Reflecting on the blogging experience as a whole throughout semester one, I feel that it was both an enjoyable experience and a very different one. The use of a blog as a tool to stimulate learning was certainly an approach that was new to me, however, I believe it was successful in allowing my fellow bloggers and I to build upon the topics and themes introduced to us during our Urban Design lecture series. It was also particularly interesting due to the diversity of our group, both regarding academic backgrounds and countries of origin. Ultimately, this created a fantastic mix of different views, experiences and knowledge, which was very beneficial to me in gaining a broader understanding of urban design and the wider world as a whole.
One of the first challenges we faced as a group was to organise and run self-directed blog management meetings, where every other week we discussed general blog progress and tackled any issues that needed resolving. I was the first person to volunteer to take charge of minutes, which involved summarising the key points from the meeting and constructing a plan of action, which I then relayed to the rest of the bloggers. It was a task I was unfamiliar with at the time, however, looking back I’m pleased that I put myself forward for the role, as I feel I have gained valuable management skills that will be particularly relevant in my future career as an architect.
When it came to actually writing the blog posts, I was a little unsure about the writing style that was required for this platform type, however, through studying a number of other blogs I feel that I was successful in finding a style that worked for me and my blogging. Nevertheless, the main aspect I did struggle with was the length of the blog posts. Whilst I kept within the word limit guidelines that were suggested, I often felt like I still had more to explain or justify by the time I reached the limit, which I found frustrating on occasions. Saying that, on reflection I believe that this was simply a part of adjusting to the blog mind-set, in which the focus is on giving brief snapshots into a topic so that the readers remain engaged, and not overloading them with too much dense information.
In terms of keeping up with the rough schedule for the blog, I feel that I started off well during the first month or so in the set-up phase, creating a post on my experience of Charrette week in order to learn how to navigate the ‘Wordpress’ software, as well as contributing to the group Instagram account. However, as workload pressures with my principal course (Masters in Architecture) and part-time job significantly increased towards Christmas, I wasn’t able to stick to the schedule as well as I would have liked. Whilst this was disappointing, I feel that I have learnt the importance of trying to plan ahead as much as possible, particularly with a module such as this. Therefore, looking forward I will try my best to improve in this regard.
Whilst I had never participated in an online blog before this module, it is something I have considered many times in the past. Aside from architecture, one of my main passions in life is music, and I have often contemplated setting up my own blog, which would serve as a platform for me to review new music and share my thoughts with others around the world. Although in previous years I’ve lacked the confidence to initiate a blogging venture, I feel that through my experience with the Urban Design blog, I now have both the skills and confidence to finally make the jump and create my own personal blog.