If you want your blog to be meaningful,
write about your passion.
Write from your heart.
This past week the adviser for Florida State College at Jacksonville newspaper (The Campus Voice http://www.campusvoiceonline.com/) asked me to write a column for the next issue. He suggested I write about my objectives for blogging. In short, why do I do it?
Blogging is a form of social media that has become part of our culture; it is a way to share opinions, shape thoughts, report news, and build networks. Like it or not it has become a fixture. According to author and social media expert Erik Qualman, there are 200,000,000 blogs in the world.
Some blog posts are little more than what you might find on an editorial page in the local newspaper. Others are carefully researched and crafted to present a particular point of view. You will find some that are rants and raves—little more than rambling diatribes of the writer. Bloggers can present their opinions as proven fact—whether or not they are in fact true. Traditional publishing (especially scholarly journals and textbooks) requires that other professionals in the field review a manuscript for credibility and accuracy. There is no such requirement for a blog. While a professional review does not automatically make a source “good,” know that a blogger can immediately post any material that he or she wishes–with or without supporting evidence.
A jaded view of blogs can be found in one 15 second piece of dialogue on the television show NCIS. Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs is interviewing a suspect. At one point the young lady said that someone had trashed her on a blog.
Gibbs: A blog?
Young lady: Yeah, a blog?
Gibbs: What’s a blog?
Young lady: You know…a blog!
Gibbs: No, I don’t know.
Young lady: It’s something a loser puts online so everyone can read it!”
The good news is that blogs can serve a wonderfully useful purpose. A blogger does not have to be synonymous with a loser or egomaniac.
If you start a blog, have a reason—a goal. Why do you want to blog? Is it to change opinions of others? Or do you want to educate people about a cause near and dear to your heart? I know some folks who use their blogs as an outlet for their creative writing. Some people have a theme or themes they write about regularly.
When I started blogging I had three objectives in mind.
1st. Share Ideas. I generally write about two themes: Student Success and Personal Wellbeing. I want to share meaningful thoughts, reflections, research, and strategies that will have an impact. I am passionate about these topics—and have experience and research to complement the passion. If you want your blog to be meaningful, write about your passion. Write from your heart.
2nd. Develop discipline. The blog has become a discipline tool for me. When I started in the spring of 2010, I made a commitment to post a blog every week (on Sunday). This forces me to set aside time to practice the craft of writing. This post marks the 70th consecutive week I have met my self-imposed deadline. I preach to my students that writing is a habit worth cultivating. I want to follow and model that advice as well.
3rd. Stimulate creativity. There is something about the blog that keeps me fresh; keeps ideas flowing. Starting on Wednesday or Thursday of each week, I begin to brainstorm topics for the week. Some weeks are easier than others as the ideas just come. Other weeks I have “creativity block”—which is really what writer’s block comes down to in my opinion. The writing process has helped me create and/or flesh out ideas for programs and the classroom.
What do you have to share with the world? When will you start?
Enjoy your week!
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© 2011. Steve Piscitelli and Steve Piscitelli’s Blog.