And just as I was starting to enjoy blogging every week and watch the progress of my Hashtag WordPress, it’s now time for the final reflection.
In my overall experience of writing for BCM240, I have really enjoyed myself. I found the topics we discussed beyond interesting and could honestly continue an everlasting discussion on almost all of them. My interest in this subject has greatly complimented my writing and has helped me find my own strategies to engage my fellow peers and other audiences online.
To capture my readers, I aimed to write about as many personal experiences as possible. I used them as examples to support my arguments and ideas discussed in the blog posts. I also used this strategy because, well, isn’t that what blog writing is all about? There are million, if not billion of blogs on the internet and to just bore people with the straight facts regurgitated from either Wikipedia or textbooks is far too common and not my kind of style. Another strategy I used to attract readership was the use of images and catchy titles. Every blog post I’ve ever posted has come with an image. Not only does this attract the reader’s eye, if the image is humorous, creative or powerful, it will spark an interest to the reader. I also try to make catchy yet relevant titles to bring in my readers and create a sense of originality for my blog writing.
To make my blog known to the world of the Internet, I aimed to post the links to my blog posts weekly on my Twitter account. According to my WordPress statistics, this method was how most of my readers found my blog, through my tweets. I have recently become very active in tweeting, thanks to my studies, and am able to communicate with my fellow peers in the subject easily through hash tags, for example, #BCM240. Not only did posting my link on Twitter help my WordPress blog gain followers, it gave me a boost of self-confidence in sharing my writing with others who are writing about the same thing. This also was the beginning of my readership. Following my fellow peers on WordPress and reading their posts on our in-class discussions helped me develop my own different way of writing. Instead of just giving a narrative of what we learned in the lecture the day before, I would aim to interpret the discussed concepts in my own way, and let it lead the way of my writing. Mentioning the key points and terms used in the subject was important, however I found my best blog posts to be the ones where I had my own understanding of the topic. Reading other blog posts fascinated me, as others would take different approaches in their style of blogging and talk about different concepts which I had never thought of. Allowing myself to be open with the feedback given from the initial blogging assessment and reading other people’s blogs I believe has made me strive to write better and blog to the best of my potential.
However, one con to the whole ‘readership’ thing was the lack of two-way communication. From time to time I would try to comment on other people’s blogs with nothing other than positive comments. Days after posting, I would get no reply from them or even worse, my comment wouldn’t be ‘approved’. Was this because people were simply not checking their e-mails which stated my comments were awaiting approval? I feel this was a big reason my blog hadn’t received as many views as it should have over the period of time in which we started this subject. I believed what I was writing was relevant, easy to understand and interesting, so why wasn’t I attracting the attention of my fellow peers, like they were for me? I came to the conclusion it was because of my online presence, not being ‘out there’ enough. In awe of the continuous tweeting of a classmate, I decided to get stuck into Twitter and really make my username pop up on the news feed of everyone in my subject. In doing this, I’ve become a real “tweeter”, and may have accidentally hash tagged #BCM240 too many times, even in posts that were completely irrelevant to the subject. For example –
From this, I’ve learned to think before I tweet, and only hash tag when it is relevant. I have also learned to be more aware of my writing weaknesses which are staying on track and focusing on specific points. Being introduced to tags on WordPress was also a vital lesson, as I managed to gain two readers from the United States in doing so.
Throughout the course of this subject, my knowledge on Media, Audience and Space has widened and given me many new insights into particular topics. Not only have I been educated in the study of media platforms, content, types of audiences, public and private spheres, moral panics, copyright and piracy and so on, I’ve learned how to make myself present online and run my own social networks. With the great research conducted and theories explained by my lecturers and tutor, I can easily say they have helped grown my interest in a career in Media and Communication Studies.
Wallace, 2013, ‘Possibly the cutest yet…’, NatalieWallace9, Twitter, 16 September 2013, viewed 26/09/2013, https://twitter.com/NatalieWallace9
Wallace, 2013, Hashtagmymedia, Hashtag, WordPress, 3rd August 2013, viewed 26/09/2013, http://en.wordpress.com/my-stats/