Reflection #8 (week 11)

This is my third week working on my blogging project. I think my first two weeks, I was still trying to get used to blogging about food, and I think this week, I felt the most confident about blogging. I’m getting into a routine of what I want to accomplish every week, and I think what I’m doing seems to be working really well. This week, I decided to focus on meals in the Crock Pot and I think of all the weeks I have planned, I was the most excited to do this week. I absolutely love my Crock Pot because of its convenience. I was excited to share the beef roast recipe that I make, but also share a recipe of a dip that I love to make for parties. I own a Crock Pot Cookbook, so instead of finding a recipe online in another cooking blog or website for this week, I decided to use my cookbook. I have made the beef roast So Simple Supper before, so I was confident that it would turn out great!

THINGS I STRUGGLED WITH THIS WEEK:

I have been noticing sometimes when I post longer posts with different headers, when I publish the page, it comes out with a broken link/page setup HTML code. It doesn’t show up on my page preview and I only see it once its published. Once I go back and edit the page, I can see broken code and can go and delete it and then update the page and it doesn’t show up. I have no idea why the page does that and I’m still doing some investigating on why that shows up. Its an easy fix, but I don’t like that when I share it the first time, it automatically goes to my Feedly looking like that so everyone can see that mistake. After I update the page to not include that mistake, it doesn’t update the Feedly so people have to visit my site to see the fixed post. This irritates me because I don’t want people to see that post with the mistake on it. If anyone knows how to fix this or has suggestions, I’m all-ears.

When it came time to finding information for my blog, I noticed this week was lacking in links. I tried to include everything I used this week, but both my recipes weren’t found online. My beef roast recipe was found in my cookbook and my dip recipe was a friend’s recipe that she taught me. I made sure to link the cookbook so if people are interested in the cookbook, they can purchase it. I also tried finding the recipe online to link it, but I noticed that when I searched “So Simple Supper” for beef roasts, many recipes popped up claiming to be from the cookbook (some having the exact ingredients), but the cook times were different. Being a beginner myself, I would hate if I was following a recipe that said one cook time and then I clicked the link for the online recipe and saw that it was a different cook time. I decided to leave the link out for this reason.

THINGS I LEARNED:

I found this week really interesting about the history of Crock Pots. I am doing this for my class, but I am also learning a lot of the whole cooking process in the meantime. I like that this project isn’t one where I just do it for a grade and move on. I’m learning a lot about cooking, the process, and myself along the way.

Update on blog followers: I gained another follower this week. I probably shouldn’t be this excited for three people following my blog and my fiancé teases me for it, but I am! I feel like I’m a part of something and feel like I’m important. Someone I’ve never met is interested in my blog and what I have to say. Even with the three followers, I still feel that pressure to give my all to this blog. Yes, I want to do a great job for this class, but I have that extra pressure now with followers. I don’t think pressure is a bad thing. It keeps me accountable to produce because people are seeing it. I truly don’t know how bloggers with thousands of followers deal with that pressure.

I am seeing that I have more confidence in blogging AND cooking. I have said from the beginning that I am a true beginner when it comes to cooking, but I have realized that I think part of my problem was just laziness of not wanted to cook. Once I’m making something, I actually enjoy following a recipe and creating something good. I also have noticed, especially this week, that I am more confident in my own skills without a recipe. Like my dip recipe, I have made it so many times, that now I don’t measure exactly and just kind of experiment to know when it is ready. I never would have thought that would be me. The saying goes “practice makes perfect” and now I’m starting to get that. I think the more you make something and get comfortable with it, it becomes second nature and soon you don’t need step-by-step recipes to cook. I’m definitely not there yet, but I can kind of see myself getting there one day. I have decided that next week I will be making a meal with chicken, but I still haven’t decided what exactly I will be making yet. I know whatever I do decide on will all come together.

THINGS I WORKED ON THIS WEEK:

Week 3- Crock Pot

History of Crock Pot

Buffalo Chicken Dip in Crock Pot

Beef Roast in Crock Pot

Beef Roast Recipe Review

Weekly Reflection #2 (week 3)

So let me just start with saying I am so much more confident in my blogging abilities than I thought I would be. Since setting it up last week, I now know there are many places to look to get help if I have questions online. Google has become my best friend.

