This is my 100th post, which I think means I can now officially call myself a blogger. I tried unsuccessfully to keep a blog several times before, so thought I’d reflect on why I had managed it this time. This is emphatically not a ‘guide to becoming a blogger’ since I don’t think one person can tell someone else how to do that. Just my thoughts on my experience:
Firstly, I narrowed the focus. Previously I had tried to be a blogger for all people, but I found it necessary to have a specific subject area, in my case educational technology and e-learning. With this acting as a spine I could branch of occasionally in to other subjects (witness ramblings on football), but generally I found it easier to use this as a basis.
Secondly, I found an appropriate tone. I had struggled before with how to comment on, say, meetings I had been in. While ‘X was their usual curmudgeonly self’ may be true it is both libellous and not very interesting to others. So I tend to use the meetings as springboards for more general points.
Thirdly, I built up some momentum before I let people know about it. This was helped by writing a book at the time, so I had lots to say and time to say it.
Lastly, I began to think about everyday experiences in terms of blog postings. This can become quite obsessive. I sometimes feel like the character in ‘The Grand Complication’ who compulsively ‘girdles’ everything. Sitting in conferences I would consider what my posting would be, as a way of passing the time. Actually, thinking about postings is a very good means of engaging with the world on an analytical level. It makes you consider what the essence of the situation is, and how it relates to your personal experience and broader issues.
Looking forward, I wonder to what extent blogging will become an integral part of one’s career profile. Just as some academics are essentially professional journal article writers, will some become predominantly bloggers. Blogging was something that I did in the occasional spare moment, but increasingly I feel it is central to what I do (if my boss is reading this – I still do lots of other stuff as well!).