Reflecting Reflection

“Blogs create the audience, but the audience also creates the blog” – Gumbrecht, Nardi, and Schiano

The idea of writing has always appealed from a young age. With a small Lisa Simpsons diary by my side I began to observe the world and jot down anything that sprang to mind. The pages were full of rambles, drawings but most of all ideas – writing that represented me, my future and the journey I was about to entail.

My blog layout is a representation of who I am, and the goals I want to achieve. I am unsure of what my career will be in the future but I know if I end up in New York City – I’ve made it. New York – the city that never sleeps reflects who I am through its fashion, culture, art and most of all its ability to influence ideas in writing.

It began in 2014, the creation of my first blog, a place where I could voice my opinion, share ideas and most of all connect with others – students, teachers and the world in general. The idea of blogging was intimidating, I was sharing personal thoughts and opinions with practically the world, how could I not be slightly worried about the aftermath of my whimsical mind. As Gumbrecht, Nardi, and Schiano recognise “The distinctive diary format of blogs seems more of a lure for readers than the private record of the writer it so invitingly resembles”. Although I’m sharing my personal thoughts with my readers, I believe the success of blogs are influenced by the way they intimately portray an individuals’ ideas thus the diary concept.

It was a struggle to move beyond the professional and academic writing found within high school. Having the freedom to express my opinion without appearing too colloquial was a challenge but being provided with the ability to explore and research a diverse range of media platforms and topics influenced the development of my voice as a writer, moving beyond academic essay writing and presenting objectivity through my findings. It was challenging in maintaining a consistent persona throughout my blog. I did not want to present confusion or hinder my main message towards my audience in terms of this and previous BCM subjects, but at the same time I wanted to present diversity in my research and formed conclusions, finding the balance was sometimes an issue. As Ekdale, Fung and Namkoong reiterate “boyd (2006: 3) points out in arguing that blogs should be reconceptualized as a medium rather than a genre, blogging encapsulates a ‘diverse set of practices that result in the production of diverse content”. My blog aimed to cover a range of topics but by doing this consistency in my writing, research and opinions needed to be achieved which was challenging depending on the topics covered.

In terms of BCM240 what I thoroughly enjoyed the most was providing my opinion alongside my father’s in terms of our relationship with television enabling the audience to see the similarities and differences while providing them with the opportunity to make a distinction towards where they stand in terms of their childhood associations with television.  Learning about my father’s childhood, the shows he watched and how my extended family functioned during television time was fascinating and honestly provided invaluable knowledge and experiences which I could not have gained elsewhere. As Ekdale, Fung and Namkoong indicates bloggers are often motivated to interact with others and seek further opinions when their self-expression can also be recognised, which I found was a large motivation behind interviewing my father as I knew he would also accept my ideas and opinions.

I found it interesting reading other students blogs on the topic as well, in particular Emily Bradwell’s post where we both found that our parents’ families were brought together by the television. It became a family affair and united them whereas during our generation it seems like television has become obsolete in terms of unifying families, rather we access it from various mediums and places. As Stuart Glogoff recognises in his research piece “Blogging expresses the importance of social and peer interaction as foci of the learning community” which has been seen through BCM240’s collaborative learning approaches and my ability to connect and share ideas with other students, enhancing my skills, knowledge and practice as a blogger, and my understanding of media, audience and place.

BCM240 has facilitated me in realising the importance of media, audience and place in terms of research and establishing your own opinion towards media content and platforms. It has allowed me to undertake my own research and establish succinct evaluations based on topics that have influenced me. Blogging avoids focusing on one sole topic, instead you have the ability to explore a range of ideas – the possibilities are endless and not only beneficial to readers but the individual themselves as Barak and Nissim suggest blogging promotes well-being and also helps with coping with developmental challenges as it reflects a personal diary. Blogging has resulted in the establishment of my identity and social media presence online, influencing the creation of my professional persona.

Through the incorporation of my Twitter and Instagram feed my fellow followers and readers on WordPress can access information and resources about me through various mediums, facilitating their further understanding of who I am and my ambitions as an individual which is necessary when gaining future employment. My objective was to gather traffic to my blog through the incorporation of hashtags in the blog posts such as BCM240 or topics of the week like NBN, this not only enabled fellow BCM students to access my posts but other individuals on WordPress who may be interested in the topics I’m blogging about, gaining further readership. My design was chosen to easily navigate and incorporate other social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram providing my readers with an insight into my personal life while also increasing traffic to my site essential in my growth as a student and blogger. In order to achieve satisfactory traffic I also had to consider my target audience and ensure my blogs were promoted successfully to that market – in this case it was intellectual, media savvy individuals.

Reflecting on my blogging experience I can undoubtedly say that blogging is definitely the most beneficial way in understanding topics, undertaking research and establishing diversity in writing capabilities. Blogging has allowed me to express ideas, create a public persona and most of all voice my opinion especially in terms of media, audience and place. My blog still needs revising, but as I continue to grow and develop as a writer my blog will become an important element in my personal and professional lifestyle, defining my past, present and future.

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