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How To Blog Again – A Reflection of Media and Space

This blog was once dedicated to my anonymous alias ‘Codien’. ‘Codien’ was a prolific blogger who managed multiple blogs with yearly views exceeding one million. My young endeavors became so worthwhile and meaningful that I had to claim them as mine, Paul. That’s why it’s called Codien. Codien has over 20,000 views and under 40 posts. Recently, it’s been dormant. I don’t like writing blogs any more and I can’t identify why.

“I developed the community in private, on a family computer, with only a few people knowing.”How to make 1,000,000 online friends

Blogging had always been a private affair, as I described in my introductory blog. The media spaces I created and collaborated in remained communities set in one room, away from my life. Maybe my disengagement occurs due to a conflict between my original relationship with the medium and the institutional enforcement of “blogging” in an open environment. However, since the beginning of this year I have changed my approach to University, uprooting my lifestyle to move closer to campus, and it’s made an impact on my dedication and desire to blog – but only minimally. I’ve had to develop smaller methods to keep it active.

My first challenge to blogging in BCM240 was how do I construct a space marketed to a  “potential” employer that always remains an unknown? Who were these mysterious employers scouring the blogosphere looking for excellent content producers? Did I want them hiring me? After evaluation, I understood this as “what would you want to show ‘potential’ employers?” Employers love ambition, right? So I set off on an ambitious goal of undertaking an ethnographic research on Sierra Leone.

I recorded a conversation with Mikhail about his life and the moments TV intersects it. Mikhail has experienced three distinct relationships to viewing TV, that have been formed in three separate countries; Sierra Leone, Guinée, and Australia.  Mikhail starts with his birth place, Sierra Leone.The Experience of TV in Sierra Leone, Guinée, and Australia

There were many ethical issue I would’ve had to overcome: how to deal with trauma, cultural differences, and assumptions. My eventual reluctance for the project was not due to fear or concern, it was due to the disengagement between the topic and the content each week.  While I was given privileges to research without being constrained by the weekly questions, I had no direction to take my research. It was a a mistake to not have utilised the opportunity to create a strong foundation for my 3rd assessment. But it wasn’t provoking me to write on a weekly basis.

“Only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs … had been updated in the past 120 days. That translates to 95 percent of blogs being essentially abandoned”Quenqua 2009, NY Times

To overcome the challenge of keeping a weekly blog it became a strategy of trying to re-conceptualise the content in a way that interests not only my readers, but myself. In order to attract and maintain a readership, I must appeal to the interests of both myself and my audience. I’ve identified that linking two seemingly unrelated topics increases curiosity and the likelihood of an audience reading my content and returning.

The second reason for doing this is maintaining my engagement and research process with the content. I learnt that my initial process of examining Sierra Leone as a research project was not holding my attention and therefore I wasn’t developing my own process for it.

My relationship to the weekly topics.
The content that we learnt was expected. It identified trends in culture that we have grown up with and defined. New attention behaviours, multiscreens, and new audiences. I know industries are either innovating to meet these new audiences (Netflix was a major case study among peers), and I know their are some that are challenging those trends (Music Dinosaurs and The Film industry).  The best parts were revealing patterns of behavior by comparing to other lives, especially historic accounts. Otherwise I’m very familiar with these process of writing. Developing a blog, curating its sytle and appearance.

The first and last part of the my process is constructing a title. Before I begin writing I will often form a title which represents my initial direction and thoughts on the topic of the week. This is a temporary focus and I encourage myself to explore tangents of thoughts. Upon the second draft I will be able to formulate a final title. In my final post, When are We Allowed to Watch Porn Together?, the original title was Porn on The Family Computer. I was interested in exploring an issue a few of my friends had experienced with porn on a home computer. It wasn’t a surprise that the first place youth might’ve experienced porn was on one that other may use. It was the moral equivalent of using a library computer. The issue with this experience now is that most users, youth in particular, have their own computer at a young age.

Lastly, I read my post out loud and change the font I consider my writing to be conversational, and if it doesn’t sound right I change it. A simple check for grammatical errors. Plus changing the font makes me reassess what I wrote in a new context, as if it was someone else’s writing.

In conclusion, to renew my process of writing again as a researcher I would develop an open process. My open process would be a presentation of the research I come across as I write and have an unfinished post public as I update it. I think this would encourage me to finish posts more, or find further research to support ideas. Keeping my initial revisions public also reveals my methodology and where I’m taking my idea before it’s finalised.

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