VOF Week 3: (Blogs- A Mixed Bag)
I started a blog in December 2007 and was pretty consistent with it for almost year. It was fun because I got to choose what I wrote about without the pressure of conforming to someone else’s expectations. I also didn’t have to worry about how each piece was structured, and was able to break traditional rules of writing, such as using all small letters, no caps, for affect. As a result some pretty creative pieces came out if it.
As a blog-writer I became curious of what other peoples’ blogs looked like-from the content of their blogs to the aesthetics of it. I took note of how others categorized each entry, for example according to the month it was written in or using creative titles like, Things My Mama Told Me Never To Do, but I Do Them Anyway. I also noticed what backgrounds and colors people chose to make their blogs more appealing to readers.
What I found was completely different than what I had been doing on my blog. I discovered colorful and bright pictures placed in sidebars and within the entries themselves, and videos to illustrate points.
I became nervous. Up until then I was using just straight text to express myself. I even had a friend comment on my blog about how I should put up pictures to draw more readers to it.
I logged into my account and after 10 minutes gave up. I had problems adjusting the size of my pictures and easily became confused with the placement of it…why is the picture I want in the sidebar showing up within my entry? Once I deleted an entire entry because I tried posting a picture.
I then decided to make my blog available on search engines. Although I received a lot more traffic, I became concerned of who was reading my blog and how they were using my pieces. I worried about plagiarism and wanted to know more about copyright restrictions on blog pieces, which is uncharted territory up until recently. I hid my blog from the public again.
It is now April 2009 and I am slowly venturing back on to my blog to learn more about the different types of media I can use to enhance my writing. Honestly, it is daunting. I am however giving myself tutorials on how to use different features and trying to find more information on my rights to my words.
I also am limited to color choices and backgrounds on my page because I have a blog that I am not paying to use. It would be nice to learn more about how I can write in code to go outside of the given templates, or even if I can.
A much needed Blogging 101 for Women’s Rights Activists would be much appreciated. I think we all could do a lot more if we knew how to use the tools, because they exist, but are being underutilized.