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I was excited to take part in the blog; it is a platform which I have never personally used before and I was enthusiastic to share my opinions publicly. When putting my own work on the internet for everyone and anyone to see, it is a daunting and unfamiliar task – I have become accustomed to submitting my work formally on blackboard for only the tutor to review. Publishing my interests and opinions onto such a public platform was a liberating experience and I will be eager to participate in a similar exercise again.

Since we were not only posting our own work but also managing the design of the blog it was a challenging task for the entire group to agree on every aspect. With such a large group and so many people trying to put forward different managing techniques, it proved difficult to get everyone motivated and posting on their agreed slots which skewed the desired frequency of posting. I think this is certainly an area which could be improved, a structured timetable of when people must post and published on blackboard could be ideal since it became apparent that people were much less likely to stick to deadlines which their peers had set.

Having a chair and a minute’s taker at the meetings was extremely useful, with the agenda emailed out prior to the meeting it was easy to prepare questions ahead of the meeting. However, these meetings were often short, and it would have been more useful to set a meeting every week instead of fortnightly and for a specific amount of time.

The Instagram page proved to be useful and was well-used throughout, people advertised their blog posts on this media. I also used it to post urban design photos from my personal trips abroad as and when I went on them. This allowed me to interact with our audience frequently and to post about urban design without always having to write a blog post. However, the Pinterest page never seemed to take off. I use this platform a lot for personal interests and design projects, but pinning feels less like an interaction with real people than Instagram and therefore less successful when blogging.

At first, I felt almost unfair to comment on a peer’s work with a counter-argument to the one they have posted, however as the course progressed and I became used to blogging, I gained confidence to disagree with a post and provide a counter argument. I began to see this as a constructive conversation and the more opinions or comments which were posted, the more well-rounded the dialogue became and the more I learnt about the topic.

One thing which I did not expect to discover when we started the blog was how much I learnt about my peer’s personal interests around the broad discipline of urban design. The blog proved to uncover niche urban issues and I was very pleased to have information available about topics I knew less about presented in informal, easy to read blog posts.

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School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509

Email: nicola.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk


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