Blogging…the running of the internet

Based on the readings from this week, creating a digital presence is one of the best ways to engage yourself and your audience with your materials whether it be research or coursework. One of the ways we’re practicing a well rounded digital presence this semester is through blogging.

If I’m being honest, blogging is not something that comes easy to me. As an entomology PhD student, most of my written communication about my own research is in passive voice, and that is far from engaging for a general audience. Considering my lack of experience, my plan for this semester is to treat blogging like running.

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I have been an runner on and off for the better part of four years, and running for the first time or starting back after a break is always difficult and uncomfortable. It’s hard to know when to breathe and what pace works, but at some point, usually about a month into it, an internal flip switches. The discomfort gets replaced by a steady rhythm. There are still days where it’s difficult, but for the most part, it becomes a second nature.

I’m hoping that blogging will follow a similar pattern. The first few weeks might feel a bit shaky and strained. Finding my voice might feel a bit like finding a rhythm and building up strength, but at some point, I’m hoping for that internal switch.

By the end of the course, I want to take the practice of blogging about classroom topics and expand it into blogging about my own research. Building a foundation of digital engagement as a graduate student would hopefully provide for a smooth transition of digital engagement as a professor.

4 thoughts on “Blogging…the running of the internet”

  1. That is a good way to think about blogging. For me, the struggle is that I just hate sharing things about myself on the internet. I did hate running too, but the realization was it is the easiest way to exercise. Using that logic, I’m trying hard to use Twitter. I think it is a bit easier to use that instead of blog. However, it is hard to develop and transform ideas using only a couple hundred characters. I did like that suggestion from one of the readings that blogging is a great way to develop your ideas.

    Maybe trying to keep it rolling after classes are over could work. There isn’t much to do on the Eastern Shore during the summer. I do know that this would be one of the first things dropped if I needed more time for real work. I also believe that a hiring committee is going to care more about publications and other qualifications. I would rather focus on that. I’m sure if a blog was popular enough you could leverage that; but, I don’t anticipate my blog reaching superstar status.

  2. That is cool analogy to use for blogging. I agree with you and hope that you do find a rhythm. What helped me a few semesters ago was that I wrote even though it was not required, it helped put things into perspective and bring it all together later. If I read my blogs even now I know what I was thinking at the time. Its pretty neat actually.

  3. I will add to your comment about “a well rounded digital presence”. Your comment reminds me that “Having a corner of the web you control means being able to better control your digital identity” (Belshaw, 2014). The GRAD 5124 (Grad Library Research Skills) course addresses this subject. For example, managing your web presence eliminates scholarly and professional misidentification (VA Tech Libraries). It is important to note that “a well rounded digital presence” requires management to ensure information is up to date.

    Belshaw, D. (2014, June 18). Working Openly On the Web [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://literaci.es/working-openly-a-manifesto

    VA Tech Libraries. Creating & Managing Your Scholarly Web Presence.

  4. I’m a runner and a blogger as well, and I really appreciate this perspective. Personally I find it much easier to forego blogging than to miss a run. Running always revives and centers me, while with my blog I have to be in the right head space to want to write. Thanks!

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