When I was in primary school, my year 6 teacher wrote at the bottom of almost every single one of my home work sheets the same thing.
“Lauren, please keep your writing style consistent.”
Nowadays, I like to think that my writing style reflects my level of hunger in hand with my emotional state.
If my cursive had clarity and remained the same size throughout, I had obviously eaten something ‘noice’ (that’s nice) before I began writing and was feeling pretty good. If my writing slowly transitioned from cursive to bubble writing, than that suggested my hunger levels were rising and my enthusiasm was diminishing, so I needed to eat again.
No but Seriously, consistency had always been something I struggled to maintain, not only in my physical writing style but also in what I would write. So through these weekly #BCM240 blog posts, I made it my main focus/ aim to consciously work on being consistent.
As my online persona is an extension of my real personality, I wanted to be as true to myself as possible. I wanted to incorporate humour as much as I could, whether that be through observational commentary or my own embarrassing tales. I also love feeling things (in the emotional sense) when I read, so I really tried to have a relatable and friendly writing style that encourages a sense of empathy within my readers.
From my teachers feedback on my blog post ‘Tales of the ‘Tele,’ I have since utilised her advise to enhance upon some of my existing design aspects and improve the layouts of each blog.
Original Feedback for my blog:
“A lovely story. Quotes (primary evidence) from your grandmother are well integrated into your discussion. You could also have included some secondary sources to deepen your discussion, nevertheless a very engaging blog.”
Although this feedback is quite positive, it tells that I need to continue to work on my consistency. What I took from this section of feedback was that I need to be constantly incorporating (more) secondary sources within my posts. Which I have definitely began to do more of. I realized by incorporating secondary sources, I am adding weight and substance to my posts that would encourage my readers to further explore the matters discussed.
With writing each blog post, I have found that the time taken to complete each has gotten shorter as I have began to formulate a routine and structure (of sorts) that motivates me to keep going. Though writing constantly, it can get to a point where I have read my blogs so much that I can’t see grammar and spelling anymore. So before publishing my work, I make sure I get someone to proof read my writing. I value proof reading so much these days, it has saved my booty on many occasions.
“Design – Generally easy to navigate, strong design elements, good value added through links, categories, tags and other WordPress features – although I could not find your about me page.”
I kind of pride my self on the design of my blog, so this was great to hear. I have tried to make my blog as easy to navigate as possible through the menu at the top-right of the page. I tag and categorise all my work to the best of my ability, so it should be hard to get lost or confused when moving about on my blog.
Since receiving this feedback, I have added my ‘About me’ page as a tab on the same Menu. Originally it was the first blog post on my site and to be frank, I am unsure as to why I had not actually placed it in my menu in the first place. Though as I am discovering, there is always room for improvement and development. I have also updated my ‘About Me’ page to relevant information such as current social media sites, that is consistent with the personality I portray online.
My social medias are also found on the menu bar. Linked, they open directly to my Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages (check ’em out *cough cough). This enables me to interact and connect with my readers on multiple platforms. I share most of my blog posts on my social medias as frequently as I can, though I can definitely see this as an area that I can improve upon and will continue too.
By using relevant hashtags, like #BCM240, I have been able to explore mainly other students blogs and develop a dialogue through commenting on their work and from receiving comments on mine. Each week, I have tried to read and like at least one fellow students blog post as a way to show encouragement and praise for the work and the writer. By interacting with other students blogs, I found that I have received more views, comments and likes on my own (which isn’t too shabby).
*Your video has been removed due to copyright claims. Be careful of this. If in doubt just include the link to the site rather than upload to your blog.”
Copyright scares the poop out of me, so when I saw this, I had to go to the loo (kidding, but seriously). Taking on the advice, I am definitely a little more careful, going that one step further and have since deleted the video. Used to keep the reader engaged, I have since changed the video to something relevant that does the job just as effectively. Check it out here.
Throughout my blog posts, I have tried to use as many relevant and visually stimulating elements such as photos, memes, gifs and videos to keep my readers engaged with the ideas I am exploring. As the ideas I explore on my blogs are an extension upon and are stimulated from both BCM240 class discussions and ideas raised in lectures, I wanted to make sure I was explaining and gathering resources that would help someone with no knowledge on each matter, understand.
Overall, I have noticed an consistent flow of increased traffic on my page (not huge numbers but almost a one view every day) and I would have to say this is due to the use of relevant hashtags and of course, sharing my work across multiple media platforms.
By consistently writing and publishing frequently, my confidence as a research communicator has definitely expanded and improved. I have began to establish a writing style that I really enjoy (that is consistent) and have started to get the hang of understanding and attaining a comfortable combination of both primary and secondary sources.
All I can say is, BCM240 weekly blogs, you’ve been a blast!