I have come to realize…and I am just going to come right out and say it…

I dislike blogging. I like reading other people’s blog (they probably enjoy blogging). But, as for me…I don’t particularly like it.

Maybe I never got over my fear of orchestrating this grand blog entry filled with opinions, research, stories and relating some or all of it together to inform whatever topic I chose (or was chosen for me).

Image Credit: SafeBlogShopper.com

Perhaps it is my struggle with certain types of disclosure. I absolutely love sharing and discussing various places I have traveled to and lived in..relating my experiences to the environment and social condition of each new place…connecting  people and their lives. This type of blogging –travel blogs– I felt, not only comfortable with, but also excited and passionate about. In addition to…they were not so time consuming!

Regardless of that baby rant, my experiences with blogging thus far have yielded many great returns. I have learned so much about:

  • -why blogging is so time intensive (and maybe that I’m lazy?)
  • -the power and impact a ‘well-oiled’ blog can have to influence and instill change (personal, social, political, etc.)
  • -connects and defines people & issues  (even marketing consultant Mark Schweafer agrees!)

My personal favorite aspect I learned from blogging is how it changed my behaviors on a daily basis. Regardless of whether or not I enjoy the process of writing or maintaining a blog, I really enjoy how it influenced my ability to listen in such a busy, hectic, twisted, sad,…yet inspiring world. I found myself busy-city-peoplejotting down notes and ideas throughout the day. I was noting things that not only mattered to me, but also the unknown that intrigued me and made me want to research more into it.  I noticed that I was concerned about the content of my blog and that I wanted to be informed. Blogging has encouraged me to listen…not just more but more effectively.

Using Netvibes to ‘listen‘ and track issues/topics can be very interesting and useful. Netvibes is a great resource that compiles information from all over the web into one structure little package. Recently, I tracked issues such as child marriage, gender-based violence, and Arab Spring uprising. It was fascinating to see where discussions on these issues were being held, who was having them, and what influence and impact that had on their community. For these issues particularly, I learned something from monitoring and ‘listening’ to the information as it came and went…and changed and evolved…There is a unique language around these issues. But, it doesn’t stop there. The language is different not per issue or even per country. But, regionally and varies between ages. With the Arab Spring I noticed it more. Just from watching the dashboard, you see various headlines using different terms. Seeing how different people identified with these movements in different ways was really intriguing…and something, I am honestly still trying to follow and understand. By using Netvibes it was also easier to highlight, not only where these issues were prevalent, but what actions were being taken to address them. Only demonstrations? Uprisings? or was there advocacy work? NGO intervention? Youth-led initiatives?

So- for me, I learned that listening on a large-scale would greatly inform my blogging (and also future research and personal growth) and provide me with comprehensive tools that would assist in translating and breaking down the different voices, opinions, and information that scatter our world to, ultimately…

remain more informed, so that i can better inform