ten things… #3 Write blogs

It’s never been easier to start your own blog, with a range of free tools out there. Blogger still seems to be a popular one, as is posterous which has the advantage of allowing you to blog by email. I use WordPress as a blogging platform, which has a few more bells and whistles than some of the others, and can be hosted on your own domain, should you ever decide that’s something you want to do.

It can be very hard to start. Firstly you have to overcome the ‘why would anyone want to read what I have to say’ problem. My response to that is usually – well, start by blogging for you. There’s a real value in the reflective process needed to put a blog post together (even if you wouldn’t know that from some of mine!). Secondly, think about what you would like to read. It might be quick snap shots of activities in your classroom. It might be about resources that you’ve produced. It might be about your reflections of something you’ve done, or something you’ve read about.

Secondly, it can be hard to continue. I never blog as much as I’d like, and I can go for months at a time without publishing anything. This used to cause me much anguish, and I’d end up in the ridiculous situation of waiting until I’d finished some half finished post before posting anything new. I’m much more relaxed about it now. Any blogging is an added bonus. I’ve come to terms with the pile of half finished posts that will always be on my desktop.

Thirdly it can be hard if you get no comments. It can also be hard it you get comments you don’t like! I’ve found much of the conversation goes on on twitter anyway, which can also be a good place to plug new blog posts. Ultimately, even if no one reads or comments, I’ve still gained something by blogging, both in terms of the reflection it forces me to do, and as a record of what I was doing / thinking that I can return to at a later date. Anything else is an added bonus.

So, go on. Pick a platform and start blogging. Let me know in the comments and I’ll pop by and have a read!

BONUS THOUGHT – Blogging can also be an amazingly powerful platform for students to get their work out to a wider audience. Have a look at the 100 word challenge and quadblogging as two great examples of things you can get involved in.

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Dave Stacey