Blogging Reflections (assigned)

by MarianneShih

My blog entries generally have no connection to each other from week-to-week, though the influence of the Internet and its biases on how we act today can be considered a theme. “A Good Mask Is Hard To Find” explores how the Internet affects our personalities, “Revolution and the Art of Protest” revolves around how the Internet has affected the entertainment industry, “Into Octavarium” questions how we can share information and ideas while giving the “original authors” their rightful credit, “On Networking & Cow Clicking” reflects on whether manipulative social games can be valuable tools, and “Reaching Aesthetic Nirvana” is about visual cohesion online as well as offline.

The nature of my posts is overall quite similar. With the exception of “A Good Mask Is Hard To Find,” where I was exploring a certain style of writing. Before this class, I had never explored into the world of academic blogging, though I had written short-response essays and journals in high school classes before. We were told in class that our blogging activities would resemble those journals, but would be different in the sense that they were accessible to literally anyone with an internet connection and should involve more interaction between students.

I find that I have to limit myself when I write, or that I have to learn to write more concisely. It’s something that I’ll be working on throughout this semester, though it may just lead to denser writing that’s more difficult for the reader to get through. There are ideas that I would like to revisit and expand upon from my past entries – specifically from “Into Octavarium.” It seems that while many agree that we need remodeling for our entertainment industry and citation system, not enough realistic ideas are being proposed on how we can change things and what we should change them to. Exploring what is currently being proposed as well as coming up with something new could be an interesting future entry.

While I have yet to receive any sort of commentary (except from Ms. Vance and Kevin Schumacher), I have found the blogging experience much more different from traditional response journals. I’ve been surprised by the amount of effort that these blogs require (or at least the amount of time I like to put in – two to three hours rather than the recommended – or minimal one hour), and how much more rewarding it is to pull in bits and pieces of information from multiple sources. Oftentimes, it’s not always the actual material I put into these weekly blogs but rather what I find on the way.

Academic blogging forces me to think about the material beyond just what happens and discussed in class. While I utilize class materials and discussions as a springboard for each entry, I don’t always end up dwelling on class-derived material the entire way. Aside from the mild frustration that results from attempting to come up with something relevant without being a total rehashing of the week’s topics, I am definitely enjoying the blogging experience.