Overall I believe that my blog has improved drastically since my first post at the beginning of the semester. my first few post did not really get in depth and provide the details and first hand encounters that I believe my blog viewers were looking for. With a little help from the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, and from input from my peers and Paullete, I believe my blog now provides a great deal of depth and detail to the readers.
The tweets for this class have also been a great deal of fun. I specifically enjoyed the live tweet sessions with Andy Carvin and the Asbestos conference. It was nice to be able to inform people on the subjects being covered and all of the positive feedback from the tweets made me feel like I was having a little impact on my followers. Although my twitter account was started specifically for this class, I believe that it is far better than my previous account that really held no value. My tweets were not aimed at a specific audience and they were not meant to provide any sort of depth to the readers. Now my tweets are thought out and planned and are more effective at portraying a story than they ever were before.
My blog took an insiders look at the Northland College Men’s Hockey Team. It was aimed at students and players, peers and fans. The blog allowed for the reader to get a sneak peak inside what is was like to play collegiate sports. There was a post about road trips, a season update, player bios, and things to bring to hockey games. Those specific posts allowed for readers to become more connected with the hockey team.
As far as the style of my blog, it was an insiders look at NC Hockey. I approached this blog with an idea to keep a real time up to date blog for the hockey team. Unfortunately with all the work that goes into keeping up with the team, I was not able to do everything that I wished to do from the start. If I was solely working only on the blog throughout the semester, I believe it would’ve been more of a success.
The strengths my blog had were specific aspects of hockey that fans and peers generally don’t get to see. Play bios are usually short and not in depth on players and mine was. Also, when the reader gets a look behind the scenes at what is happening, it almost allows them to be there, without actually being there. I also wish that I could’ve blogged more specifically about hockey and not made the blog confusing with other assignments.
The entire blogging process was new to me at the beginning of the semester. To be honest, I didn’t believe that blogs were still as big as they are. Blogging seemed like old news, but after examining similar blogs in my category, I realized that blogging is alive and well. I believe that blogging is a good way, especially for sports teams, to be able to show the fans what is going on. Also the players enjoyed being featured in blog post, such as AJ Smith in one of my last posts about the season updates. I would recommend to a future student on the hockey team to continue to blog about the team, because from the feedback I received, people loved it.
The most important realization I got out of social media this semester was how much social media is a force of change. A twitter list with people tweeting about certain events, like #BlackLivesMatter, really does have an impact on a global level. Literally everything that is put on twitter can effect someone somewhere. Live tweeting events allows for individuals not able to be somewhere, like the bombings in Paris, stay up to date with what is going down. Without social media, I would not even hear about these events till a major news source finally breaks the story, but sites like Reported.ly allow me to stay up to the minute on events that are taking place all over the world.
The biggest challenge this semester was staying on top of blog posts, and making sure they were relevant. Like I said earlier, my blog posts and tweets at the beginning did not have any substance, now they have specific details that make the reader interested and continue to read my blog. Just on Saturday I had an all time high of 62 views, although it may not seem like much to large globally recognized blogs, a small blog out of Ashland Wisconsin impacted 62 people, and that makes me feel like this blog is worth keeping up with. I would like to continue it throughout the year and hopefully pass it on to someone else who is interested in doing this next semester.
My 2 favorite blog posts were, Meet Wyatt Garagan and People of Harvest an Embroidered Art and Idea Exchange. The reason I liked these posts so much is because they allowed me to make a face to face connection with the individuals my blog was about. Wyatt was a lot of fun to interview and he really enjoyed the entire process. Also the embroidered art and idea exchange allowed me to interview the students and members of the community that were actually involved in the project. The blog post allowed for me to connect with the individuals who participated and get their specific input on the project.
My 2 most effective tweets were a lot more impactful than I thought. The first was about Wyatt again, and it had 97 impressions, with 11 engagements. That does not come as a surprise considering that the player bios are what a lot of my readers were really interested in. The next tweet was: