My very first blog post “Hello World” was published exactly one year ago today. Since that very hesitant beginning I have done 215 Posts (this will be the 216th) on 3 Pages with 11 Categories.
I can still remember the very first time that I set out on what I have called “my learning journey”. I had no idea about what a blog post should look like, I didn’t reference anything, I just put in a few hyperlinks because I learnt very quickly how to use the link icon in the set of tools very kindly supplied by WordPress.
I have to say at this point that the fortune of having started a WordPress blog was to prove very useful to me as I made my first stuttering steps along the road to full blogger status. These days the actual technical skills of spellchecking, positioning of text, importing videos, pictures or music is very easy and is literally just a click of an icon. This allows you to concentrate on the actual content of your post.
I have probably used too many videos in my posts but this is because I have found that I can do this. It means that I can share the excitement I feel in watching a video with anyone who might happen to wander along to my blog. I have to say that I have become a great fan of the sometimes maligned “Youtube” over this last year. I have found real gems tucked away inside of this enormous digital video library.
About half way through my first blogging year I discovered Zemanta. This is an excellent program that sits looking over my shoulder (metaphorically speaking) as I write. It suggests links to articles (many of them by fellow bloggers) and gives me a range of photographs to insert into my post. It really changed the appearance and depth of many of my posts.
But Zemanta and WordPress or Youtube do not write these posts… I do. This has been the greatest joy and pain of blogging. I know that I can insert pretty pictures, or use a video that sings and dances and looks wonderful, but at the end of the day I know that it is about the words… and most particularly it is about my voice as represented in the words that you, dear reader, read.
In this blog I have found my voice. I have found the means to express my feelings, mostly about education and the potential of technology to change the way we learn and the way that we get our children to learn. I have tried to champion people such as Sir Ken Robinson whose ideas about the need to change our education system and support creativity in the curriculum I passionately believe in. I have also promoted, although it doesn’t really need my help, the wonderful TED Talks. These talks have changed my outlook on life and just when I think I have seen the best of them I come across another one that I feel I need to bring to people’s attention. I have also had the chance to write a few entries on my personal all-time hero Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr.
It has been an absolute joy as well as a chore to do the 216 posts in this blog. I have been delighted when I have had comments back about what I write. I have been delighted when I have read Tweets saying that I have produced a “great post” or on one very special occasion a “terrific post”. It is moments like that that make you realise that there is an audience out there and that they are reading and being influenced in some small way by what I write.
In the end though I write because it allows me to do what I have wanted to do for so so long… which is to write. I thoroughly enjoy the process of creating something from the proverbial “blank piece of paper”. I know that every now and again I will produce something that I will later think “that’s not really all that good” but then again there are a number of posts that I am really really proud of. I stand back, looking at these occasional gems and think, I did that. I used my skills in being a wordsmith to produce something that has a shape, good content and expresses what I wanted to express. It may be read by one person or it may be read by dozens but in the end I get a real kick from the creation of this “product”.
If you are reading this and wondering whether to start your own blog all I can say is that it is really worth it. You will have the blank sheet that fights you and refuses to accept your words in any real order of meaning and you may feel like tearing what little hair you have left out of its insecure mooring on your scalp, but there will be moments when you will look and feel so proud that it has come out the way you wanted it to… or even better that it has surpassed any of your own expectations.
This is why I always say that blogging is the best way that I know to get children to really write. It allows them to find their own voice and to express what they want to say… it is real writing and not made up for some exercise dictated by a test. This blog has helped me to develop as a writer in the last twelve months… I look forward to the good posts and hope to minimise the bad ones…as I continue my blogging/writing journey into the next twelve months.
Thank you for being my audience and taking the time to read this very personal post.
- Using Zemanta with Blogger (peterbijkerk.blogspot.com)
- Zemanta helps you “blog smarter” (buzz.blogger.com)
- How to Enhance Blog Posts with Zemanta (devicemag.com)