Overall I’m really happy that I had the opportunity to start a blog. Yes, it was painful at times and I felt bad writing about random topics knowing at least one other person had to read my posts every week (post about birds, etc). But, I learned a lot about social media and blogs. I have four major takeaways from the exercise.
First, I really needed the writing practice. Surprisingly, I did more writing in this class than I did in my writing seminar, so I appreciate the complementary practice. I also really appreciated the thorough feedback from the professor.
Second, understanding the mechanics and requirements for maintaining and contributing to a blog are important. It allowed me to appreciate how much time a good blog requires. Having a basic understanding of a standard blog platform will be helpful as I continue my career and consider important methods for organizations or people to effectively communicate.
Third, I really enjoyed reading my everyone else’s blogs. It was a terrific way to get to know everyone outside of the classroom. I loved reading about Mariano’s literature reviews and musings, mixed with spicy personal narrative. I learned a lot about animal rights from “Kmeiser’s” eBULLient Paws. Blaec shared “stories that need to be told” detailing facts and stories about human trafficking. And, I love Jessica’s blog, Love @1stBite (actually, truth be told, I’m obsessed with this one).
Last, this exercise will really help me think about my clients and how they use social media. We learned a lot about writing for the right audience and thinking about who we’re trying to reach. A blog might be a great way for a start-up to test the waters with a casual approach, using a blog as a place to keep everything in one place including Twitter updates, photos, etc.
I really should have chosen a theme for my blog before I started. I finally got into the process when I started the Nike Training App Challenge, it gave me something to write about and challenged me to think about various ways to use social media. Until then my posts were all over the place and lacked direction and purpose.
I probably won’t continue contributing the blog unless I need to for a class or a side project. Twitter, on the other hand, has become a terrific tool that I really enjoy using. Maybe once I get more comfortable sharing my opinions with the world I’ll warm up to the blog. It has been a terrific experiment, and I’m not shutting down shop, just closing up for a while!