I have found that blogging is a lot harder than it appears. Being creative on demand is difficult. Finding a voice that is engaging yet informative on a variety of topics is challenging. I have a few friends that blog daily, some do it as mommy blogs, others for business, all of them do an amazing job. I was always appreciative of their talent. However, I now have a greater understanding of the massive accomplishment that they have achieved. Daily blogging, when done well is arduous, regardless of how well you write. Devising topics that are timely, informative, engaging and thought provoking on a daily basis – wow – my hat is off to anyone who accomplishes this feat. I can see now that what I have been doing is a sprint compared to the marathon that they are running.
I struggled constantly throughout this class assignment. I tried to tailor my content and style to achieve engagement and a wider audience. I found that when writing a post it was hard to decipher what would appeal to my audience, it was very hit or miss. I am very proud of some posts, the ones that captured pieces of me. Those ones were easy to write. The ones in which I enjoyed the entire process from finding links and background information to the result. Then there were others that were complete drudgery. The style I used felt thick and cumbersome rather than fluid and supple. These were the posts that even with endless edits I never liked the results. Oddly enough, the ones I disliked received the most “likes” and comments.
I do believe that with continued practice I would find a voice that felt natural to me, that engaged my intended audience and allowed blogging to become a vehicle to achieve my marketing goals. Practice makes perfect after all. Even with additional practice, a challenge I can perceive having is locating content and topics of interest to me and my readers.
I love news and I always have. Before the internet made it almost effortless to monitor the world, I loved the world of print. Newspapers and magazine subscriptions were always my favorite Christmas and Birthday gifts. I liked gathering bits and pieces of random events and predicting patterns and trends that would emerge. There was a movies in the 1980’s that illustrated very well what I enjoy doing. In Working Girl, the main character Tess has a talent for linking indiscriminate details into potential business leads. There is a point where she has to defend her inspiration and does it with ease. Tess pulls out her articles and explains how A and B lead to C. Even with the marvels of today, this is still how I do it. I might have links instead of cut out articles but I like to expose myself to a wide variety of media, and then let my subconscious start piecing them together into a unique puzzle.
I can see how netvibes can be helpful to both my newsgathering, and blogging activities. However, I can only see it being a secondary or tertiary part of my process. In its current mode, I find it very visually unappealing. I have changed the settings, added, and subtracted widgets, turned it to a list mode, moved things around but it never felt balanced. Basically, it gives me a headache. It is either too busy or too plain; I could not find an acceptable fit. In the end, I had a tendency to use it similar to how I used the research library in college. I rarely go there. Only when I have to, for example at the beginning of a project when I want to see what is available or when I get stuck and need a fresh idea or tactic to gain more information. It would be a tool rather than an everyday resource.
I am grateful for the past month, without my blogging assignments I might not have tried out different styles or some of the topics. Each post has taught me something, whether it is to go with my gut, or learning that sometimes you have to sacrifice perfection for completion. You can edit forever but if you never post the article, what was the purpose of writing it? Perhaps the greatest lesson I learned from this experience is a willingness to let go.