“About your blog…”

IMG_0761_exposure-2Yeah, that was the subject line I found in my Full Sail account this morning. I was scared and decided to not read the message until I got a few things done… Turned out that the writer for Full Sail Online is working on an article designed to “encourage people to keep an engaging daily blog.” She heard about my blog from my boss’ girlfriend and was looking for tips. Wow, from panic to being flattered. So I wrote back the following response:

Ashley,

Greetings. First off, I’m guessing that you don’t know how scary it is to get an email on the corporate account with the subject line: “About your blog…” Yikes. I’m so happy to help out in any way that I can (and not be in trouble!). My first thought is something the rock-star Sting said about how he believed that one has to write everyday if one expects to write well. That is, that one shouldn’t expect to write…

a great song or poem or anything if one doesn’t take the time to do it every day. That’s a bit old school, but it’s true that we need to do the things that are important to us daily. The other thing, that is so true today and wasn’t back when I started writing, is that blogging isn’t just about writing but also about sharing pictures, ideas or even the line of a great song. It’s about finding something that makes you stop and think and then sharing that with someone else. A lot of the stuff that I blog about often comes from podcasts I listen to or something that I found on the web. I’ll post the original video and just add my two-cent reflection.

Blogging is a big part of the course I’m teaching here at Full Sail (Media Asset Creation). And the funny thing is that, because most grad students are a bit grade-focused, they usually have a hard time with the idea that I just want them to use their blog to think out loud about their experiences in my course and experiences at Full Sail in general. Ironically, now that they probably have the language skills to express themselves and have the experience of the world to have something meaningful to say, they generally don’t want to say something “stupid” or “wrong.” Whereas when they were nine you probably couldn’t get them to shut up about the moths that their little brother thought were weird looking butterflies, for example. And teenagers, I worked with middle school kids before coming here and I still get messages from them on my MySpace where they can’t be bothered to put anything in the subject line and the whole post is “s’up.” Anyway, I’m hopeful that over the course of the short month I have my students I’ll get something more expressive than “s’up” and less rambling than stories about weekends working with dad in the backyard. Oh yeah, it does help to encourage them to look for a graphic to include with their post… that sometimes inspires the ones of few words and breaks the concentration of those too in love with the flow of their own rambling thoughts. Works for me… usually. I hope that this helps Ashley. Just let me know if you need anything else.

jbb

Jonathan Coulton - Thing a Week Two - Re: Your Brains Music: “Re: Your Brains” by Jonathan Coulton on the Thing a Week Two CD.

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