Sharing on-line – Why do we blog or shy away from it?

I am involved in an online community called ETMOOC  (which I hesitate to call a Course for reasons explained here).  It is suggested that we use a blog as a reflective and communication tool.  I was happy with this as blogging has become part of my professional activity over the past few years and it fits with my learning style, interests and skills.  Quite naturally though, there are many who are new to blogging and I have noticed a large degree of trepidation amongst the first nervous posts.  I have seen this amongst my colleagues as well, a mixture of people who are comfortable in this medium and those who are not, or at least use it in only one facet of their professional lives.   It makes sense, as we know that we are all different, have different learning styles, are somewhere along the introversion/extroversion scale and will therefore all have different comfort levels at exposing our thinking in a public medium.

Four barriers to Blogging, by Ian Gray, suggests that Perfectionism and Procrastination are two major reasons why people don’t blog.   My thinking is that the Perfectionism is the major one: many people believe that they have nothing to offer or that others know more than them and therefore their contributions would be of lesser value.   I would like to encourage people to re-think their attitude if Perfectionism is hindering their involvement. I have mentioned this short clip before “Obvious to you. Amazing to others” but it remains relevant .

Are you holding back because you think you have nothing worthwhile to share?  If so, I would like you to re-consider, think about how you happily read other people’s posts and how ideas and fears resonate with you.  In my experience, the benefits gained from putting yourself out there far outweigh the nervous apprehension felt when your mouse hovers over the PUBLISH button.   I admit that blogging is a risky experience but so too are most learning opportunities!

“Nothing spectacular just my ordinary thoughts” – Derek Sivers

If you are new to blogging I congratulate you and suggest you persist, find a purpose (ETMOOC for example) and blog away.  Don’t be deterred by a lack of comments as sadly there is only a very small number of people who read and actually comment despite enjoying what they read!   If you are an experienced blogger perhaps you could add to the conversation?  Why do you blog?

11 thoughts on “Sharing on-line – Why do we blog or shy away from it?

  1. Hi Celia.

    I am also a member of ETMOOC and I’m really excited to be connecting with so many interesting educators. I already have a blog for my classroom (which is password protected) and I did start one for my reflections but I’m really hesitant to ‘put myself out there’. Alec must have heard my thoughts during the orientation session when he talked about making yourself ‘public’ and being afraid to do this. Interestingly, I can stand up in front of a large group of ‘real’ people and present my thoughts but I’m scared to do this online. I’m beginning to feel more comfortable and have seen many of the introductions so I think I’m almost ready to hit the ‘post’ button on my blog and allow others to see what I’m learning.

    Great post and very relevant.

    Tracey Coelho
    @CoelhGrade7

  2. Thanks Tracey
    It is always nice to get feedback. Strangely, I am much more comfortable at my keyboard than standing up talking in front of large groups pf people. Great that we are all different and learning together.

    Celia

  3. Celia you have captured my blogging dilemma perfectly … the fear of putting oneself out there and getting things right. I tend to use blogging as a vehicle for clarifying my thoughts, a forced reflection. I don’t mind if people don’t read what I write, for me it is the process that is valuable. Having said that I do like comments …. So personal challenge this year is – if I am taking the time to read a blog I should be contributing to the conversation through comments.

  4. Great Margo,
    I hope I am the beneficiary of more of the comments and you challenge things I say and agree when you can 😉
    Celia

  5. […] http://ccoffa.edublogs.org/2013/01/17/sharing-on-line-why-do-we-blog-or-shy-away-from-it/#.UPev2Hy9K… I am involved in an online community called ETMOOC (which I hesitate to call a Course for reasons explained here). It is suggested that we use a blog as a reflective and communication tool. I was happy with this as blogging has become part of my professional activity over the past few years and it fits with my learning style, interests and skills. Quite naturally though, there are many who are new to blogging and I have noticed a large degree of trepidation amongst the first nervous posts. I have seen this amongst my colleagues as well, a mixture of people who are comfortable in this medium and those who are not, or at least use it in only one facet of their professional lives. It makes sense, as we know that we are all different, have different learning styles, are somewhere along the introversion/extroversion scale and will therefore all have different comfort levels at exposing our thinking in a public medium. […]

  6. Great post Celia.
    I read many blogs via my PLN on twitter and many of them are so well written, cover such deep philosophical questions, are more academic or just plain amazing, it can feel a bit intimidating to commit to writing myself. Having said that, I know when I re-read many of my Uni assignments from the past two years, I am quite surprised by how well they read! I think George Couros said at the PD I attended last year ‘put it out and let the world decide’ so that I what I have decided is the way to go. Like you, I love receiving comments and have decided to commit to writing more during ETMOOC.
    Mary

  7. Hi Celia

    You’ve nailed it!

    I can write our school library blog without a worry! However, I’ve gone as far as setting up a personal blog and that’s it. When the perfectionist in me gets over my fear of putting myself out there and I hit the “publish” button I’ll let you know…

    Thanks for the wise words

    Kim 🙂

  8. Thanks Kim,
    I hope I did not come across too evangelistic as I do understand the challenge ‘exposing’ ourselves can cause. Your LRC blog is wonderful !
    Celia

  9. Hi Celia

    Well said! A common challenge of the new blogger is they worry about making it perfect and often focus too much on what they think others want to read.

    It’s probably also a bit intimidating when you start out seeing the posts written by the more experienced edubloggers, thinking they seem to have it all together, and feeling like you have nothing more to say.

    Off course, all edubloggers like to have readers, however one aspect that a new blogger would find hard to understand, is that many of the experienced edubloggers are happy they do have readers but would still be writing their posts without them. Why? Because blogging for many of them is an important part of how they reflect and learn. They’ve learnt the secret of edublogging — they’re blogging to fulfill their own needs and stopped focusing on worrying about being perfect or thinking about what others want to read.

    My advice to new bloggers is focus on your needs, what you want to reflect and learn on, don’t worry about being perfect and don’t stress — enjoy.

    Sue

  10. Hi Celia,

    The latest post on my blog took me nearly 2 weeks to write just because I wanted to make sure that had my ideas “just right”. There are also many more posts sitting in my Draft folder; ideas that I had scribbled down but hadn’t managed to flesh out further into something I was happy to post and share with the world. Imagine if I was a student in a classroom; I’d never get a piece of writing to the “publishing” stage!

    Reading your post made me go back and look through my own posts as to why I started blogging (http://mrduncan.global2.vic.edu.au/2010/05/16/start/) and some of the concerns I had in doing so. What I discovered was a) my concerns are probably still concerns for those who are yet to start blogging and b) for someone who doesn’t enjoy writing, that first post sounded pretty good!

    Looking back, I initially used blogging as a vehicle to connect with others and was desperate for comments. Now I view blogging as a platform to record my reflections and thinking. Previously did this in my head but think the process of recording makes my reflections more authentic and valid; they are no longer thoughts floating in my head. I have committed them into written words. Unlike thoughts that disappear, the words remain and enable me to go back and see how my thinking has shifted and changed based on new experiences, new information, new conversations with others (and new blog comments!)

    The video you shared within the post really resonated with me. A goal for me in 2013 is to present and share more. I love teachmeets and conferences and love absorbing new ideas but am often hesitant to present – maybe for the same reasons I fear blogging…

    Here’s hoping that I can share more and inspire others in the year ahead.

    Scott.

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