I’ve also learned some new tools on WordPress. I like the option that you can respond to others within the notification tab (the bell icon at the right top of the blog page). I used to go back and forth between blogs to respond to comments. I like that I can comment on the notification tab without having to switch and have four or five tabs open at a time of all different blogs. I’m still trying to find the same function on the app on my phone. I like the phone app for being able to post things whenever, but the format isn’t as easy to use for me like the computer.

I also learned how to make links in the comments of other people’s blogs. This HTML code is now saved on my computer for easy access for the next time I want to link in a classmate’s comment section. If anyone has been able to find an easier way than this, I would love to know.

This week has been all about blogs. I think everyone has heard the word blog or blogging. I knew the basic idea of what it was, but I was just at the surface of what a blog can be and what bloggers do.

Things I’ve learned about blogging:

  • I’ve been blogging for years without knowing it. (I use my Instagram as my blog)
  • In my Rettberg and Blood Readings post, I learned about the three main categories of blogs: Diary, topic-driven, and filter.
  • After doing my own research to find more info on blogging, I was faced with the scary side of blogging. Be cautious about what you post. Be aware of what you share.
  • In my final comments about blogging, I found that blogs can be a learning opportunity, especially for teachers. I can use blogs to teach students how to be critical readers and writers of what is out there.
  • Bloggers show you only what they want to show you. You might be only getting one side of things. An example is a blog I follow Love Taza. She writes and shares moments about her life and family, but going through these posts, you don’t see the (toddler tantrums, fights with husband, things that make us human). You only see a snapshot of her life, dictated by her. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, but it’s good to be aware that what we see/read might not be the whole picture.

This past week has been crazy with the new semester starting at school. I have been trying to survive posting last minute grades, getting used to a new class schedule (gaining a new class), and working with new students. I noticed my personal posts come across as more of a quick little anecdote for the day. Sometimes, I think that is ok not having to read/write a big long post, and just having a blurb into my day.

Other posts for this week included:

Just a little moment in my day (I’m still laughing at this)

Thought for the Day

Is it weird that at the end of these posts, I want to sign my name or do something to let my reader know it is finished? This coming week, I’ll look at other blogs to see how they finish their posts for some inspiration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, what is a blog?

So after a week of research, reading articles, reading classmates’ posts, and looking at several blogs themselves (some I already read, and some I just started following a few days ago), I think I was looking at trying to find an answer the wrong way. I started out being so formal about the whole thing. I wanted to find ONE definition/answer of what a blog is and have all by questions to be able to be checked off and answered. How long do post need to be? How many pictures do you need? What is considered content of blogs? I realized that blogs are an ever-evolving thing and the minute you try to put blogs into a closed box/category, something changes so it bounces right out.

From Jill Rettberg, I learned that there can be categories of blogs: “filter, diary, and topic-driven blogging”. For me, I liked that you can organize what a blog is by its content, but it still wasn’t a definitive answer for what a blog IS.

To Travel the Great Beyond found a very interesting source by Jeff Jarvis that said “blogs are whatever they want to be”. There aren’t limits and boundaries to what can be considered a blog. The only limits created are created by you, which doesn’t mean those same rules apply to others.

I touched on this in my original post about blogging that blogs are their own entity. They can be whatever I want for my own purpose. The saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” rings true for blogs. What I consider to be “blog content” might look different to someone else. Perspective is huge in this matter.

While trying to answer the question “what is a blog?”, I took a new angle on my search which was “why do people blog?”

Madelyn Haasken found a good article summarizing why people blog. It shows the positives of blogging and could incentivize more people to become bloggers.

Rebecca Blood said,”I strongly believe in the power of weblogs to transform both writers and readers from ‘audience’ to ‘public’ and from ‘consumer’ to ‘creator’.” She saw blogging as a way for people to go from passively watching/reading to being able to participate.

From everything I read, common trends I noticed about blogs and bloggers were people want to feel connected/included, and people wanted to feel important. As humans, I think we all crave that feeling of being wanted and heard. People blog because they want to understand the world and they want to be understood. It’s a way for people to connect even if other barriers stand in the way (distance, language, etc.). Blogs are a personal platform where your thoughts can be turned into information for mass consumption. It can be a no pressure/judgment place to share anything you deem important to share.