Reflecting about blogging
I had a thoroughly enjoyable time and especially enjoyed talking to Matthew who has been blogging for many years and is a social media expert working at Lonely Planet. Our discussions coupled with the fact I am approaching my 2nd year of blogging anniversary has left me to reflect on this blog and ask myself if I am achieving what I set to achieve?
Is this blog meeting my needs and my audience? How can I attract a bigger audience? Now that I am about to become unemployed and consequently beholden to no particular employer or organisation, can I cut loose and write more personal posts? Should I be keeping a personal blog as well as a professional blog? Does this professional blog meet my needs as I start to think about my future direction in terms of employment? If I have a personal blog, do I write it as 'Sarah Stewart'? If I do, how will that impact on my professional identity?
All this reflection has led to the blogging equivalent of a mid life crisis!
I'm bored with my blog
At the moment this blog is boring me. It is dense with professional information and somewhere along the line I have lost a sense of 'me' in it. Now, that has a lot to do with my real life. I have been extremely busy with the eMentoring and Second Life midwifery education projects and have had little time to think about my personal life, let alone write about it. Actually, truth be told, for the last two months I haven't had a personal life. This weekend is the first time I have had a complete break from either project.
Suffering blog envy
I have always insisted that this blog is about my personal learning and I do not particularly want a blog that panders to a certain audience. If I wanted to do that, my blog would be targeted at pregnant women or people interested in clinical midwifery. At the same time, it would be great to reach a wider audience than I am at the moment. This is especially true as I start to look for another job, and think about the future direction of my career.
I guess the bottom line is that I have been afflicted with a major case of blog envy. I want a blog like Rhonda's. But at the same time, if I try to promote a more personal blog, how effective would that be in attracting a widespread audience unless I have something to 'sell'?
Getting back to my roots
I have dug out a post I wrote at the beginning of 2008 that hopefully will help me to refocus called My blog goals for 2008. My goals were:
- use my blog for my own personal and professional learning;
- role model blogging and social networking to midiwves;
- build a midwifery community that goes on to meet via virtual meetings and conferences.
Where does Twitter fit into this?
In one sense, Twitter has taken over the role of personal blogging. Whilst I have been writing very few personal blog posts, I have been putting out a lots of personal thoughts and maintaining personal connections on Twitter. So maybe, the option for me is to concentrate on building my blog as a professional space, and using Twitter for making and keeping personal connections?
So you can see, I'm in a right old tiss and would love to hear your feedback. Should I have a personal blog as well as this professional blog? How can I make this professional blog more engaging and attract a wider audience? What do you think?
Image: 'It's the hard knock life!' Ruben Bos