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CPD 23 Things Week One: Blogging

CPD23 LogoFor 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.

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10 comments on “CPD 23 Things Week One: Blogging

  1. Excellent start to cpd23! :0) I suspect you will have more followers soon, but I have to say that I have always enjoyed reading your blog, and have found it informative as well as inspiring.

  2. I am really enjoying seeing why people blog and what they get out of it! I have, of course, been reading you since day 1 and although I am a lazy commentator, I always enjoy your posts.

  3. Great post! Good to hear the thoughts of someone who has been blogging for a while. I agree with you about being able to think about what you post without the pressure of coming up with somethnig on the spot!

  4. Awesome! I am a subscriber and a participant of CPD23 Things. I am looking forward to your post as I have you on my subsciped reading list. This is a great programme and I hope to broaden my lib/info professionals circle. Happy Blogging. VS.

  5. I agree with blogging being a way of not bothering your boyfriend about library stuff – my husband is a great fan of my blog for the same reason! 🙂 Also, the confidence boost is a strong reason for me too.
    How did you find your “blogging voice”? Was it just a matter of practice / time? Any tips? Thank you!

  6. Will be good to see you blogging again – your post are always in depth and well thought out…and make me feel like a lazy-ass librarian for not being as active as you! 😉
    Like Meg, I’m a lazy commentator too, usually cos you’ve covered everything so comprehensively that I’ll just sound like a doofus if I try and add anything 🙂

    Ohhh, can you update your blogroll link? Jennie Law has become Dumping in a Hanky (there’s a good reason, honest!)

  7. Thanks for offering your perspective as one of the more veteran bloggers in the cpd23 bunch. I have the same feelings about being better in writing, so am looking forward to the opportunity to formulate my thoughts in this way.

  8. Great post and very encouraging!

  9. Thanks all for the comments! Been offline for a few days so I just came back to them all, very nice to return to 🙂

    Maria – as far as finding my blogging “voice” went, yes it was really just a matter of practice. I think most bloggers take a little time to find their way. I certainly spent a lot of time where I wasn’t quite sure exactly what I wanted to write about, how I could make it interesting for an external audience, what sort of tone to take, how much personal info to include… all that jazz. I think I’ve settled into a pretty confortable groove with it now. I still have moments of “oh god why am I writing this, have I said too much/too little, do I sound like an idiot, why would anyone want to read this”, usually right before I hit “publish”, but I’ve learned to deal with that!

    Jennie/Dumpling – will update my blogroll and Google reader links now. Love the new blog name!

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