You blog, I blog.. Well, I tried to blog and here’s what I learned!

Blogging – A platform used in today’s world to offer one’s opinion, recommendation or share information to a tailored audience. In Press ‘Publish’: Start an Academic Blog, Mann  (2015) refers to a blog as, “The contracted form of weblog, a website made up of ongoing entries, usually called posts, that are published in reverse chronological order (i.e., the most recent entry appears first, at the ‘top’ of the page, and so on)” (Mann, 2015).

The very first time I was introduced to blogging was through Pinterest. One day, I was pinning away on all the accessories, designer apparel, outfits, latest fashion trends and just about anything that related to luxurious homes including curb appeal, dreamy master bathrooms, kitchens, and the extravagant necessities one could only dream of having.  It was on this pin, right here, where I was brought to a blog… As the pin loaded, I stopped and almost shut my computer. But, I became so intrigued by what was loading that I anticipated what was to come.

I thought to myself, “Wow,” I could do something like this myself, but perhaps what would I write about? The question stumped me so much that I began researching like crazy all the different topics I could write about. One blog led me to the next blog and the next and so forth. Finally, I took away one recurring theme in each of the blogs and research I compiled online which was to find a specific topic to write about. The blogging industry was becoming so popular that one was advised to write on something very specific to attract, entertain and retain a certain audience. The next piece of advice often given was to write on something that interests you.

thought bubble

 

That’s it.. I wrote down a few items I was heavily interested in and this is the last I came up with:

  • Hockey
  • Fashion
    • Designing Apparel
    • Hair Styles
    • The Latest Industry Trends
    • What’s in Season and what’s not
  • Eczema
    • Yes, I understand this is painful and boring, but as soon as I found a food related link contributing to my dry-skin outbreaks. I wanted to inform, help and guide other individuals on my experience.
      • I couldn’t believe that certain “foods” were linked to my skin outbreak and that I consumed a vast amount of my free time researching skin care products, best practices and reading about other’s experiences, cures, and triggers which caused or help eliminate eczema.

Now, it was time to write. (Yikes!)

  • I could not come up with words, sentences, phrases or images/videos I wanted to include or expand upon for any of the above topics.. I felt a sort of shift in my interest level and motivation to write a blog altogether.

The blog – Well, the blog did begin, but it was for an undergraduate course during my time at UW-Madison. As I began to build my own personal website part of this site included a blog where others could read about my personal background, experiences and areas of interests. Essentially, it was another resource for hiring companies and professionals to get a better feel about the type of person I was and how I could fit into their culture and organization.

  • Reflecting on this (above) I noticed Mann (2015) talked about professional development and career advancement as reason 4 of 5 to begin an academic blog. While at the time I curated this blog, I wasn’t sure how much help or assistance it would ultimately provide me; I’m beginning to see the advantages of presenting a potential employer with more than just a resume… Mann addresses the benefits of creating a blog for this reason by stating, “A well-done academic blog can be a nice feature on a CV” (Mann, 2015). As I began to generate more content to add on this blog, I focused more on the clarity of the content and specific topic to highlight versus just writing to write! Additionally, Mann talks about his experience being awarded a scholarship by keening into the topic of making scholarship available to a wider audience (open access) and with the creation of his own website, ultimately he could illustrate what he was highlighting (Mann, 2015).
    • Y U P !
      • Mann is spot on. For me, as I created my own website I used the website domain in my graduate school application, resume and various other job sites to showcase my own capabilities, reference my work and highlight other interests that were outside of the job scope.

I guess that’s all for now, but there will be more to come with this course and another try at creating an academic blog with all of you.

-Kim Drake

 

References:

Mann, Joshua. (2013, July 25). Press ‘Publish’: Start an Academic Blog [Blog post].

Retrieved

from: http://www.academia.edu/4101490/Press_Publish_Start_an_Academic_Blog

 

 

Posted on September 12, 2018, in Blogs, Social Media. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thank you for sharing your blog history!

    My first blog was an academic assignment in a Rhetoric and Technology graduate course in 2003, pre-Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube. I can’t remember if we were required to react to readings or just blog about things that interested us related to technology, or some combo of both, but I do know we did it weekly and early on in the term our professor shared our blog site links with professors he knew at other universities who also had their students blogging and–just like that–a community formed! We had readers outside of our classroom and I saw the potential of public writing. It was great to eventually meet one another at conferences and then collaborate on publications together. To this day, I feel my academic network is stronger online than on campus, but that’s because we have this history of similar interests being studied and, perhaps most importantly, the frequency of posts keeping one another up to date about our daily lives in between those annual conference meetings.

    As for maintaining a personal site, I’ve recently been motivated to blog more often on it given the amount of money I’m paying to keep my domain and host! Even though I am not using my site as a professional portfolio, I try to keep my CV up to date and post about some of my admin work.

    Quick note: since you’ve already hyperlinked us out to the Mann piece, there’s no need for a References section at the end of the post. I don’t want these to become too formal even though they are similar to mini-essays.

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