Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The benefits of blogging in college

This January I decided to start a blog called cube found here where I would write informally about my thoughts and opinions on issues surrounding business, technology, marketing and bits and pieces of my life in general, I thought it would be interesting, if for nothing else, novelty value. I, Edward Fidgeon-Kavanagh, would have my own little piece of the Internet!
Nine months later and I have in the region of 200 posts and 11,000 views, and it turns out blogging has helped me in numerous ways that I could have never imagined with my work both in and out of college.
Below is a summary of some of the main benefits I have noticed. (the list is in now way exhaustive and I'm sure there are more)

1. Writing
When you are in primary school you learn how to write, and by the time a student leaves primary education, they are usually versed in the art of “jointy-uppy-writing”, by the time you get to secondary school you are blessed with an abundance of essays, and writing races (exams), but then by the time you reach third level education the amount, and variety of what you write plummets. One of my classmates recently admitted to me that in the last 6 months he had written no more than half a page in actual pen to paper writing, and I sure he is not the only example of this.
I write out all my posts on paper before typing them up (old fashioned isn’t it!), I find it easier to structure my thoughts and how I want to approach an issue, but also it has kept me accustomed to the idea of writing with a pen or pencil, so come exam time it is not as traumatic an experience as it can be for your average Quinn School student, my hand doesn’t ache or blister AND I have the added bonus of my writing being legible.

2. Learning
Soon after I started blogging, I noticed that most of the things I had written about were still lingering about in my head, and I could recall interesting facts from the posts, even about the most obscure facts for example the labour cost of producing a nike t-shirt in the Dominican republic equates to 3/10ths of 1% of the final retail price we pay.
The process of finding the information, structuring it into something readable, and then writing it out serves as a great method for remembering things, this has been extremely useful in exams, essays, presentations and discussions in class. My advice, if you want to remember it, write about it.

3. Jobs and Internet reputation
This was not one of my main reasons for starting up a blog, but rather an aspect which I realise can accompany it. When you start a blog, it tends to be up quite high, usually first if you were so inquisitive as to “Google” your name. The fact is that these days if employers want to find out about the “real” you, they will do just that, they will type “Joe Bloggs” and see what they get. It would be much better for them to come across a reasonably mature blog you write in as opposed to your Bebo photos of you passed out lying on an inflatable crocodile in Santa Ponsa.

Reading blogs has been equally important for me, I have learned so much from reading other peoples views and thoughts on issues relating to marketing and HR to things like sport and graphic design, and there are about 15 blogs which I check faithfully every day. There are millions of blogs out there, each one full valuable information.
The three that influenced my decision to start were
Fortifyservices blog
Seth Godin's blog
Presentationzen blog

So if you think you would like to experiment with a bit of writing, set up an account today, it is almost as easy as signing into you email account, and if you aren’t happy… I’ll give you your money back.

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