I would like to start by thanking you for reading my blog posts over the last few months. Blogging has been an insightful experience, giving me the opportunity to learn and explore and whole new writing style and form of communication. Overall, this is an experience I have greatly appreciated and one I will undoubtably come back to.
One of the most important aspects of this blog module was its multidisciplinary nature, which created posts from a wide variety of perspectives. Reading others’ contributions not only helped to expand my own knowledge but also encouraged me to think in a different way.
Being involved in the designing of the banner (alongside Van and Andrew) was a highlight, as I felt this was important to demonstrate who we were as group. We decided it was key to include graphics of Newcastle’s iconic landmarks, as it is this place which links the whole cohort of bloggers together. We also chose to include bright, eye-catching colours to attract readers’ attention onto our page.
I really enjoyed the group aspect of this module. Scheduled self-directed meetings enabled us to bond as a group, while shaping our blog to best reflect us. These meetings proved particularly fundamental at the start, when establishing the setup and running of the site. By creating a rota, we ensured the page was well fed with content, however, this could have been more strictly enforced to guarantee a constant stream.
The wide range of topics explored through the lectures, which were delivered in such a knowledgeable and thought-provoking way, was clearly reflected in the posts. This aspect really helped to create a successful blog, as the topical variety was essential to maintaining peoples’ interest. Through writing my blog post and reading others I was compelled to engage with topics in a much more critical manner. This prompted me to question things more, to try and establish the fundamental concepts of issues raised and critically analyse how they can shape our environment. I feel these are important skills to take forward, so I can understand how these issues may shape our designs of the future.
At first, I found blogging quite challenging, due to the need to transition from academic to blog style writing techniques. I often found myself conflicted about how to incorporate academic texts and references whilst maintaining an informal writing style. I also struggled to establish the level of depth required, how much personal opinion to include and just how informal the style of writing should be. In hindsight it would have been useful to have more guidance on how to achieve this balance and examples of best practice. However, I think learning this style of writing will be a key skill for the future, particularly in urban design and planning careers, in order to convey information to people in a format that is concise, appealing and accessible for all.