Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Why I Blog: Part 2

From then until now

In Part 1 of this series on why I blog, I provided an overview about why I blog. 1) To share information and 2) to participate in the community of bloggers.

I also discussed how this blog, The DIGITAL Archive, was born out of the need to communicate and share information on an electronic records management and digital preservation project that I had been researching at the university where I worked and how starting the blog allowed me to connect with others with similar interests.
For the second part, I will examine the new direction the blog took after the e-records management/digital preservation project ended.

What next? My concerns become content

Once the project ended, I found myself—and this blog—in a momentary vacuum. What do I blog about now, I thought. For a while, I continued to blog about the research project, adding some personal perspective to the findings. That was fine, for the time being, but I knew deep down I had to find a new direction.

The struggle to find a new blog direction, that is, what would I write about, became the motivation to continue writing The DIGITAL Archive and the subject matter of several blog posts. This struggle, and subsequent blog posts about it, began to take a new shape, innocently enough, causing me to wonder about pursuing a new direction altogether, in life and career.

In the months between the end of the research project and the day I resigned from my position at McGill, I took tentative steps to expand the scope of the blog. While I discussed email management and digital preservation with some zeal, I also peppered the blog with concerns about preserving blogs, technology predictions, and the future of the Web, subjects I found closer to my heart and mind.

Moreover, in an unplanned move, I also discussed concerns and doubts about the career I found myself in because I wanted to give voice to these concerns and wondered if anyone else felt the same.

When I resigned from the university, I wanted to continue blogging because I had found an ingenious communication medium and had established a very small community of readers (judging from the occasional comment, I figured I had some readers).

I realized that it took time and persistence to find a ‘blogging voice’ and a central theme around which blog posts revolved. I figured I was still a teenager whose blogging voice was changing, maturing. The blog’s voice, as well as its author’s voice, was clearly changing. The DIGITAL Archive, once heavily focused on archives, became a kaleidoscope of ideas that only alluded to archives.
I believe a blog is organic, like a tree that starts life as a tiny twig; it grows into a complex repository of opinions and ideas, with shoots springing forth into other blogs, bearing fruit now and then. Sometimes, however, especially when the blogger’s situation is precarious, the blog grows in ways the blogger never anticipated.

2 comments:

Heather said...

Thanks for sharing all of this. I think that it's interesting to look at the intent of the blog creator, and at the ways in which that may change over time.

dkemper said...

Heather - thank for reading and leaving some feedback. The blog has taken numerous twists and turns and, from a writer's perspective, I wanted to show the evolution of the blog.

I also tried to focus on how blogging impacted my work and in turn how work impacted my blogging, leading me today to think about pursuing other areas.

about the author

I am an information professional, researcher, and writer with over eight years experience in the information services field with experience in information and communication technology.

I have a B.A. in History and a Master's in Library and Information Studies and working on a Web and Multimedia Design certificate.

I believe that empowering people with information can enrich lives and transform the world.