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Reading Week + Tweeting = Neglecting the Site

February 21, 2009

For those of you who follow this blog, you may notice I haven’t been writing much lately.

It’s been 10 days since my last post, and I’m starting to develop a deep-abiding shame at my neglect.

There are several perfectly good reasons I’ve been away. For one, it’s reading week and I was back in Edmonton for the past few days, reading Robertson Davies novels and eating my mother-in-law’s delicious cooking. When I came back to Vancouver a couple of days ago, my wife and I cleaned and entertained some visiting friends en route to a Whistler ski trip.

I’ve also developed BFS (blogging fatigue syndrome). I just finished my 4-week blogging stint for the UBC School of Journalism’s website, thethunderbird.ca. Blogging twice a week on a single topic taught me to respect the legions of people who keep up their blogging habits for years and years. It takes determination to keep focused and looking for new material. The advantage of having a personal website/blog is that I can talk about whatever strikes me as interesting, even if it’s as unrelated as the Pope and stranded horses.

Perhaps the biggest reason is that I’m becoming addicted to Twitter. At 140 characters each entry, I can sum up my feelings and opinions concisely and superficially, and instantly reach my fellow tweeters.

Thinking about my online habits has gotten me to thinking about how the past year in journalism school has changed me:

– My attention span has shortened considerably. Thanks to RSS feeds and Twitter, I’m constantly wondering what’s happening, instead of thinking about what I might say.

– I’ve become a shameless self-promoter. In the olden days when I studied theology, I was perfectionistic and didn’t want anything I’d written to see the light of day. I would have been appalled at the prospect of having my own website, much less the vanity of googling my own name.

But fortunately, I also think I’m becoming a better writer, which is why I came here in the first place.

J-School makes me think about better ways to say what I say. Could it be punchier? Less complicated? Funnier?

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