Monday, 31 May 2010

Thing 3

As the proud owner of this blog, I feel that it is within the rules and the spirit of Cam23 if, instead of creating a new blog for the project, I experiment a bit more with the one that I have. This blog began several years ago during my graduate library traineeship and as such originally focused on professional matters and library events attended. It has since evolved into a mix of personal, professional and general news-worthy posts but one key factor has remained the same - the posts continually reflect on the experiences which they describe. Whether it is a film I've seen or a conference attended, the reflective element for me has always been the most crucial and helpful aspect of blogging. Through the blog, I become a better person (professionally and personally) as I reflect on experiences.

So, blogging. Web logging. Blogs, blogger - what's it all about anyway? People with nothing better to do sitting down and typing their meaningless drivel into the void, forcing the whole world's population to consume their unwanted opinions. I admit, when I first heard about blogs and blogging, I jumped to this conclusion. Why does the world need more unsubstantiated 'facts', opinions from people no one cares about, or bizarre conspiracy theories? Who has the time to blog let alone read the thoughts of these oddballs? It was through my profession that I started to read library blogs such as The Vampire Librarian and Librarian in Black . Once I realised what blogs were for, my opinion turned around quicker than Lewis Hamilton going the wrong way into the gravel pit.

Aha, I realised, blogs don't always have to be about the unsubstantiated opinions of others about tedious and random subjects. Sure, there's enough of that out there, but that doesn't have to be it. Really, what is tedious dross to one person can become interesting information about a vital part of a particular sub-culture. If we all selectively decide which blogs to follow based on our own interests, and similarly when we blog we will naturally be drawn to write about similar topics, then we create a live dynamic interchange of information between individuals. The power of the news returns to the people from the hands of the media. No longer are the newspaper conglomerates the only people to decide which news events get into print and what is, for whatever reason, shunted aside. Bloggers report and reflect on news, aspects of various professions, films, music, gadgets, technology - and if you're not interested in a particular topic, then don't
read that particular blog!

Blogs are powerful. I have spent time today redeveloping my blog. I've changed the layout to a more visually enticing format (although, my librarian lady had to stay!) I've managed to add a 'follow me' twitter button which actually links through to my twitter profile! I've added a blog roll which I hope will expand throughout the Cam23 process. I have also learnt how to link to other sites within my blog. To be fair, my online blogging presence reflects my physical presence when it comes to diaries of any kind; I do have an unfortunate habit of simply not finding the time to write. The Cam23 process is really helping me there as well. Having a concrete purpose to write makes it easier to sit down and share my thoughts with the world (well, the small part of the world that reads this blog, anyway.)

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