Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

Reflections on #blogeverydayinjune

June 30, 2010

And now we will return you to you regularly scheduled program. Or irregularly unscheduled program.

It has been an interesting challenge and I am a couple of posts shy of actually making it. It did teach me some things about myself and blogging and so I am glad I tried it. I won’t be trying to keep it up. On the other hand I will be trying to keep up the connections that we made.

These are some of the things that I learnt (there aren’t 30):

  1. Posting every day is hard work and time consuming for me. It wasn’t so much that finding the time that was difficult as finding “a” regular time. Mornings are as busy here as in any other house and I like to spend the free morning time catching up on other people’s posts tweets etc. Night times are OK but I am not a night person and tend go to bed early. I am also not as clear thinking after a hard day’s work. I posted a couple of times at lunch but a lunch 1/2 hour wasn’t long enough for a well constructed post.
  2. Inspiration can strike at any time which can make me late for work or late to come home when I stop to post. Or make hubby express frustration that I am blogging AGAIN. I can’t schedule that so I won’t be promising to make a certain number of posts per week.
  3. My first rule of blogging was “have something to say”. Some days I just didn’t.
  4. I read some time ago that the worst thing was a blog full of posts apologizing about a lack of posts. It stops now.
  5. Questions can be interpreted as challenges
  6. Writing knowing that I have an audience changes my perspective.
  7. Coming to know and connect with that audience via their personal blogs, comments and tweets REALLY changes my perspective. I found that I was writing much more like I was telling a story or having a conversation.
  8. We are all complete people and posting everyday can mean having to blur the professional and the personal lines and letting go of self imposed rules.
  9. Following from that it was difficult to start posting personal subjects, which I had to in order to have something to say some days. It felt wrong on this “professional” blog. I somehow reserve that for twitter or facebook in my mind. A big thing that will be occupying my mind in the months coming up will be my kitchen renovation. Do my readers really want to hear the gritty details?? I also wondered all the time whether I was “oversharing”. Strange- it’s not something that I worry about in 140 characters, just long form posts.
  10. Stranger- I didn’t apply that judgment to others and I really valued learning about them via this challenge and felt I knew them better via their “personal” posts.
  11. I kept forgetting the hashtag.
  12. I started with a theme in order to have something to post about. I have posts on that theme still sitting in drafts. But after I did a couple I felt they were much too snarky and negative. It has been a hard month at work and any negativity was bringing me down further. I felt my negativity coming through those posts making them even more snarky in my eyes. So I left most of them in the drafts.
  13. Having a life gives me something to post about. It also give me less time to post.
  14. My post about hubby’s gig was as much an experiment in mobile citizen journalism/life stream recording from my iPhone as a post about our lives.
  15. My current theme (White as Milk) is not good for posts with lots of pictures. I should try another.
  16. I am not a natural writer. Writing for me takes some time to edit and grammar check (thank god for browser spell checkers). Practice hasn’t changed that.
  17. Some topics I thought I may have been repeating from old posts and I had to search to make sure.
  18. Memes make posting easy except when they are topics too revealing. But don’t bring comments.
  19. I also observed and tried a couple of alternative post styles- as though I was seeing if they fitted. But it was like I was using someone else’s voice.
  20. Minor observation. My trained tendency, even after 25 years of knowing differently, is to write in the third person passive. I hope (but I know that they do) that they are not still teaching Science undergrads that. I just had to go over and edit all of this post.
  21. My assumption that I should not do link posts because my audience would have already seen the information that I was linking to was wrong. I shall try more of those.
  22. My most viewed and commented post over the 30 days was the one that got everyone crossposting – about blogging itself. But it started as the sort of post I would have ordinarily have made and a homage to Dorothea. It was just serendipitous that the timing made it relevant to 30+ other people.
  23. Numbers viewing does not correlate to numbers of comments. Except when they do.
  24. There is a hierarchy of validation of blogging for me:
    1. viewers
    2. comments about my ideas- not necessarily on the blog post
    3. my ideas being discussed in another blog
    4. then the highest compliment. When someone takes an idea in one of my posts and it solves a problem for them. And they let me know.
  25. However, validation is nice (OK- it’s lovely) but not why I post. I post to get an idea out of my head and into a form where I can see it and judge it. The act of writing it out make me structure it better.
  26. I was too busy writing and reading to give good comments. I will try to fix that.
  27. I apparently only have mind space for a certain number of posts. My posting on our in-house blog for my colleagues, which is mostly link posts, declined a lot.
  28. From the above – I need to but have yet to find a balance in these things.
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A meta post: on blogging

June 4, 2010

I was brainstorming what to post today. This challenge is hard. I am an infrequent blogger at best and usually only post when riled up about something. (“Riled” is a relative term- I acknowledge my posts are mild on any scale :)) The topics that will get me riled up are professional not personal. I have a few more posts in draft similar in tone to Wednesdays “Gripe 1” but will spread them out in order to dilute the snark.

But a topic has dropped in my lap. And it’s blogging. As a librarian.

Dorothea Salo is on my “must follow” list. I read ALL her posts, follow her on Friendfeed, and frequently pass her public posts onto my colleagues. Her interests coincide the current “big” projects at MPOW and she has insight, experience and researches her topics.

And she is seriously considering shutting down as a blogger.

I would respect her decision – and it is only hers to make- but would be incredibly saddened to lose her voice.

But it raises bigger issues for discussion. Those of us participating in this challenge are not necessarily blogging on professional topics. Of those that aren’t – do you feel constrained in anyway not to speak out on professional topics? I am not saying that you should professionally blog- just wondering if perceptions of risk to career colour that choice. Of those that do post on professional topics- have you ever felt it threatened your career? And even when it’s posts about topics of general interest to the larger profession? I acknowledge it can be foolish to discuss the specifics of a work situation. We do things to distance our personal blogs from our workplace because we can be uncomfortable and not sure of the reaction when we start blogging. I don’t have my full name or place of work on this blog but anyone could work those things out. I don’t hide the fact that I blog from my management and had these posts auto re-posting to an internal blog as an experiment but didn’t actually expect them to find or read them.

Would I feel uncomfortable and constrained if I knew my management were reading these? Probably. But I am also somewhat comfortable in having a low profile. I am not as exposed as Dorothea because I am not as well read. I am not as well read because I am not as insightful. It’s sad that the insightful voices are those we need and those who feel threatened.

(PS Dorothea also linked to Jenica Rogers wonderful post on professional online identity. It’s worth a read if you haven’t yet seen it.)