Since I have almost 50 drafts waiting to be published on my blog, I’m not concerned about not having anything to post on my blog so I feel my blog’s future is secure. Instead, I keep thinking about what I want the goals of my blog to be and whether I want to start posting on other blogs like GGWash.org. These thoughts intensified after I attended Greater Greater Washington (GGW)’s blogging workshop last Thursday night. I didn’t realize GGW seeks volunteer bloggers to post on their blog. After receiving feedback on my blog ideas and hearing their excitement for my blog ideas, I’m planning to give GGW a trial run to see how the experience goes. I learned through the blogging workshop that the writing style I use on this blog is very different from the writing style they expect for posts on GGW so I’m curious to see which writing style I prefer. The post I plan to write on GGW is a post I have been planning to write on my blog so I plan to write one version on GGW and one version on my blog.
In order to reflect on my experience blogging on GGW and how I want to continue blogging on my blog, I need to provide my initial thoughts. Most of my blog posts have several photos and/or videos so I hope this post isn’t too boring to read. Even though I’m mostly writing this post for myself so I can easily reflect on my blogging experiences, I wanted to share my thoughts publicly in case anyone wants to share their thoughts or learn from my experiences. I know several of my friends are thinking about whether to start blogging so this post may be helpful for them.
With the background info covered, I have been thinking about my blog goals and goals for posting on GGW. When I first started my blog during Spring 2014, one of my goals was to avoid posting on other blogs because I didn’t want people to prevent me from showing my full passion. While I’m still concerned about GGW’s staff preventing me from showing my full passion in my posts, I feel my job has handcuffed me from showing my full passion on this blog. Due to this, I have become more comfortable with allowing people to filter my passion and not being allowed to show my full passion through blogging. Even though I’m depressed by this reality, I enjoy my job so I want to keep my job. I feel this means I have to sacrifice the true reasons why I started my blog or stop blogging all together.
Since I don’t feel I can continue blogging for the true reasons why I started blogging, what are my new blog goals? I still want to reflect on my experience growing up in a home that has a Walk Score of zero to now living in a home where I can easily live car-free. I want to keep sharing my blog with my family, friends, and future girlfriend so everyone can follow my life. I also want keep using my blog to help educate people on issues that are important to me and I feel educated enough to write about.
Due to my job, I feel handcuffed to use my blog as much for advocacy so I’m still thinking about my advocacy goal for my blog. I still want to use my blog to persuade people about my viewpoint, but I hate feeling the need to be careful about what I write when I try to persuade people. For example, I want to persuade people that Arlington County (my client)’s bike boulevard plans need to be more progressive. In order to do this, I feel I need to critique my client’s plans. I don’t want to publicly embarrass my client so how can I write an advocacy post about Arlington County’s bike boulevard plans without jeopardizing my job?
I discussed this barrier with GGW’s staff and they understood why I feel handcuffed. They suggested I write about areas of the DC region where I don’t work. While this approach could work, I told them that Capital Bikeshare likely will keep expanding into all the suburban counties surrounding DC. I don’t want an advocacy blog post about a county I’m not currently working in to come back and haunt me 10 years from now when I start working in the county. GGW’s staff understood my concerns so I look forward to working with them to see how I can write advocacy blog posts that won’t haunt me 10 years from now.
A major reason why I’m passionate to post on GGW is because it has “200,000 unique visitors and more than 500,000 page views every month.” The blog visitors include “elected officials, reporters, urban planners, and civically engaged residents.” While I don’t mind not having too many visitors on my blog because it is mostly for me to reflect on my life, I’m excited about the potential to engage with 200,000 visitors on GGW about topics I’m passionate and educated about. In the past, I have engaged with blog users in the comment section. After hearing passion from GGW’s staff about my blog ideas and learning that no one has posted my blog ideas on GGW yet, I feel I’m ready to take my blogging experience to the next level and post a high-profile blog post on GGW.