Tuesday 1 November 2011

Opinion: To blog, or not to blog?

The origin of a different kind of Silver Surfer

by Bev Cadby

To blog, or not to blog; that is the question. You see, I’m a mature student and it’s not until you actually get to university you realise there are mature students…and then there’s me! So when an email came around asking for people to sit on the Social Media Editorial Committee for the School of American Studies, I thought why not?

I have always loved gadgets, as you’d see if you entered my kitchen. There they are, sitting in  cupboards, pristine, many still living in their boxes – gadgets the adverts assure me I just cannot live without! I’m an advertiser's dream; I’m the person they envisage when devising all these weird and wonderful adverts. You can see ‘sap’ tattooed on my forehead!

So, the committee: I thought this would be a way of applying my scant knowledge of social media whilst cunningly picking up tips on how to use my latest gadget, a laptop. I was (and still am) convinced that all those bright young students would know how to utilise its power to help me infiltrate this world that I keep reading about.

That’s how it began. The first meeting went well – that is, until the words Twitter and Facebook cropped up. My silence (and those who know me will not automatically associate the words silence and Bev) spoke volumes. I had been found out in the first ten minutes! But then came the word blog. Now this is someone who went to see Julie & Julia. There’s nothing I don’t know about blogging. Smiling confidently, I assured them I could write something twice a term for the AMS blog.  So that’s why I’m sitting in front of my latest gadget, typing furiously, looking at the word count…apparently five hundred words is optimum. Which is a shame, really, as I’ve already taken over three hundred of those and I’ve not even got to the main part of my post!

Write something to do with the subject, the committee said. As I’m studying for a Masters in American Studies, you would think that would be easy. Wrong. What to write about? Well, I’ve been keeping a close eye (as close as anyone can who is wearing varifocals) on the bloggers who have gone before me.  Impressed by their knowledge and somewhat intimidated (again, anyone who knows me well would not put intimidated and Bev in the same sentence either), I’ve finally decided on a topic for my first post.

Good, I hear you cry. Stop procrastinating and get on with it! However, I’ve now reached the magical five hundredth word (do I turn into a pumpkin if I go over?). I’m going to have to save it for November 28th!

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