WordPress has been an essential part of my university experience, since week one I’ve had to keep numerous blogs for different subjects, primarily for communications and media. Combining three separate BCM subjects into one blog allowed me to develop a written personality, which I’ve tried to keep consistent throughout the duration of my blogging experience.
Blogging allows me to complete these tasks on a more personal level, and although the content is taken seriously and marked according to strict criteria the page is essentially my own, so showcasing that and ensuring that the design was specific to myself was a very important priority.
The overall design of the blog was chosen for its simplicity, yet also its customizable properties. This was in order to maintain a level of professionalism while ensuring that it also represented myself, and showed character. Diplomacy (2014) states in their document Blogging best practices that a personal touch is a key attribute in the engagement of your audience, that blogs “Live, breathe and die” on this involvement and is detrimental to developing a voice. The most important thing to me was that my readers understood that I am a person, people connect with other people and the more individuality I illustrate, the more they can relate to what I am saying. The about me section is honest, I haven’t tried to be professional and I haven’t tried to be serious, it contains what I consider to be the most important information about myself, who I am, what I do and what I’m here for.
In the side panel the first feature is my recent posts, this allows up to five previews of what I have previously posted, which in doing so saves time scrolling or sifting through the other pages, the archive and category features also promote this, although both very differently. Archiving achieves access according to date and category is specific to which subject; by allowing more options to the reader I’m essentially making my blog easier to navigate. Implementing other social networking sites was one of the first things I did when I first created the page, this allowed wider and easier access to my content and in addition, ensured that it was distributed and shared among a variety of people throughout different platforms. This also allows easier criticism and engagement from other BCM students and of course, the people marking it. Using a category system, I am able to label each of my posts separately and accordingly, this permits the reader a much more accessible way of finding what they’re looking for via the use of tagging, and is also quite important when you’re using one blog for multiple subjects. The text is large so also clear and quite easy to read, and for my font I chose one simple and well spaced in default black, complimented by the blue of the links. This decision was made to contrast the important information (such as the date, the category and the hyperlinks) on purpose, and also tributes to the colour of my background and the site title (which consequently is my last name).
This subject challenged me especially as a writer, as previously everything I had written had been focused around social media as a whole, or the issues relevant to those mediums. In this subject however, the focus was more on people and their relationships to specific media, an idea in which I was foreign to and found difficult to relate to in my posts. I feel like this had a profound effect on my work, and didn’t keep up to the same standard as my prior blog posts.
I additionally strongly feel like this difference affected the flow particularly, as previously my blog seemed to have developed a theme, and as my confidence in what I was writing about faltered my posts seemed to as well.
To me a good blog is one that you can engage in with the confidence of knowing what’s coming next. You come to expect a certain standard of work and whether it is something good or something disappointing, getting the feel of a person or how they write is important to develop a relationship. I think in the beginning I managed to successfully do that, but gradually started to lose my voice with my confidence, my research wasn’t as clear as it usually was and the use of relevant links declined noticeably and I believe that shows. Additionally, I’m aware of that what may have held me back was not completely related to my understanding or ability to complete these tasks, but more as a side-effect of personal issues that caused a sense of detachment within my writing.
Overall, I have always enjoyed the freedom that blogging allows and love the way that it enables you to implement yourself into what you do. One of the most useful advantages is being able to get to know the people you’re engaging with more intimately, and the use of feedback via the commenting system promotes healthy criticism and a more actively engaging environment. Although not entirely happy with every aspect of my blog, I do believe it succeeds in representing me and in the future hope to perfect the consistency of my work.
Diplomacy.edu 2014, Blogging best practices, p.1, Diplomacy.edu, viewed 20 September 2014, <http://www.diplomacy.edu/sites/default/files/Blogging%20best%20practices.pdf>