Week #1 – 31 Day Blogging Challenge

I’m seven days in on 31 Days to Being a Better Blogger.

One of the best things about self-directed learning is that you don’t have to fit your learning into the larger agenda of outer influence. Life is busy and I was happy to read that others participating in the challenge are more focused on the learning that the 31 day time frame. After all, it is the learning that’s important. Personally, I would rather take more time and maximize the experience. Besides, no one actually specified 31 days in a row

Here are the tasks I’ve completed to date:

Day 1 – Email a New Reader – My ‘new reader’ was someone I already knew, which is more at my comfort level, but I will take the step and email more readers unknown to me for a couple of reasons. First, I think it is a great way to continue conversations. Second, I’d like my readers to know that I appreciate their comments and I value their opinions. And, finally, I was on the receiving end of an email from a blogging conversation myself last summer and it was empowering to have someone take the time to contact me (thanks Jan!).

Day 2 – Run a ‘First Time Reader Audit’ on your Blog – I’m lucky that one of my siblings is very tech savvy and has given me some great feedback. I think I will push one step further after reading other participants reflections and get another first time reader to do an audit.

Day 3 – Search for and Join a Forum – Darren Rowse is right, this is a great way to build one’s PLN. I belong to Classroom 2.0, Learning Unleashed, BC Literacy Forum, Art Education 2.0 and my latest favourite, Images4Education. You do get exposure for your blog, plus your own blogging space within the ning itself, not to mention all the great learning possibilities that can arise from a group of like-minded individuals gathering together in one online space.

Day 4 – Interlink Archived Posts – Now that I’m building up the number of posts I’ve written, I have been able to continue themes that I’d already written on. And, just to be fancy, I interlinked archived posts in this post. Did you find them?

Day 5 – Conduct an ‘About Page Audit’ – I did this today. I’d like to add a photo of some sort, or maybe a different kind of visual (perhaps a Wordle?).  I’m happy with what it says about me for now.

Day 6 – Email an Old Time Reader – I think this is a natural extension of the conversations that get started from commenting and co-commenting. In the past week, I’ve emailed three people to continue conversations that began as a result of a blogging comment exchange.

Day 7 – Plan Your Next Week’s Posting Schedule – Great idea, and I’m a planner, so I tend to do this constantly for all aspects of my life (although not as much as my dad – you should see his planning system – but that’s another post!). I remember Betty, Cindy and Virginia discussing little notebooks and other methods of planning during a KnowSchools week. I followed their advice and carry a little black notebook with me everywhere I go that’s full of post ideas. Running out of ideas will not be a problem; my problem will be finding the time to post!

That’s what I accomplished for the 31 Day Challenge this week. Next week I want to connect more with the other participants and work on that group learning experience. I still feel behind compared to many of my fellow participants (Nic was on Day 11 last Wednesday – go Nic!), but I do think I’m off to a good start! Stay tuned…

Image by Squonk 11 on Flickr.com

9 thoughts on “Week #1 – 31 Day Blogging Challenge

  1. Hi Errin,
    I like the look of your blog. It’s very easy on the eye and uncluttered. I think your hyperlinks show up well (that’s one part of my blog I’m disappointed in – they are a little hard to see).
    It is easy to navigate around your blog and fairly easy to see that you are blogging about teaching art and developing your use of web2.0 tools – for reflection and professional growth.
    I like the idea of the 31 day blogroll being on a separate page, but I’d probably still consider having the other blogs you read on the main page.
    Maybe you could pose some reflective questions (for yourself), but also for readers to consider and comment on.
    You’ve done a lot in one week. I’m still on Day 5 after the first week. I think “sue waters” is going to be fairly prominent in all of our tag clouds.

  2. Thanks for the encourgement! I’d prefer to work through things more systematically too, but it just doesn’t work out that way for me. Day to day I get swept up in other things until I remember I’m behind on the Challenge! Good luck with it all 🙂

  3. @ Colin – Thanks for the comment! I appreciate the feedback, it’s good to know what others think when first visiting. I like your idea of asking reflective questions – that would be a great way to expand my thinking with others’ points of view.

    @ Nic – Systematically indeed! If only life was so simple! Thanks for commenting back!

  4. Great job on your first 7 days of the challenge:) I love being able to be flexible with the challenge too. When you have time, you will really want to have outsiders audit your blog and about me pages. I learned SO much from this!! (Not that your page looks bad…it’s really nice. I just learned so much from the audit activities!!!)


  5. Hi Mrs. D!
    I am looking forward to getting some outsiders’ opinions. I’ve joined up with the Building a Better Blog ning and once I get the courage, I’ll try asking someone there to do an audit. Many of the challenge participants that have visited and commented have left helpful feedback for me, which is great. Thanks for the comment!

  6. Hi Erin,

    Welcome to the blogger challenge. I was going along steadily to Day 10 and then just got bogged down with no motivation to continue.

    Sometimes I swerve from complete Luddite (wanting to have nothing to do with mobile phones and computing) to wanting to embrace technology as much as possible.

    After reading your day three, there are a couple of sites that I will try to join.

    Time to get back into it.

    Regards, Bill Oldham

  7. Hi Bill,
    I know what you mean about the swerving – I do the same thing! There are days when I can’t get off the computer because I’m absorbed with something interesting, then days when I don’t even want to turn the computer on at all! I’m glad you’re back to the challenge, stick with us!

  8. Tena koe Errin
    Isn’t it amazing how blogs change over time. I have tagged you for my day 12 task and wanted to read more abour you but could not find your ‘About” page (no, I have just found it – hidden under the Free Edublog advert). Your blog is very easy to read and navigate around. Great idea to have your clustermap at the top. I wasn’t sure about the image in your flickr space – moused over to read what it was about and it gave me an img number – you can change that so it gives a brief description of the image. Good luck with the next lot of challenges:)

  9. Hello Jeanette!
    Thank you for your comment! I will return the favour and visit to comment on your blog next. It is amazing how blogs change. Jan Smith gave me a great tip at the start – to do a screen capture at the very beginning showing the birth of the blog. I did that, and only a few months later, my blog already looks completely different!

    Thanks also for the tip about the flickr images! I hadn’t even thought about ensuring that all photos were titled. Good idea!

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