For the final part of this course, a reflection is required to show how far we’ve come with blog writing and being in groups.
At the start of the course, I was certainly interested as I do read blogs in my spare time. I never knew what to write about if I ever created one, so this unit was the perfect way to see if I was capable to do so.
The blog writing aspect has helped me with my writing skills, being able to write in my own terms, sharing my own opinions, and being able to write about what interests me, but still being able to write with a sense of sophistication. Another thing that the blog has helped me with is keeping up with current affairs. As the unit is live, we react to whatever has happened within that week. Before this unit, I was not bothered at all by news and my only news source were Twitter and Facebook. However, through discussions during seminars, weekly cinema screenings, and posts added to the Unit X Facebook group, it allowed me to see that even though I am not particular interested in certain news topics, it is still interesting to learn about them and other people’s opinions.
My blog posts consisted that of music, games, films and TV shows reviews of things that I have seen or been listening to at the time of writing the posts. Writing what I liked/disliked about something gave me a chance to voice my opinions on a platform where I felt most comfortable. However, I do wish that I built up the courage to talk about specific topic in relation to a show/film etc. (Which I did start to do on my Brooklyn Nine-Nine blog post).
Blogs were social media years before the term was coined, and, in many ways, blogs still form the backbone of social media. Far more people are on Facebook or another social media platform than there are bloggers, but much of what we do in social media is at root a form of blogging.
This quote by Jill Walker Rettberg tells us how important social media is to blogging, even though blogging has become quite unpopular compared to other types of social media. One thing I did notice that is important with blogging, is social media presence. To get blog posts seen, I shared them through all social medias I owned. This included Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr. Yet, if I did not share a post through enough networks, I did notice that it did not get many hits, and for me, it showed that consistency is key. To get posts seen, I needed to upload posts regularly, therefore, I aimed to upload once a week, however, there were times where I became stuck on what to write. This shows me that this is a common thing with all bloggers, and it shows me that it is not an easy task.
For our group work, we were asked to create 4 infographics in groups of 3. Once we were in our groups, we made a Facebook Messenger chat. With this, we could talk about ideas, plan days where we would meet up, or aid any one in need of help. At the beginning of the unit, we knew that 3 of the infographics could be on any topic we choose, so we created these as individuals. Mine being on ‘Women in Film’, and the other group members did theirs on music and gaming. However, there was a bit of trouble with the group itself when it came to the 4th infographic. Nearing the end of the unit, I asked if we should meet up to finally talk about any ideas that we have. Yet, the rest of the group decided that there was no need to meet up and if someone came up with an idea for it, then that is the idea that we would use. Getting closer to the deadline, no idea was mentioned, and because no idea was mentioned, I decided that because my infographic topic about women in film was a relative issue in today’s society, that it should be the group’s infographic and I would and did create another infographic, on a Korean group, BTS, on top of it, finalizing the 4 infographics in total. This made me feel a bit let down, because I had to use my own work, rather than something that we all worked on together, and then I had to create a new infographic with hardly any time at all. I did wish that I said something to the group, rather than letting it go.
Through this unit, I have learned to pay more attention to things going on in the world, even if they are not in my interests. Learning about why people have different opinions than me, has taught me to open up and to be more confident in putting out my opinion into the world. My writing skills are getting better, the more I write, I am able to write in a way that I feel the audience can connect with. Using informal language can be a great positive when writing to an audience who is the same age as me (20). In terms of group work, my goal is to speak up when something is not right and to be more assertive. Unit X has given me the courage to possibly carry on blogging as it has been one of the most enjoyable units this year.
Walker Rettberg, Jill. Blogging.2013. Polity Press.