This is the first blog I have written. I follow blogs like Katrina Kenison’s Celebrating the Gift of Each Ordinary Day and NPR’s This American Life, while my daughters read YouTube stars Tyler Oakley and Jenna Marbles’ blogs. And my husband checks the Bleacher Nation blog daily to keep up on the latest in baseball. Blogs are a like modern day journal, but published for a wide audience. The tone is informal and conversational, not worrying about the conventions of grammar or mechanics.
I found WordPress one of the most intuitive blogs to navigate, especially for a beginning blogger like me. All of the pieces of the blog are available: sharing, formatting, archiving and previewing, but some assembly is required. There is no spell check feature and I have not figured out how saving revisions work when re-publishing a blog post, but I think after 30 days of blogging I’m starting to get the hang of it. I found plug ins and embedding video difficult and looked for a technical assistance help line phone number, but it turns out WordPress does not offer help via phone, but through forums. The forums are written by other bloggers and can be useful when seeking answers about WordPress.
I named my domain teachingwritingonline.wordpress.com with the intention of recording every day I teach online this semester at College of DuPage. The free domain name only lasts for 1 year and if I would like to continue the blog, I’ll have to make a choice to pay a fee in order to keep it going. I’m starting to see patterns emerge in my blog posts in regards to access, comparisons in delivery (f2f versus online), institutional support and a strong sense of online classroom community. I’m glad I’m investing in blog time and am looking forward to sharing my experience with anyone who may be interested in what it’s like to teach English courses online at a community college.