Blog Evaluation

As this year draws closer to the end, it is time to evaluate the progress of blogging my course and I have found it to be an interesting experience.

I have never thought about creating a blog before and I don’t think I would have done a blog on my course. To begin with, I didn’t like the idea of making a blog post after most lectures and about new things which I have learnt but now I have drawn closer to the deadline, I have looked back at the work I have done in my blog posts and I feel proud of what I have accomplished. I have found this method of blogging really useful especially towards the exam period when I need to revise on the topics, which I have made a blog post on. As blog posts are meant to be fairly short but informative, I have been able to use my WordPress site as an aid towards my revision.

When I first started using WordPress, I explored the site looking at other bloggers posts from typing in random keywords that people had tagged in the blogs. Before I started blogging myself, I wanted to create my own personal style, which would be fairly unique so they would stand out from the rest. Using this to my advantage, I decided to create my own headline banner, which had my name and a distinguished style. I feel that I have managed this well with my design. I also wanted a background that wasn’t plain and I wanted the background to be different from others. I insisted my overall look of my WordPress site to be unique. I feel pleased with the end results and I believe I have created my own personal style of the main page.

I also found whilst looking through other blogs that some weren’t very interesting and some enticed me to continue reading. This was mostly due to the visual of their blogs. Many of their blogs had either images, videos or just interesting blog post banners which drew my attention. For my WordPress site, I have deigned a headline banner for each individual module that I have blogged about. I think this helps make my blogs more personal and keeps to my individual style from most other blogs. I did however create a number of different headline banners for when I created what I though would be interesting news I wanted to share with everyone else. This is something which I enjoyed doing as this required further research looking for images and themes which would suit my blog post. I created all my headline banners using Adobe Photoshop, which has also increased my skills using this software especially using the Photoshop filters. To keep blog posts interesting for my audience to read, I have added images that relate to the blog post. Again, this required further research which I generally enjoyed doing. Occasionally, especially when talking about a method of creating something during my course I found it easier to add a video from YouTube to help me with my explanations. This has been proven to help aid more people read your blog posts as many people like all kinds of visuals when reading blogs. As we are moving forward with digital media, it is important to keep up with all kinds of visual media, as this is now what more and more people are interested in. As part of the visual media, we used the Twenty-Ten theme for our WordPress blogs as this gave us the option to create menus that can be set out in a user-friendly manner. This is also useful for any type of user who might have little experience using the Internet or using these types of blogs.

When blogging away from class, I first found this difficult to get into a routine writing up a blog after lectures so I decided to write up the blog posts after every few days. Some may disagree with this method however; I found it to work for me. To be able to blog after class you need to ensure you have good notes to write up from otherwise you will have either very little to write about or you will make an uninteresting blog post which nobody will read. This helps encourage you to ensure you take down all the notes in each lecture and should you miss a lecture, you can either read up on it from someone else’s blog.

What I found difficult about blogging was firstly finding something interesting to blog about rather than just about my course. You need to make sure you blog about something which other people would find interesting otherwise you wouldn’t get any hits or comments from anybody. In the end, I decided to blog about some of my favourite pastimes including hobbies and music. I also found setting up the blog to personalise it for my own liking to be difficult. You can add a lot of extras to your WordPress blog such as adding links to your social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter as well as RSS feeds to other blogs and much more. This all needs to be set up in the tools menu, which I found somewhat difficult to begin with. Personally, I found as you get used to WordPress, everything becomes a lot easier and less of a hassle.

What I enjoyed most about blogging is reading up on other people’s blog posts on what I would also find interesting. During my WordPress blogging experience, I have been able to contact people through comments with other people who also enjoy similar pastimes. This wasn’t something I that was expecting at all when I first started blogging. I have also enjoyed reading up on my friends WordPress blogs on similar posts which I have blogged about. It is always interesting to find out other people’s thoughts and opinions on a particular subject matter too. I also really enjoyed creating featured banners for each blog post in Adobe Photoshop as I have found this to help me learn more about the Adobe software as well as make my WordPress site more personalised. You can create menus and place each blog post into their own categories, which is also something I enjoyed doing.

To start with, I didn’t think blogging especially in an academic way would prove to be a useful process. As we draw closer to the end of the year, looking back at my WordPress blog shows the amount of work that I have achieved. I have used my WordPress site as a useful revision tool when revising for my exams as well as using it to catch up on any lectures which I had missed. I have also seen the positives of blogging my course throughout my University experience, as this is also a good tool for adding to a portfolio to show at job interviews what some of my skills include. Blogging is also a useful process as this allows many users to share their experiences with each other which people can feel free to comment on or even share their personal experiences with.

My WordPress blog managed to draw attention from the rest of the web as I received eighteen comments, which are mostly from people who I do not know. I think this is mostly due to adding tags related to my blog posts that would help people find my blog posts and others similar to mine. I have also linked my WordPress site to my social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter so when I publish a new blog post; they are added to my social network sites. This allows my friends to have a look at what I have recently blogged about. I also tried to keep my blog posts thought-provoking by adding screen shots, images, videos and featured banners which all relate to the blog post. I have found this to be one of the most successful ways on making my WordPress site attract more attention.

I attempted to make sure my WordPress blog was publically viewable by keeping my blog posts fairly short but still informative as more people prefer to see smaller blog posts which still deliver their message across towards the target audience. Another way was to keep everything within to blog post related to the title so nothing is out of place.

To conclude, I have found blogging to be an interesting experience that I plan to continue for the rest of my University course, as I would find it beneficial as I can put it towards a portfolio for future jobs. I have also used my WordPress and other people’s blog posts as a useful revision tool when I have been revising for my exams. I have really enjoyed creating the featured banners for my blog posts using the Adobe Photoshop software that I have learnt to use during my course as I am always learning something new such as interesting filters. I have enjoyed blogging as well as I have been able to share some of my favourite pastimes with others with similar interests.

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