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April 28, 2011 / assembled

Semester Wrap-Up

As the Spring 2011 semester of the graduate course Social Media: Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics at NYU comes to an end, it is a good time to review the course learnings as they relate to both my academic and professional ambitions. Just several months ago, I started using this blog as both a way to fulfill a course assignment, as well as a way to contribute to a larger dialogue. A strong background and keen interest in both the written and spoken word seemed like a solid foundation to leverage as I parlayed into the blogosphere– however, as I quickly learned, this is very different than any other kind of writing that I had experience with.

Throughout these last few months, my experience with blogging has uncovered several unforseen surprises and challenges. The single most surprising thing about writing a weekly blog post assignment is the sheer amount of time it takes from start to finish. I admire the avid bloggers who post daily, even weekly– it sure is a real time commitment. Perhaps most challenging was making the realization that even though this is not the most rigid forum for academic writing, the basic writing rules still apply–more or less. Blogs should still be held to some of the same journalistic standards when it comes to grammar and spelling. Where blogs differ from traditional journalism is the freedom to interject a very personal point of view. Each blog is the personal space of its author, and therefore can reflect the personal attitudes, tastes, and opinions of its author. I did have a difficult time figuring out where to draw the line; keeping in mind these journalistic standards, while at the same time giving my writing a bit of an attitude and point of view.

Also very challenging was the idea of writing for an audience. When writing, it is very important to know your audience! However in the case of blogging, it is hard to know your audience when you are trying to build one that consists of complete strangers. I don’t claim to have this whole blogging thing down to a science yet, but I am certainly trying, and I will continue to try to apply these learnings to my future posts.

Now that my semester is over and classes are coming to an end, it will not be mandatory that I make a weekly submission. I do intend to continue to write here from time to time. As a student and professional whose interest lies precisely at the converging point of language and all things digital, a blog seems like a very natural outlet for wanting to express my opinion. I enjoy the idea that each post has the opportunity to reach someone, somewhere. I will continue to write with the hope that each reader is able to take away a new perspective or insight.

Image: Maria Reyes-McDavis

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