Why blog?

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Image by Sophie Janotta, shared under a Creative Commons Zero license on Wikimedia Commons

It’s been 421 days since my last blog post.  So why start up again?  Haven’t I heard that blogging is dead?

The rumours of blogging’s demise has been going around since at least 2012.  This post sums up many of the reasons behind the rumours:

  • the move to collections and curations;
  • the rise of mobile tools;
  • the increasing “nowness” of the web;
  • and the growing appeal of visual text over written.

These are all salient points, but they are far more relevant to the media companies and brand managers the post was aimed at rather than the world of education and librarianship that I inhabit.

This post offers a well-thought out rebuttal to those 15 million rumours of the blog’s death.  The counter-arguments that particularly stood out are:

  • these types of headlines are designed to get click-bait attention;
  • that blogging is evolving, not dying;
  • and that blogging is an iteration of writing and writing never dies.

So far the reading I’ve done has convinced me that blogging as a platform isn’t dead – but my blog sure is on life support.  Why should I resuscitate it?

Forbes can give me reasons to blog for my business, Becoming Minimalist can tell me how it will improve my life, and Michelle can convince me it’s for the greater good of the New Zealand school library community.  But how did I talk myself into it?  These are the things I’m telling myself.

Allows time to reflect and plan:

Most of the time as a sole-charge school librarian I am busy living in the now.  Focused only on the task that is currently on hand and the next thing that needs to be done.  Keeping a regular blog requires sitting still and thinking deeply.  It will make me stop and think about my practice and professional development in a more beneficial manner.  What works?  What doesn’t work?  What did I learn?  What should I change?  How shall I implement these changes?  These are all questions that require time and attention to answer.  Devoting time to maintain this blog will help that.

Keeps a record of learning:

Currently I do not undergo a formal appraisal process, however, this could change in the future.  If it does a record of my continuous professional development will be easily accessible to my appraiser.  In the future I may decide to apply for LIANZA professional registration.  Their registration journal commitments will be a lot easier to complete if a record has already been kept current and up to date.  Also, as a professional (and I am a big believer in school librarianship being viewed and valued as a profession), I feel I should be keeping a record of my learning regardless of requirements from others.  The time and money spent on gathering new knowledge should be recognised and appreciated.  This blog will allow space to do that.

It’s good to share:

I love that so much of what I have learned about being a school librarian was given away freely by sharing and caring librarians who are more experienced, knowledgeable or creative than me.  I love how our profession is so supportive and collaborative.  I want to contribute to that.  And maybe even get the chance to pay it forward to some new librarian who may be feeling lost in the wilderness alone like I did.

Advocacy for school libraries:

By being public in our practice and our learning we are helping to advocate for all school libraries and their staff.  We are showing the value of libraries to their school communities and the huge impact that librarians can have on their students.  We are advocating for school libraries at large but also, at an individual level, we are showing our leadership teams, staff, students and families what we are doing for them.  My inspiring colleague, Michelle, has managed to gather her principal as a follower on her blog.  You can’t get more direct advocacy than that!

Develop my Personal Learning Network:

MyPLN

Created using easel.ly

Some would say that my Personal Learning Network doesn’t need much development.  I already use lots of different platforms to connect with and learn from school librarians and other information professionals around New Zealand and the rest of the world.  Unfortunately I have an (admittedly self-diagnosed) addiction to learning.  I love learning and am always interested in hearing what other people are doing to help their school communities.  This post talks about how PLN’s can use blogs as a place to connect, communicate, collaborate and create with colleagues.  Yes, please!

Have conversations:

A side effect of being a sole-charge school librarian is there is often no one else on site to have library conversations with.  The listserv occasionally offers potential for this, but during a busy day it is often not possible to make the most of these rare opportunities.  Twitter is a great place to share short nuggets of information, but even with an extended character limit it is hard to see it becoming a place for deep conversations.  Blogs offer the opportunity for considered, well-constructed thoughts to be shared and responded to in kind.  They offer the chance to see contradictory opinions, other people’s points of view, and change mindsets.

These are the reasons I’m giving myself to resuscitate my blog.  Why do you blog? Can you give me more reasons to keep me going?

 

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4 thoughts on “Why blog?

  1. Hi Steph – Great to see you blogging again. I’d add to that list – blogging gets you into the habit of creating. If there’s one thing I’m concerned about in the last few years it’s that we’ve become passive consumers of content. Back in the old days of the web there was a lot more focus on creation and interaction. I hope my comment at least gives you a high five that someone out there is reading.

    Stephanie

    Like

    • I absolutely agree about the creating vs consumption on the internet of things. It was one of the reasons Becoming Minimalist’s blog mentioned that made me nod!
      I don’t think I’ll ever be able to manage your output! Thanks heaps for making time to comment 🙂

      Like

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