It's week 1 and we're looking at blogging - the how and the why.
As you can see I've figured out the how bit - I've chosen to use Blogger. As the owner of both a Gmail account and a Google branded phone, Blogger's compatibility with this internet Goliath is a major advantage. I've used Wordpress in the past, not professionally but rather for recording progress in the allotment! There doesn't seem much to choose between the two so I thought I'd try this out for a change. It was very straightforward to set up and even customise a little with an 'archivey' theme. The title will probably change but I couldn't stand to stare at the screen any longer trying to think what to call the thing. Like many archivists I work in a basement, and I like the nod to Dostoevsky, who probably gets out as much as I do.
I haven't written a professional blog before, though I do follow a few. Like many teenagers I was a committed diary-writer, but as I got older and less weird I fell out of the habit. The idea of recording thoughts and ideas online (as opposed to the odd photo of my runner beans) is something that would have horrified my younger self. However, I've been convinced by those in the know that blogging is a very useful tool for keeping track of your professional developement and getting into the habit of activitely and critically reflecting on your experiences.
And I sure need to.
I heard about CPD23 as I was making yet another attempt to write up Learning Outcome forms towards my Registration portfolio. (Registration with the Archives and Records Association is the archivist's version of Chartership with CILIP for librarians). For Registration, I need to come up 12 activities I've taken part in since qualification in 2008, and write - and I mean really write - about how they were of long term professional benefit. All the advice is to write up my Learning Outcome forms during or straight after the activity - be it training, study/research, work acheivements or contributions to the profession - but of course I haven't. So I found myself trying to describe and think reflectively about two or three year old projects, wishing I had made some notes at the time. CPD23 seemed like a really good excuse to set up a blog without seeming too self-important, and all being well it will grow into a space for me to use to record future developments, beyond the life of this project.
I read Ned Potter's post 'Everything you've ever wanted to know about blogging' with great interest and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in starting or promoting blogging. It includes some great advice of taking things further, and on my to-do list this week will be: adding feeds, integrating Twitter (@alison__harvey) and registering the blog. In a few days when we've all had a chance to get something written, I'll move onto Thing 2: investigate other blogs!