After looking at the many websites that were on the list I obtained much useful information through the examples and ideas presented in them. The first few websites that I looked at included Dr. McClurken’s and https://rebeccawingo.com/. These two taught me that simplicity is often better. Sometimes it is better to have less flashy backgrounds and opt for a more subtle choice of full colors. I looked at my own blog and I felt like this is an area I can improve upon. I would like to change the color and even put a picture of myself on the about page too. I also plan on making it a bit more user-friendly and organized. From these two sites, I also learned that it is acceptable to have long pages full of text. I used to think that it was not visually appealing to have a long page filled with words and no other images or elements. this is especially true if you are trying to have the audience focus more on the content.
Other lessons that I learned come in terms of what a blog means to me. I really enjoyed reading Dan Cohen’s thoughts http://dancohen.org/2006/08/21/professors-start-your-blogs/. I think his thoughts are essential for anyone who wants to start a blog but has doubts about what to include in it or how to treat it. In his site, he dispels some of the common myths surrounding blogging. Some of these ideas are ones that I believed in too. One od theme is that there is a constant need to be blogging (on a weekly or even daily basis). He states that blogging does not need to be an extensive activity and you can post everyone once in a while which is ok. One example of this is in https://matthewbsanders.com/blog/blog-six-months-later. His blog is interesting since he used to blog consistently but then took a 6-month break to conduct a mental health journey. I read through them and found that it was a very refreshing read since I was able to see progress and his insights since the last time he blogged. Reading this made me realize that it is ok to take breaks, both due to our mental health and our busy scehdule. We are college students after all:)
The last two lessons I learned are in the philosophical realm of digital identity. The first is from one of the 6 Key Selves of Networked Publics. I feel like increasing traffic and engagement in my site is one of the next steps that I will take. This ties into the idea of the Performative/Public Self. This aspect of digital identity is one where interaction and status are key. I wanna find new ways to interact with others who may venture onto the site through the more things I post on there. I realize that it is ok to link other portions of my digital identity, contrary to how I previously thought that was unprofessional. the only issue is that I do not go on there too much. The last lesson I learned is to consider my digital identity affects my real identity more than I previously thought. If used correctly, my site will be able to reach more people than I will be able to reach in person. Therefore, I must remember to show create an honest representation of myself. I should not be afraid to express my opinion on my own site, and by failing to do so I am also failing to create an honest reflection of who I am as a person.