googled “topics to avoid in blogs” and guess what I got. Books and CD’s to buy and subscriber-ready advice columns on creating perfect blogs. OK – blogs sell things!

Sell me On It –

Kristi Hines’s “build your email list” and Jeff Bullas declaration that you must “give stuff away” (as cited in Cooper, 2013) makes sense. Could there be a more cost-efficient and effective way to lure online shoppers than with a blog? Can’t a well-said, well-read blog accomplish what thousands of dollars in marketing funds aims to? It looks exhausting. Trying to make everything “grab” the reader. Heck is what I’m saying here with reading? I live by: Does it need to be said? Does it need to be said now? Will it help or harm? How I’ll mesh view of blogs with the actual tasking of writing something that I hope is interesting to someone, anyone, remains to be seen.

For now I’m just keeping copies of these articles as a guidebook, and to share. They’ll stay in actual folders in my desk where I can reach for the papers. All I have to do is print them out…
So imagine my annoyance when I saw that I could share these articles via a half dozen social media platforms – but there wasn’t a printer icon anywhere on the page. Copy and paste? Really? Maybe I should blog about that.


Dana Livesay is a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Foreign to all things social media, she is determined to dive into Emerging Media and come out a better blogger.

Posted on September 14, 2015, in Blogs, Social Media. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Your comment “What’s off limits for a blog or post? Are medical procedures of a sick-or-soon-to-be-departed-loved-one appropriate for online? How come?” is interesting to me.

    I’m sure many people blog about personal issues for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it’s an anonymous way to vent or a chance to meet people going through similar situations?

    However, at the same time I can also see where using a blog as an emotional outlet has its pitfalls. It potentially provides a way to identify others without their consent, opening up a host of other ethical considerations.

    In your opinion, what topics do you consider to be off limits and should NOT be blogged about?

    • Hi – All medical issues unrelated or not affecting the writer. If the information is protected in a medical setting, requires written consent, and is of a personal issue it shouldn’t be online. When my brother died of brain cancer many “well-meaning” people posted about it on Facebook, a distant relative went so far as to describe treatment and speculate on his time left, all while managing to make it about sympathy for themselves. If people want to pour out their hearts about their own issues, go for it. But you don’t act intrusively in the name of “care,” “concern,” or whatever. It comes down to good manners, common sense, and acting graciously – things people don’t do anymore. Don’t get me started on cell phones.

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