Here we are, nine weeks later and what a sigh of relief, we made it, it was a little bit shaky there for a moment but we pushed through the writer’s block and reading fatigue and got there in the end, go team. That old saying of practise makes perfect really does apply to blogging, the more I practised writing in public the more refined my writing skills and individual style become. After two years, my writing approach has changed significantly, in the infancy stages of my blogging journey I took a more academic approach and wrote short essay. While I still believe that the use of great academic research is crucial in giving any blog some validity and draws in readers; my blogs now reflect a more personal and critical approach. Showing just how far I have come in my blogging confidence, and reflects my eagerness to throw in a little WHITEAFRICAN pizzazz.
These concepts were really interesting, and several topics demanded a personal reflection, I often found that I analysed my own media habits, and that was uplifting, refreshing and very bizarre. This constant personal reflection really showed my readers a whole new side to my blog and several members commented that they really loved seeing more of the WHITEAFRICAN coming through, which was a major ego boost. I approached each topic the same, I researched the general concept, but often found myself engaging with particular aspects of each concept, reporting on the gaps that others blogs were ignoring, which gave me an edge to the tens of BCM240 bloggers out there.
A few weeks in I came to the realization that my blog had transformed from something I was doing purely for university, and was starting to morph into a critical collection of content that future employers could access and as a result the blog needed to reflect the WHITEAFRICAN ‘brand’. Thus I set out on the hair pulling task of redesigning the blog look, I designed my own logo, changed the theme, colours, added some widgets and finally got to writing something in that ‘about’ section (or now named ‘Facts about the author’) and added a ‘useful websites’ page for my readers. One of my aims with the redesign was to create a user-friendly blog that used both written and visual techniques to keep the reader entertained.
The writing is academic and well researched but is also conversational; the paragraphs were short in order to maximise white space and increase readability, and was often accompanied with images, quotes, links and YouTube clips (which explained the main points), giving the user a break and reduced reader fatigue, evidently keeping the reader interested. When it came to headings I wanted to create something catchy, yet informative to assist readers in instantaneously evaluating the topic and hopefully persuading the reader to continue. The use of bold or italicised type was used in some blogs to highlight important points and creates a more ‘skimmable’ blog for readers. Providing links to my research and additional research allowed readers to explore on their own, and links were made in text (to give context to where the links will lead) but were also used at the end to allow user to easily search for articles and reference the sources properly. In the end I think my followers appreciated the new look, which communicated a level of professionalism that my blog previously lacked.
Taking a trip down memory lane, with the television blog really produced some nostalgic, ‘flashback Friday’ vibes and allowed me to reflect on my media consumption in the motherland (South Africa); during which I realised that my experience was completely different to most of my class mates. This really shocked me as I had assumed that everyone’s childhood experience of TV was the same as mine; this comparison resurfaced in the regulation topic as I found that my parents rules regarding my media consumption was similar to many conservative Australian families, and I found comfort in this connection with my Australian peers.
The NBN topic really hit home for me as I wasn’t aware of the campaign, though the government produced advertisements had me longing for the magical new network, an examination of my families current media use, and further research, opened my eyes to the negative effects more access would have on our quality family time. The multitasking topic really tied into a lecture I had the week before in another subject, with a good starting point I emerged myself in all the research and found that my multitasking was really affecting my productivity. As a result I assessed my current study and multitasking habits and have done a 180, completely changing the way I spend my time, and as a result I have more free time, or more time to blog.
Throughout my blog I tried to take a holistic approach, offering both sides of the topic and at some points offering solutions or suggesting additional research about the topic. Consistency within a blog is key and each week I aimed to post around the same time, however , as it always does, life got in the way a few times. This is definitely something that I will work on in the future, especially during the summer, as I plan to continue blogging and produce and follow my own topics. After all gaining viewers is about the content and the regularity, hopefully after a summer of blogging practise I will come back with a few new viewers. Overall this experience has been crucial in not only my the exploration of topics for my major project for this subject but will also be a source of consideration for future research for my masters; the experience has opened my eyes to the effects audience, media and place have not only in our daily lives but in our online and offline identities. This blog will continue for the rest of this subject as I log and note down steps and questions regarding the major project; so it’s not over yet stay tuned for the final projects and future blogs.