Sunday, August 15, 2010

Summertime and the bloggin's easy

Don't mock my art.

I believe it was F. Scott Fitzgerald who said, "Blog because you must, not because your teacher makes you."

Good advice, F. And you even predicted the invention of the Internet and blogging some 60 years after your death. Neat trick!

Props to my bloggin' peeps

When it comes to blogging, one can't discount the importance of self-motivation; often the difference between a successful and unsuccessful blog is simply that the successful one is updated regularly.

So, as we approach the first anniversary of every first-year CreComm student owning and operating a blog on the CreComm blog network, I'd like to give a shout-out to the students who continued to update their blogs regularly during the summer, even when there were no irritating teachers like me around to make them do it.

I believe these to be our five most-prolific bloggers of the summer months (listed alphabetically):
  • Shelley Cook - plenty of dating tips and insight into how it feels to quit smoking.
  • Jennifer Hanson - well on her way to watching and reviewing 200 movies for her Independent Professional Project. She was recently retweeted by At the Movies on the eve of its last episode.
  • Kevin Hirschfield - golfing his way around golf courses for his Independent Professional Project, like Manitoba's own Happy Gilmore.
  • Amanda Hope - a wide-ranging discussion of stuff, including reading, 'riting, and (thankfully) not 'rithmetic.
  • Jennifer Twardowski - blogging for the Edge Gallery and asking us to not necessarily know art, but to vote for what we like.
First, we'll take Manhattan, then we'll take Berlin! Etc...

When we started the blog project last year, I hoped that students wouldn't consider their blog posts to be "homework;" homework is handed in to a teacher, marked, returned to a student, burned in a bonfire, and instantly forgotten by both.

My belief is that, to a student in a writing program, blogging has more to do with having a chance to show what you can do as a writer in front of an audience of friends, family, grads, potential employers, the world, God and everyone.

Lest we forget: the opportunity to publish to a worldwide audience sans gatekeeper, editor, and print production is a relatively recent development that my CreComm graduating class and I would've killed to experience "back in the day" when edit suites consisted of a rock and a monkey.

Happy anniversary to me

As I approach the second anniversary and post #1,000 of my own blog, it's fun to look back at how crappy this blog was and, more importantly, how much crappier it's become. Wah, wah!

I started this blog at a snail's pace - just four, lousy posts in September, 2008. At the time, I didn't know whether I'd enjoy blogging, get any readers, or be stopped dead in my tracks by an employer who might not understand. Props to RRC: it understood!

(Which reminds me: I have to start pestering that new RRC president about having breakfast with her.)

According to Google Analytics, I get about 1,600 page views a day at one minute and 45 seconds average time-spent reading.

That's one reason why ad rates are lower on the Web than in print; apparently, readers of the NY Times print edition spend an average of 35 minutes a day reading and readers of the website spend an average of 37 minutes a month reading.

(Plug: I'm reading Jack Fuller's What's Happening to News, which describes the neuroscience behind the news and the way we consume it. It's a must-read for anyone who cares about these things.)

For me, the most rewarding aspect of blogging isn't the number of page views or time-spent-reading stats, but being available and part of something bigger than me: a vibrant, local blogging community.

I continue to get surprise emails from people who find my blog in their online travels, most recently from a designer in England, a new-media teacher in California, a recent visitor to Winnipeg from Detroit, and a potential student from rural Manitoba.

And, hey, you know you're famous when the animatronic parrot at McPhillips Station Casino recognizes you!

Thanks for blogging and reading.

1 comment:

  1. The blog is my favourite "assignment" that I've been given in CreComm, because it's something I was doing anyway, only, once it became a school thing, I simply started doing it even more often. It's a great outlet to communicate with people who have shared interests, and it has been a great way to reconnect with people.

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