For the class BCM 240: Media, Audience and Place, we are required to fulfil a total of eight blogs for both task one and two. This experience is new to me as I have never tried blogging until I am enrolled in this course (Communication and Media Studies). As a communication and media student, it is vital to have a good understanding towards how different media work. This certainly allows me to apply learning in a different arena than the usual before.
Personally, the thought of writing in public terrifies me as this means our work can be viewed by anyone. It would be dreadful to mistakenly write down the wrong facts or information. What more when we need to write academic writings that will be published in the technological platform with such broaden scope. Thus, before beginning blogging, I did some research on how to start an academic blog effectively. I came across Babauta (2014), a public blogger and an author for 8 years now, who gave some great advices for those who want to start blogging. He admitted that there is no secret to shed away the nervousness or worry; but it is definitely worth the effort to overcome the fear in writing public. One of his advices that I bear in mind deeply is that we need to “get over the idea of perfection.” This makes me realize that I do not have to be afraid of doing mistakes, as long as we learn from it and improve ourselves to be better the next time.
As mentioned above, the blogs we compose are of academic works, thus they involve much research and critical thinking to be transfigured into the writings. Essid (n.d.) suggested that a formal writing, especially through blogging, is to be straight to the point, yet precise and brief. Therefore, I am aware that with focus and concentration only I can perform a detailed piece of writing effectively. Besides, he also stated that it is extremely important to include relevant inputs or evidence from credible sources for providing a more in-depth analysis into the essay. For a more compelling content, I could insert some thought-provoking questions to arouse the interest of a reader. This technique has paved the way for me to broaden my research, analytical and writing skills. Knowing that these essays are displayed in public, some of the fundamental elements in writing are precision and clarity. (Tricarico, 2011) Given in this field of study, we ought to learn how to express ourselves professionally and clearly. In the working environment, employers definitely will expect their employees to deliver their best. Hence, blogging acts as a guide for us to showcase our work before stepping into the working world. This practise not only helps building confidence in me, but also accentuates myself to be more constructive and better in making decision.
Besides, this assignment tests the students’ ability to generate ideas relating to the given weekly topics. Honestly, this is the hardest aspect for me as I need to implement the ideas into the writings that are easily understood yet critical; at the same time to meet the standards of a tertiary level writing. This in a way enhances my academic growth by being more inquisitive when writing for the materials that are dependent on facts. Through this same channel, I realize we can gain extra knowledge when reading through other peers’ blogs too. We have the opportunity to exchange reviews and different perspectives respectively, in which allows us to identify the strengths and weaknesses such as in the aspect of paragraph structuring, inducing analytical ideas and so on. Thus, this motivates me to learn to be more productive. This evidently depicts how learning can go beyond classroom and the knowledge we gain is not limited from a textbook.
Thanks to the modern technology today, there are so many channels available for beginners to blog for free. For this assignment, I have utilized the site WordPress to create an account as it is user-friendly and provides customization of theme settings according to our liking. Since I am still an amateur, the blogs I have set up are fairly simple and direct. Nevertheless, as I try to constantly build my current channel, I would want to develop it into a brand of my own, in a way establishing myself a professional presence online. Thus, what I really like about WordPress is that it enables you to upgrade to the next level, which is WordPress.org (the ‘self-hosted’ version of WordPress). (Power, n.d.) This server delivers extra functionality and flexibility, which are essential for applying more sophisticated plugins and features that could enhance my own domain. Consequently, this adds appeal to the site, which may intrigue a wider appeal of audiences.
Speaking of audiences, blogging is a form of engagement with the readers by expressing our thoughts and opinions through words. Not only that we need to be attentive in producing good contents, but we also need to be able to drive traffic towards the site. This is the primary purpose of blogging anyway, which is to garner readership and visibility in this vastly spread technology world. Part of the task requirements was creating a Twitter account, which we could utilize it to generate awareness about our blogs site. In the beginning, it is surely going to be tough to earn recognition with the rise of so many other competitions. Thus, I think it is worth attempting to start small by sharing the blogs with friends and families. If they happen to like it and feel connected, eventually they will help me to spread it to their other circle of friends too. Referring to Morrow (2012), the ultimate strategy to launch a blog is to listen. Even though this blog article has been written by the author three years ago, I think this approach suggested is crucial and lasts a lifetime. Just like in the context of human relations, the key to human communication is listening. In other words, I should be constantly updated with the latest news and trends to keep up with the pace especially in this globalised world today. Our blogs are specifically academic writings; nonetheless, this is how we could implicate our understanding about the current issues or affairs into our essay.
Babauta, L 2014, “How to Put Your Writing in Public”, Zen Habits, accessed 15/10/2015, http://zenhabits.net/public/
Essid, J n.d., “Effective Academic Blogging”, accessed 15/10/2015, http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/blogging.html
Morrow, J 2012, “The 7 Dumbest Mistakes You Can Make When Launching a New Blog”, Boost Blog Traffic, accessed 15/10/2015, http://boostblogtraffic.com/launch-mistakes/
Power, C n.d., “Why WordPress is the Best Blogging Platform for Your Business Blog”, Blog Success School, accessed 15/10/2015, http://www.blogsuccessschool.com/best-blogging-platform-business/
Rettberg, JW, “Blogging as a Tool for Reflection and Learning”, accessed 15/10/2015, http://www.virclass.net/eped/ep_tmp/files/17842056574abc85cdf304e.pdf
Tricarico, D 2011, “Precision and Clarity”, Scribophile, accessed 15/10/2015, http://www.scribophile.com/blog/precision-and-clarity/