The term “blog“, which can be used as a noun or a verb, was coined by Peter Merholz in 1999. He took the original word “weblog” and split it into the phrase “we blog”. Over the years, blogging has become more popular and has many different uses. My personal experience with blogging has been thus far as assignments in class to learn how to write blogs and find my voice in the blogging world.
So what’s all the big hubbub about? Well, what I learned from my blogging experience is it takes considerable time and practice to finesse that voice and make it your own. Just as if you were telling a speech to an audience, you want to be entertaining, informative, and concise because you only have a limited amount of time before you listener zones out. You also want to practice and edit your speech several times before an audience hears/reads it. Once you have practiced the art of engagement through you written voice and had people respond to your blog posts, you get a certain excitement that reaffirms you have grown in your abilities as a blogger.
After I had that affirmation that my blogs were being read and appreciated, I found myself coming up with blog topics all day. I would be driving to work, walking my dog, eating dinner and a topic to write about would pop up in my head. This surprised me because I didn’t expect blogging to infiltrate it’s way into other parts of my day. Now, in my experience as a novice blogger, I am beginning to understand the intrigue to have your thoughts and opinions heard. I also have learned to appreciate the time and effort it takes for those who are professional bloggers and do this type of writing daily.
A blog can be a great tool of expression for the writer and something for the reader to enjoy to read. Hooking that audience might take a little trial and error. But as the picture says, “with the right stage and the right voice, there’s no limit to the size of your audience.” I think that’s important to think about when working in the nonprofit world. Nonprofit’s have causes and missions that they care about and want others to care about too. They live off of donations of people and organizations and funders that support their work. What better way to show what work is being done by writing about it in a short blog? The analogy of blogging being like a speech can be used for nonprofits as well. Just as conferences, meetings, and symposiums would be held in person to provide knowledge about a nonprofit’s cause and work they are currently doing, blogging would be that speech in electronic form. You have no limit to the size of your audience and can inform and inspire through virtual portals. With the write voices behind a nonprofit’s blogging media outlets, their word can go viral!
Netvibes dashboards is an online tool used to see what is happening in real time across different social media arenas. With a simple word search, one can have all the information that is currently being said in the news, Youtube, conversations, and other media outlets. To use Netvibes, you need to be able to listen. Listen for what people are saying and what big news is related to your topic. How is this useful? An example of how I used Netvibes to inform my blogging experience is in a previous post on privacy and how brave are you? I typed in “privacy in social media” into Netvibes dashboard and started listening. I found this great Youtube video on privacy after death and also some related articles. This seemed to be a hot topic and an interesting one I would have never thought of on my own. It set me up with some great links to other articles and videos to post in my blog. That information that I posted was brought up in another class and to this day is one of my favorite posts yet.