Open Horizons and Rough Seas
Once upon a time I was an avid blogger. Obsessive even. I’d post about every plan I had, every nugget of thought, well considered, in-progress, or just passing anecdote. I’d post in the future, present and past tense. I’d document everything. I was an animal.
Then I got jaded and cynical. Not about blogging per se, but about the field I was largely blogging about – education and educational technology. Years spent in higher education had (and have) begun to wear on me. My enthusiasm and passion waned, and I found I had nothing further to speak of; no drive to push the boundaries, or think outside the box.
To a fair degree this is unfortunately still the case. My optimism for the future of education – and its ability to look ahead and evolve – is nothing like it used to be; it’s been irrevocably changed forever, and not in a good way. Yet my interest in blogging hasn’t changed, it’s just been dormant.
I derive enormous benefits from the process of blogging. I write to think and to discover; to learn, unlearn and relearn; to exercise my creative juices and to help me focus. If I don’t write, I start to feel stale and uninspired. I’ve been feeling stale and uninspired for quite some time now.
So I’m attempting to regain my blogging mojo. Not to replicate what once was, but to let it evolve into something different. This is why I’ve opted to start with a new domain, rather than my old one, TechTicker. I still own the domain name, but the vision behind that project is no longer the vision I have now.
Coming Together, Moving Apart
Once upon a time I was passionate about social media for its own sake. It was largely undiscovered at my institution, and my experiments were done after hours and purely for my own sake. Then the idea of leveraging blogs, wikis and other “Web 2.0″ tools (the term still makes me shudder) became the flavour of the day and my professional and personal lives became enmeshed.
At first it was a fantastic thing. I was able to spend most of the day every day in a sphere I truly enjoyed. My existing knowledge proved to be tremendously valuable to my peers as well, which unfortunately started clouding my perception a bit via an inflating ego (justified or no).
Then things started going sour. The inevitable clashes began between the organic, anarchic nature of social media and staid, arcane, conservative – boring – nature of academia. Social media either became something to fear, to control, or to block out, or something that was of little interest because it was “too much work.”
So I threw the baby out with the bathwater and became a digital recluse. By that point I’d become incapable of differentiating social media at work from social media outside of it, and the bad taste in my professional mouth permeated all aspects of participatory culture. So I turned my back on it…for a while.
Planting My Flag
I’m now trying to break the two worlds up again now to retake my place in the digital realm; replanting my flag so to speak. I choose to make this my space, and mine alone. I choose not to define whether this is a professional blog, a personal blog. Ultimately it’s neither and it’s both – but it’s all me.
My immediate personal goal for this space is to post at least once per week. I truly hope I can rediscover the spark that drives me to contribute with zeal and passion, but I will be satisfied with small steps in the beginning.