Yup … who’d have thought it? I certainly wouldn’t have. Not sure whether others suspected this would happen to me, but the truth is – and I can now admit it out loud – I’m hooked on blogging.
It’s fun. It really is. And it’s simple too! All I have to do is sit here and ramble, write what I’ve been doing, write what I’m going to do and just concoct any little entry I like. Maybe others will read what I write. Maybe they won’t. But whether others read my jottings or not really doesn’t matter. The point is I’m writing.
So why do I bother? What’s in it for me?
Well … I guess I’ve been working through a process over the last few months. Some four months ago when I started, I honestly didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I kind of followed a set of instructions to set up a blog, then stared at the screen wondering what on earth I’d write. Fortunately, I’d been given some questions which were a base that I used. I eventually wrote something. I remember feeling ‘over the moon’ at my first creation which floated out in cyberspace and rushed off to drag family and friends to have a look at what I’d done.
Yes…. I was very proud of myself. And so I should be, as should anyone who is new to blogging. To be able to write, add hyperlinks, embed a picture, a video an audio wave, a widget, a calendar and all those other bits and pieces that can be seen on blogs – it’s really a great achievement. When I started out, way back then, I’d vaguely heard about blogs, but didn’t really know much about them. I had absolutely no appreciation of their value. Boy… have I come a long way in my thinking!
When I started out, my blog was simply a record of what I’d read, played with or discovered in the previous week. A few weeks down the track I figured out how to add a hyperlink. That set me on a new trail. My blog posts moved from being a record of what I’d done to a storage spot of ‘links’ to what I’d read, played with and discovered. It was around this time that I added my ‘Tools’ page, a spot where I could update an annotated list of the many fantastic tools I’d discovered and played with or those that I had discovered but had no time to play with now. The next phase of the process saw me shift into ‘showcasing’ my achievements – ToonDoo was a favourite! I then kind of drifted into the next stage in which I was making my own discoveries and ‘sharing’ them with readers of my blog.
Once it had sunk in that I was sharing with others, I realized that there was heaps out there that others wanted to share with me. I set about skimming through the long list of other VicPLNer’s blogs. Before I knew it I had a long swag of blogs bookmarked in my RSS reader. All I had to do was find time to read them! And right now, this is a step I’m really struggling with. How on earth can I find time in a day to read the blogs of others yet continue on with the busy life I had in the year BV (Before VicPLN)?!? – Did I see you smile at this question!?
So this is kind of where I’m at now. Blogging – writing my own blog – has become a kind of ‘fix’. Thoughts float around and around in my head until an overwhelming urge hits me and I just have to put pen to paper – OK – fingers to keyboard! One of my PLN buddies recently asked me whether this ‘reflective’ style of writing was to be the ‘style’ of my blog. Gosh, hec, gee …. it wasn’t planned, but for the moment, it seems as though this is what I’m doing.
The flip side of writing my own blog is reading the blogs of others. Never would I have believed that this could be as strong a need for me as my own need of writing! I crave knowing what others in my PLN are up to, how they are faring, what their latest explorations are and where they are heading with all their discoveries.
On completion of the VicPLN probably the most asked question among my PLN was whether we’d continue blogging. The desire to ‘think’ and ‘share’ in cyberspace has been an urge too hard to suppress for many of us. And a warm surprise along the way for me has been that blogging is helping me expand my PLN. Each time I receive a comment on my blog or I comment on the blog of another, I feel like hands are being linked and new cyberbuddies are joining my PLN. It’s nice. Real nice to meet up with folk out there. To know that I contribute to the growth of others in the same way that others contribute to my growth leaves me with a warm afterglow.
So … to answer that question: ‘To blog or not to blog?’ … I think NovaNews will be around for a while longer yet!