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Monday, December 31, 2012

Authentic voice: Is there enough you in your blog?

Catherine Connors rocked MBlog 2012. Her Bad Mother, Connors' much-fĂȘted mom blog, was one of TIME magazine's 25 best. Here she is on break during Winnipeg's first dedicated blogging conference at the University of Winnipeg.
Ok, it's New Year's Eve day and the big question on my mind is "what does authentic voice really mean?" Yeah, seriously. I had the chance to mull this over in relation to this blog on the last Saturday of November, and I've been thinking of it ever since.

See, the good folks at New Media Manitoba scoured the 'Peg for bloggers who knew their stuff plus brought in some special guests for MBlog 2012: Blogging in the Big Time. Chief among those guests was Catherine Connors, editor of Babble (Disney Interactive) and author of HerBadMother.com - one of TIME’s Top 25 Blogs of 2012.

Catherine was a delight. And there were a few ideas she clearly unpacked during her preso and the subsequent Q&A. 

1) You're not going to get rich from your precious blog. Live with that.
2) If you don't occasionally feel fear after you post, you're not doing it right.
3) Use your authentic voice or your blog won't be sustainable.

Motivation is the key on that third point, she said. You simply won't want to blog if there's not enough you in your posts. And that's what I've been wrestling with.

How much of me does come through in these posts? Is the writing process here a catalyst for generating and floating ideas or simply reviewing ed-related apps and the thoughts of others? Add to that the time crunch nearly every blogger feels and other questions surface. Is this space the best vehicle for my own self-expression? Would a short form blog like a Tumblr or Posterous be easier to update? Does every post need to gift wrapped with a bow?
What about the possibility of embedding quick and more frequent Social Cam videos to bypass a sometimes tedious writing process?

My friend Darren Kuropatwa (@dkuropatwa) uses Social Cam vids brilliantly as a way to float his thoughts about his teaching practice. Check out his While Walking series. It looks like Ontario educator Rodd Lucier @thecleversheep is starting down the same road - sharing short thoughts and impressions more frequently.

So, where does that leave me?

Well, I'm grateful to New Media Manitoba for the excellent event this past November. It was great professional development in a sweet venue with some great networking opportunities - plus I got to meet Winnipeg's bona fide social media guru Erica Glasier (@ericaglasier).

While I haven't found any easy answers to the questions of voice and posting convenience yet, the questions themselves are good ones and deserve attention in the new year.

And that's where my head is right now. What questions will you be be asking yourself this year?




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