Olga Dysthe is a Norwegian researcher whom looked at how to use writing in learning. She writes about the difference between “thinking-writing” and “presentation writing”. Thinking writing is the kind of writing we do when we’re thinking through problems or topics, when we’re writing for ourselves and not for an audience. Presentation writing is the kind of writing you do in order to communicate a message. When you use presentation writing you always have a reader in mind (Dysthe et. al. 2000: 45).
Blogging combines aspects of thinking-writing with aspects of presentation writing – and it adds in the conversation as well.
In this course, so far, I have practiced and increased my writing skills continuously with the process of blogging. I have found that this practice and thinking of a topic to write about has helped me with my brainstorming problem and my writer’s block. Talking to fellow students, they emphasised that each post they wrote was done quite quickly, and published almost immediately. I take a while drafting and revising until I find it perfect, in other words I tended to try and publish more frequently and with less perfectionism this time. I wanted my immediate impression and first response to ideas I had read about, or even my experiences.
I rapidly found that the frequent writing was helping me become more confident about my research, and that I was developing a clearer voice of my own. In addition having a network available with fellow classmates blogging on the same topic made it clear to me at an early point that writing for readers, however few, meant that I took greater care in my writing than I did when scribbling notes in a notebook for my own eyes only. I found that after a few blog posts I was writing more and more, and I loved it more. This is mainly I believe, due to actually doing it; I guess practice does make perfect.
However, I still need to work on expanding my explanations and descriptions. I would say I am quite shy of putting my words onto the Internet. I would gain more from this if I engaged in the larger world of blogging, I would say I don’t read enough of the other blogs and don’t really expect anyone than the teacher to read my blog, however I have come to terms that my weblog is going to be a huge tool in the goings of finding a job after studying. I feel that writing public blogs is immensely valuable, because it allowed me to experience writing in ‘the real world’ you could say. I saw that if I link to other blogs, the other blogger will be able to see the link either through the logs of visitors to the website or through trackbacks or twitter, a feature in many blogging systems that shows links to a post. So in other words I posted in twitter a link to my weblog and the topic I wrote about in that post and people were able to look at my site and comment if they wished to, I was able to do so by hash tagging the courses code BCM240, which is extremely useful for audience research. Activity stats such as how many people visited one post and average response times, people who liked the post and more is also useful to target specific audiences.
Experiencing that what you write actually matters outside of the classroom was an immensely potent learning moment for me in this class. Having strangers in class have to read one of my posts and comment on it after was terrifying. Especially when people mentioned that my about page wasn’t up to standard, I didn’t take it personally, it just made me realise how important it is, after all it is my front home page.
One of the blogs that I found interesting to research and write about was the photography: being photographed in public, whether people like it or not post. One of the main reasons is that my Arts major is photography and I love photography in general. Usually in most classes there is a topic that must be learnt in 2 or 3 weeks but I found that BCM240 each week is a different, interesting topic. This way of learning has made me become more alert and I am able to understand each topic at a different pace.
This subject has made me realise just how much I rely and interact with technology. I don’t use my phone much at the dinner table or when I’m having lunch or dinner with my friends but I definitely use it as a way to distract myself and procrastinate on assignments and exams. Through learning this I have tried not to have my phone around me when I’m near my laptop and I have tried not to have any social media sites open as well. I can say that I have succeeded in this experiment and that it has made me less stressed when I have to do assignments.
I have immensely enjoyed studying BCM240 (Audience, Media, Place). It is a very interesting subject and I would recommend it to anyone studying Communications and Media. Overall I have found this past session to be very interesting and insightful. Thank you to anyone, however few, for reading and contributing to making my blog bigger and better.