- How long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging since at least 2005. I started on LiveJournal because I heard the hipsters in my class were writing about their days online. I was once featured on their blog because they took my picture around campus. I did a travel blog for my trip to Europe, but I didn’t have a laptop and there wasn’t much time to use the hotel’s computers.
- Why did you start blogging?
Several reasons, but ultimately I thought that it was cool and I wanted to be cool (oh high school). This blog started as a way to let Ph.D admission committees know that despite not being in graduate school after college, I was being productive in terms of my scholarly development. After writing for two years off and on, I have found a specific voice and learn to run with some of my ideas. It really helps stretch my mental processes, which help my understanding of other scholarly material.
- How many times a week do you post an entry?
As my readers know, both this blog and Patienthood, do not get updated very often anymore. I started off writing everyday, but I slowly found less and less to blog about in my reading. Then I started graduate school and that sucked up all the reflections I had (much to the chagrin of my professor).
- How many different blogs do you read on a regular basis?
I mainly follow two blogs. I do check other blogs and feeds from time to time. I find that the two keep me up to date with everything that is important to me and it keeps me from overloading on information. I do keep track of the news on a commentary/features website and sometimes a straight news site (I thought I was going to be burnt out of election coverage after the election, but I kept going for a good month or two). I tend to read things over and over so I absorb more from each post.
- Do you comment on other people’s blogs?
Yes. I mainly post on the fashion/pop culture blog that I read (Tom and Lorenzo). They typically ask for participation in critiquing outfits and the TV shows they watch. The other blog is more politics based and there are plenty of opinions and while I dis/agree with the users, I try to stay out of the way. I tend to have eccentric opinions. (Yes, Bertrand I agree with you, but US politics is a bit of a boxing ring currently)
- Do you keep track of how many visitors you have?
Yes, but I do not blog to get readers. Although getting more then one reader a week is exciting.
- Did you ever regret a post that you wrote?
Yes, and I took it down. I didn’t think how that could have influenced things with graduate schools looking at my blog. It was not saucy but it was a little too honest for the internet.
- Do you think your readers have a true sense of who you are based on your blog?
I like to think so, but there are many aspects about my self that are not included in the overall experience of the blog.
- Do you blog under your real name?
This blog I blog under taggingreflections/Steven. However, both blogs are associated with me on my about.me profile/resume and other social media accounts so you know who is blogging at all times. I know it may be uneasy for my parents, but I feel I am mature enough to be open and honest about myself on the Internet (although there are still secrets).
- Are there topics that you would never blog about?
I plead the Fifth.
- What is the theme/topic of your blog?
Academic/personal reflection on my current scholarly reading of mostly any topic.
- Do you have more than one blog? If so, why?
I have dozens that I have started and stopped. I like fresh starts when I break in a new focus or start a new leaf (that is why I started Patienthood). I should look back at some of them to see what was inspiring/reading at the time to get a sense of my personal growth as a person and scholar. (Trust me there has been a major change).
- What have you found to be the benefits of blogging?
As I alluded to above, I finding blogging to be a form of a personal archive of my growth of my thoughts and passions. My reflection skills have been honed and I am able to write faster. Although my blogging still has not kicked my bad habit of not checking my work for grammar and spelling before submitting my pieces.
- So, why do you continue to blog?
I continue to blog because I find the blogging process so academically rewarding. I am and have stretched my thought processes and brought them into territory that I did not know they could. While I still have more work to do, I am achieving my personal goals to be more theoretical. While it may not be exactly the perfect fit with public health, I want a strong theoretical understanding of the issues that inform the prevention and intervention strategies that I ultimately are going to research and create.
POSTSCRIPT: I just remembered the four posts I wrote on blogs as middle-class narcissism. While I am no doubt engaging in narcissism (blogging for one way learning and just myself), I also seem to subvert this because blogging is becoming more a personal archive and exercise, I do not seek to comment on and teach others. I think my arguments stand, though, because true dialogical teaching on-line is a still difficult endeavor.