Exercise 3 – Follow 5 new tags and 5 new blogs in the Reader.
Easy-peasy I thought when I saw this exercise. This should take me next to no time. Well was I wrong!
I’ve spent several hours looking for suitable tags and blogs with content I wanted to browse or read regularly. Through comments from others on the course who’d completed this exercise, I was aware that some people are following so many blogs it seemed practically impossible (and certainly unlikely) that they were actually reading them all. But, if I’m wrong and they are, then I wonder how they find the time to write for their own blogs. Oh well, that’s a matter for Mystic Meg and her crystal ball to figure out, so I won’t worry my little grey cells about this any more.
I could have taken the fast and easy option by selecting tags indiscriminately plus the first 5 sites that presented themselves in the Reader. However, I also didn’t want to follow merely for the sake of saying I’ve completed the exercise. I saw this as an opportunity to check out the contours of this exciting blogging world that I’m now a part of. I saw it as an opportunity to explore this alien terrain, check out unfamiliar voices and venture into new avenues, in the hopes that my views will be expanded, clarified, even challenged. After all, it is only when your own convictions are questioned that you are able to test whether you stand firm in your self-confessed beliefs, or whether the contrary opinion of others has the power to push you away from your standpoint and over the cliffs of uncertainty.
This veritable expanse of the blogging universe sat unexplored, compliant and waiting – its delights ready for the taking. It promised fresh (even jaundiced) perspectives. It hinted at colour, spice, va va voom! I imagined pleasurable forays into unknown worlds of aesthetic culture, creative endeavours, exotic travel, gourmet delights and literary opinion. And so I sought erudite voices, vicarious experiences. I relished the idea of undetected and unashamed voyeurism into the lives and souls of others.
The first thing that came to my notice was that the Reader has been taken over by a bunch of people referring to themselves as “Blogging 101”. Honestly! The Reader was completely hi-jacked by authors of posts framing cries for help on technical issues; bloggers making outright pleas or subtle overtures for site visits. Both self-assured calls and tentative requests were being made to other course participants, asking for feedback on completed assignments. There were tales of frustration or woe over technical issues encountered, or whoops of delight as people provided updates on their attempts to fulfil assignments.
All this made interesting reading but don’t they know I’ve got work to do? An assignment to get on with? I cannot allow myself to be distracted. With firm resolve I begin exploring potential tags and posts with gusto. Despite my highfalutin ideas, I was drawn to what I know… to what sits comfortably within the confines of my personal interests and passions. I’ll leave exploratory trips of the Brave New World to someone else.
Meanwhile, in case you’re interested in which new tags and blogs I’ve decided to follow, details of these are listed below. And if the fancy takes you, feel free to hop on board.
- Christian Book Reviews
- Exotic Travel
- Street Photography
- Daily (W)rite – damyantiwrites.wordpress.com (popular blogger and fiction writer who shares both blogging advice and insights into her daily ritual of writing)
- Live to Write, Write to Live – https://nhwn.wordpress.com/ (group of professional writers share their experiences and tips regarding the writing life/career)
- Passionately Pursuing Christ – dharrisdevotionals.wordpress.com (a published poet whose stirring words evidence passion and commitment for Christ)
- True – shoppetrue.com (Website showcasing tasteful home furnishings and unique ideas for interior design)
- Storyshucker – storyshucker.wordpress.com (talented story-teller shares poignant tales from memories of bygone days).
And you know what? I’ve even been able to complete the extra exercise set with this particular assignment, which was: Feel free to publish a post in addition to completing this task.
Granted, I’m posting 2 weeks after the course concluded but I’m not going to let that concern me. Phew! That’s three exercises done and 12 more to go – so watch this space!