As this subject, ‘Media, Audience, Place’ began delving further into the three aforementioned topics I was pushed to open my mind to new ideas and further my learning into this semester of Communications & Media.
The fifth week began with a topic that I found my tutorial class and myself particularly found not only extremely interesting, but humorous too. When discussing ‘cinema etiquette’ we laughed about people who chew too loudly, smell badly or talk too much in the public space. I found that this type of classroom discussion has been vital to me creating interesting blog posts that are well informed each week. Talking to my peers about the topics at hand has provided further understanding, along with a range of opinions that differ from my own and open my mind to accepting ideas that I’d have never understood without their help.
In-class collaboration alone however, could not help me develop a resource worth submission. Other elements needed to be addressed to create this product. Firstly, I took to my feedback from my first submission. What could I do better? I was suggested to push a little further in my critical thinking. To do so I attempted to better understand the weekly readings, as well as content we went over in tutorials to ensure I could articulate my ideas and findings at a more critical level.
My blog design was praised; however, I was advised to consider the use of tags as there were some minor issues with this at my point of submission. WordPress support explains that tags are similar to, but more specific than categories. According to Cory Miller of iThemes, with tags it is possible to get instant traffic for a blog… so it is important to use them appropriately and effectively. He evidences that he was able to triple traffic on his personal blog by tagging appropriate keywords for his subject. I have done exactly that by tagging each topic’s post with relevant words, always tagging ‘BCM240’ and then, for example with the Week 5 topic tagging the three constraints ‘Coupling’, ‘Authority’ and ‘Capability’, along with the movie title ‘Suicide Squad’ and the word ‘Cinema’. I have found in my past Communication & Media subjects that posts with tags that include a popular movie or TV show always accumulate more likes than posts that do not have reference to this type of media.
As well as tagging to ensure that the relevant audience is able to find and engage with my posts, I have also made the effort to follow other students tagging ‘BCM240’ on their posts, to engage with them and their work. By following my peers, I am able to gain even further insight, outside of the classroom into the way they have interpreted or understood the topics at hand.
After looking at ways to increase viewership when it came to the design, functionality and access to my blog, I then had to consider my blog itself and whether the posts I was making would maintain interest or whether readers would be deterred due to lack of enjoyment. Susan Gunelius, a Blogging Expert of AboutTech explains that the most important part about a blog is what you have to say and how you say it and suggests writing in a tone appropriate to the topic. I have taken a first-person narrative type approach with my blog posts, beginning each post as though I’m telling a story, one of my own experience. I feel as though this way of expression personalises my blog even further and helps readers to relate to and enjoy what I am saying. Gunelius also suggests keeping it personable, so as to invite interaction through blog comments and links back to your blog from other bloggers who like what you write. Taking this on board, I added an element to my blog posts written after Week 5 that I had not always done before; this element was ending each post with a question to my audience. The questions are used to not only persuade the readers into thinking further into the topic, but posed to try and create a conversation between myself and my followers. Additionally, I try and create post titles that are witty or interesting and add relevant media to create further interest in both these regards.
Taking on board all of the factors discussed above, I have used my blog as a way to form posts regarding our weekly topics in an interesting, personal and at times humorous way in an attempt to share what I have learnt. We are studying such interesting topics pertaining to Media, Audience and Place, such as the use of personal devices in public spaces and regulating audiences. These topics have managed to maintain my interest and help my further my ideas and insight – which I have gone on to share in the public sphere.
This subject has definitely provided me with greater insight into how to blog and I am finally developing a style of blogging that reflects who I am as a student in a way I am proud. It has taken me four semesters to really establish my own ‘style’, but now that I have I feel so much more confident and comfortable in producing my posts, something I hope is evident to my audience.