Hi! My name is David, and this blog is intended to be a way of sharing my thoughts about the world of Library and Information Science (LIS), since that is the subject in which I am about to begin a master’s degree at City University London, as part of the Library School #citylis. I am excited, mainly because this is a new and welcome opportunity for me, but also because the Department (headed by Dr. Lyn Robinson and Prof. David Bawden, both of whom have excellent blogs) is renowned for its focus on conceptual openness of the idea of the “library” and the possibilities – philosophical, technological, and ethical – that information science poses for 21st-century society.
One particular feature of the course is that it makes use of social media platforms (Twitter, blogging sites, and so on) in order to interact with, and gain feedback from, students taking the program. Having been used to very much more traditional teaching style during my time at university prior to this (I did a BA in English at Cambridge, followed by an MPhil in Medieval Studies at Oxford, if you really want to know), this should all be very new, enlightening, interesting, and ultimately very useful indeed.
There’s just one problem, and that’s this:
I am a terrible blogger.
That’s right, you heard me. I am simply terrible. Being excruciatingly awkward in most face-to-face social situations, the idea that my half-baked musings about life and other topics of interest seemingly to me alone might be read over the Internet by just about anyone in the world fills me with a certain non-negligible amount of terror. While admittedly some may seem the anonymity of the online op-ed (or indeed nasty Twitter comment) as liberating, I still feel deeply embarrassed whenever I try to write blog posts, as I were composing dead letters to a recently departed girlfriend only for them to be read by a passer-by (who, incidentally, can also instantly find out my identity).
Compounded to this are problems of structure and tone. For one thing, I’ve no idea how to begin! Or how to come up with postings that a). aren’t beyond dull, yet b). appear with sufficient regularity to satisfy my followers (should I ever have any)! Perhaps all first-time bloggers feel this way, and some of them may or may not be just as vocal about it (I haven’t checked). The typical blog post seems, after all, to straddle several of the territories occupied by previous forms of writing: a potent admixture of memoir, editorial, review, letter, autobiography, diary entry and self-advertisement is often the result, stridently public yet at the same oddly private, too.
And perhaps this formal confusion is the source of my anxiety. All previous blogs I have tried to write (all of which, thankfully, now consigned to the recycle bin of Internet history) were far too personal in many ways. With any luck, the added impetus of having to write in order to fulfill the requirements of my course at City will help me get over some of the difficulties I have in writing in this medium. All I can say for now is, we can but hope; at least I’ve managed to write this post!