Walking Stick Blogger

A Learning Space for Literacy and English Language Learners

10 things you should know about blogging

Blog for yourself first

You will need to feel comfortable with using your blog for expressing yourself in the ways you want; identifying these unique ways and fine-tuning how you talk about things that matter to you will outlast courses, programs, and projects. When you are involved in a course, or a program, relaize that ultimately it is about your own self-development over time that will matter. Blog about things that matter to you, and oftentimes the voice you find will ring true with others as well.

Document your learning process

What is significant to you changes; each time you look at a problem or attempt to review an issue, the perception changes, the emotional content shifts. Document these shifts, and pay attemtion to these nuances, and add as much personal context as you can to give the experiences added meaning for you so that when you re-visit the post months or years later, there are enough clues to conjure up the emotional states and thoughts of you as you are now in this moment.

Talk through your learning experiences and struggles

Giving voice to your concerns makes them a work in progress, as these posts cry out for definition, for revision, for what Mark McCutcheon, a Professor at Athabasca University, calls the “serializing imperative”. Use your blog to lay out the thoughts and ambiguities that make up your inner learning experience. By posting these thoughts, others can comment on your feelings, and resonate with what you are writing. Or they may come up with an entirely different perspective that transforms how you think, how you will consider things in future.

Clarify your way-making strategies

One needs to note down where one has already been, and note down ideas and impressions of where one still needs to go, including strategies for how to get there. When using online resources, we not need to detail when/how/what we use online, but also why/why not. Documenting how we have changed, how we adapt to broken links or lost resources, are all part of the blogging journey. It is not enough to create the way, it as essential to maintain, tend, and defend the way as well, as needed.

Tend to your virtual homestead

When you blog, you have to remember to tend to the spaces you call your virtual home. Tidy up the pages that seem unkempt, remove the dead links that clutter up your garden, cull the forest of tags and sort out the blog-roll. Freshen up the look with a different theme. All of these tending activities renew one’s commitment to continuing one’s blogging journey.

Organize your posts

Spend some time to review your posts, deleting some of them, or placing them into an archive off-limits to public view. Re-publish older posts with a fresh twist, with added links and commentary. Scan the posts for keywords, author’s names, and titles of books, and links, and add them to your follow-up task list. Add more annotations and details to resources you have once visited.

Read and learn from others’ blogs

The best way to encourage a regular routine as a blogger is to be an avid reader of others’ blogs. Jot down what has been learned from other bloggers, and what impressed you. Identify how you might adjust your own blogging based on someone’s else’s resources, or how you might want to follow up on topics inspired by others’ writings. Place these in your ideas to be developed page on your blog, so you can always have a tally of topics to develop at a later time when the blogging bug bites you, and you have extra time to devote to it.

Take a blogging tools inventory

Sometimes you want to use visualization tools, sometimes you need to disseminate your ideas to others, and sometimes you want to edit a video clip, photo, or podcast. You need to spend some time following up on technologies and applications of possible use to you as a blogger. Use a tagging category or add a page to your blog about technology, to which you can add your posts about your impressions and reviews about web sites, software, and blog posts. Take some time to review them and try some of them out.

Be open (but not too open)

If you are ambivalent abouot blogging in the open, don’t. If you are unsure if the post is appropriate to a specific audience, say so. You have the control voer the access settings, so choose to not blog in the open if you have some hesitations. However, I have found from experience that a well-written, personal blog post rings true with so many others. Writing passionately is rare in the blogosphere, precisely because it is so genuine and precious. Best to leave the more personal posts under wraps but with the eventual hopes of publishing them years afterwards to a larger audience than one.

Consider your legacy

What kind of person do you want to be remembered for? As much as you want something for yourself, what are you contributing to others? In what sense will what you are blogging have significance years from now for your family and friends? For future generations? How are you adding to a better society?

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advice to new bloggers

netizenship • June 1, 2014

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