For the next 16 weeks, I will be taking part in 23 Things for Professional Development, an online learning programme set up by a group of lovely, talented librarians in order to “introduce you to a range of tools that could help your personal and professional development as a librarian, information professional or something else”. I think it’s an absolutely fantastic idea, and am looking forward both to following the programme myself, and reading other blogs to see what others are doing with the Things.
The programme starts today, and the first Thing is to “create your own blog and write about what you hope to get out of the programme”. I’ve already got my own blog, so I thought I might write a bit about why I set my blog up in the first place and what it’s done for me, before moving on to the second part of the Thing.
I’ve had this blog for a little over two years now. I initially set it up as a place to record my professional development, reflect on my ideas from library school and work, and generally have a place to witter on about library things without boring my long-suffering, non-librarian boyfriend to tears! It took me a little while to find my “voice” in blogging, and I cringe now to read back over some of my first posts, but I’m really glad I persevered with blogging and have kept it up for this long.
One major thing that has changed over the time I’ve been blogging is that I actually have some readers now! When I started blogging I was thrilled to get one or two visits a day, and I can still remember how exciting it was to log in to Feedburner and see that I had my first subscriber… I don’t get an enormous amount of traffic now, certainly nothing like the kinds of numbers that superstar bloggers like Joeyanne and thewikiman get, but I have around 80 subscribers now and get anything from 15-100 visits per day, depending on how recently I’ve posted.
The main thing that blogging has done for me is given me confidence. I am not a particularly articulate speaker, as I tend to take a lot of time to formulate my thoughts, so I think I’m much better communicating in writing. This means that I can make sure my blog posts actually make sense and say what I was trying to say before I publish them, which leaves me less likely to end up thinking I’ve made a complete fool of myself (as I usually suspect when I’ve been in face-to-face conversations!). Blogging gives me a space to explore ideas, without the pressure of having to come up with something pithy on the spot, and it gives me an enormous confidence boost when someone comments on a post or tells me in person or on Twitter that they’ve enjoyed something I’ve written.
Ok, so that’s my thoughts on blogging! As for what I intend to get out of CPD23… well, in a large part I want an excuse to get blogging again! I’ve really neglected both my blog and my professional development of late, partly for personal reasons, and this seems like the kick up the arse I need to get on with things again. I’m looking forward to getting to know some new librarian bloggers through the programme, and learning from how everyone else interprets and uses the Things. I’m also thrilled to have been asked to contribute to a guest post in week 14, about the Library Routes project, so this is also a great opportunity to get in a plug for that!
Good luck to everyone taking part, and I look forward to exploring and commenting on some of your blogs as part of Thing 2.