“Why Starting A Blog Could Change Your Life”
I think this title from a post from LifeHack says it all. Well, maybe not all but certainly a title that should at least draw you in with a click to check it out. I enjoy these types of posts as they seem to analyse me (or at least give some validation as to why I turn my thoughts into text on a regular basis).
This article did not fail to deliver. Written in generic terms about blogging, any reader will personalize the points from the article which the author, Carolanne Johnson, had fleshed out nicely in her context.. I’m any reader so I will and I did below and another article that I read, in full, yesterday takes it even further. Read on.
- You’ll make new friends
Without a doubt. By putting your thoughts and yourself out on the line, it’s amazing how many connections that you make and reinforce. There definitely are those friends you connect with locally but it never fails to amaze when you go to public learning events and meet up with those relationships you’ve made online.
- You’ll learn things about yourself
Any writing has a beginning, a middle, and an end. We takes these as truths because we all studied at least one language in school. On any topic, I find it impossible to write in the third person. As I write, I find myself injecting my opinion or experiences into the post. It’s amazing how many memories come flooding back as I write. What makes reading other blogs is that they’re doing the same thing. A psychologist would have a fun time analysing us all.
- It’s a great hobby
There was a time when my hobby involved the art of wood burning. I got burned trying to turning that hobby into something more….I remember in elementary school buying a slab of wood and burning a map of Canada, colouring the provinces, and finishing it with a coat of shellac. I turned it in and got a C. I learned my lesson there! What’s intriguing about this digital hobby is that you never know what’s going to resonate with readers. Some posts get great responses; some get ignored in the big digital flow. I’m intrigued nowadays by finding new ways to tell my latest story and digitize it. I love my blog Flipboard and Pinterest page. It’s just a hobby. It’s just a hobby.
- You’ll become a better writer
I struggle with this all the time. If you’re a regular reader, you know that I have really good friends that help me overcome my shortcomings! I like to try to vary my writing style to become better. I enjoy reading others to try and discover new ways of writing. There are so many good people just working their hobby. I think my original inspiration came from the writings of Jerry Pournelle. I used to wait monthly for his articles in Byte Magazine.
- You could make money
This was never the goal and it’s certainly not the reason why I write. Many people make money by advertising on their blogs. After my posts this week about advertising, that would be pretty hypocritical. If you see advertising here, it’s from WordPress itself and not me.
- It could even land you a new career
Surprisingly, while it’s not a new career, blogging has given me the opportunity to speak and present to groups of people that I’d never have had the opportunity to do otherwise. I have been offered the chance to become a blogger for businesses but haven’t accepted it yet.
To this terrific list, I would add a couple more things.
- You tend to read and discover more
I used to work with an incredible group of educators. We would meet regularly and it was my job to try to inspire and motivate the use of technology within a school district. It kept me on my toes; I was always looking for new ideas and what better place than online. We would always get hands-on and create projects in our sessions and that kept me busy. Blogging was always my way of documenting things. Some of it was more visible than others.
- You tend to look for new tools
Never has there been a better time to be digitally connected. I’m always on the hunt for the next best productivity tool to do this or that. I’d hate to still be using Visicalc and Sprint as my major productivity tools. I do feel sad that, for some, learning has stopped with a ten year old version of Excel.
I could stop there and call this a blog post but I’d not going to. My friend (met digitally online) Zoe Branigan-Pipe shared a picture of an article from Dr. Camille Rutherford a couple of days ago. It was in a recent edition of Education Canada Magazine.
Great Article:by Dr Camille Rutherford- @cea_ace @crutherford -shout outs 2 @avivaloca @dougpete @wrightsroom #Onted pic.twitter.com/DISRk7m2CU
— Zoe Branigan-Pipe (@zbpipe) March 14, 2016
When someone gives you a “shout out” in a post, it’s a command order to check it out. In addition to the three of us that Zoe tagged, there were other great educators. Dr. Rutherford had done a nice cross section of social media activity from across the country and was kind enough to provide a direct link to the entire article. “Tech-Enabled Teacher Leaders How technology is redistributing school leadership“. It’s a good article to read and discuss. Putting on my BIT hat for a minute, it would be an awesome presentation/panel discussion for the upcoming conference. Nudge, nudge, hint, hint. Submit it here.
In the article, Dr. Rutherford gives real examples of real educators using the current media to connect and inspire others. Inspired by her insights, I would offer what I would consider the ultimate extension.
- You inspire by example
If I was a principal of a school or a director of a school district, I would want these people on my team to inspire the type of schools that I want. On a regular basis, these folks are out on a ledge, trying/experimenting, and sharing their successes. Doing things the way that they’ve always been done isn’t good enough for them. They recognize that there are better things. Certainly the thrust of Dr. Rutherford’s argument surrounds technology but, if you’re a follower of these people, it goes far beyond that. They believe in good teaching and technology is just another enabler. If I’m a principal or director, I want leaders like them.
They really “get” social media and leadership in education.