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I’m baaack! September 17, 2010

Posted by ashleyquark in Tech Tools.
Tags: ,

I’m back to my blog . . . after a two year hiatus! I’m going to honest to any readers I may have out there. I didn’t just decide it was time to start blogging again. I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I’m resurrecting my blog because it’s a requirement of a class. I hope that with the increased readership that I expect this class will generate for my blog, perhaps I will get hooked and begin to blog regularly, but I’m not too sure. Let me tell you a bit of my blogging history and then I will pose some questions that will help me reflect on why I’ve had a difficult relationship with blogging.

I started my first blog with my students. Back in 2005, I was teaching English Language Arts at the American School of Kuwait, and I wanted to help students find an audience for their writing so we started a class blog where they essentially journalled each week, read each others’ writing and commented to each other. While I say this was my first blog, I guess that’s a bit of a misnomer because I just set up the blog and provided a space for my students to write–I was just a member of their audience. In retrospect, I should have been blogging with them to model the practice, but I didn’t.

In 2006, I returned to Saskatchewan from Kuwait to work on my Masters of Education in Educational Psychology. During this time, I had the good fortune to work with the Digital Internship Project and began to learn a great deal about using technology in the classroom. As well, my research for my thesis revolved around teenage girls’ experiences with cyberbullying which helped me understand how social networking and the use of technology affects the lives of girls. At this time, I started this blog to provide a space for me to reflect on what I was learning; however, it didn’t take long for me to abandon this blog.

Then in 2009, I turned 30 and decided that my goal for my 30th year would be to do 30 new things that have never done before. My plan was to document my adventures on my newest blog:  30 Adventures at 30. This time I thought I would blog about my experiences and monetize my blog–perhaps the lure of possibly making money on my blog would motivate me to stick with it. In starting this blog, I also figured that blogging about 30 new things I would do in my 30th year would give me a specific time frame and if I abandoned my blog after that, at least I could say that I stuck it out for a whole year. Unfortunately, as you can see on my “30 for 30” blog, my attempt was short lived and I only ended up blogging about a few of my experiences.

I must say that I am generally a very committed and dedicated person and when I start something it almost always gets finished. So, with all of these failed attempts to blog regularly, it begs the question, what’s the problem? Why haven’t I been able to stick with blogging for either personal and professional purposes? This made me wonder why other people blog and what purpose do they see in their blog that keeps them committed.

Jason Kaneshiro talks about the concept of not “Breaking the Chain”—an idea he borrowed from Jerry Sienfeld. This strategy to stay committed to blogging basically focuses the blogger to write everyday. Yes, it’s that simple. He says that every time you write, mark it on a calendar and you will eventually see a long chain that represents your progress which will be a motivator to continue. I suppose that I can see how this works, and Kanashiro compares this to process to sticking with a diet or exercising. However, my problem is that I would use a method like this to stick to a diet or exercise because it is healthy for me. Blogging, in my mind, does not make me “healthier” and I do not want it to become an onerous chore.

Similarly, on his blog about Blogging Ethics, Martin poses the questions to his readership, “Why did you decide to start a weblog? What did you want your blog to accomplish? Have you achieved that purpose yet?” His readers responded with several reasons to blog that make a lot of sense to me such as “keeping my writing sharp,” keeping a record of my thought process, and learning from others through feedback and critique. However, I am still unsure if any of these reasons would compel me to stick with a blog for the long-term.

So I pose this question: Why do you blog? What makes you want to do it everyday and stick with it? As evidenced by my various attempts, I want to be a blogger, but what am I missing?