Blogging For Fun and...For Work

The first week at my job, my boss and I sat down and discussed what I would be doing in my year's tenure. I am employed in a contract position, and that contract ends next June 30th-right about when I'd be seeking a fellowship as a Ph.D. candidate-so it works fine for me.

The coworker who does *some* of my duties, but not all, had given me some of the basic information, so when my boss said "and we'd like you to start up and maintain a blog for our group," I had to restrain myself from squeaking out 'Really?' and doing a happy chair dance. Instead, I told her I'd get right on it-and promptly asked a dozen questions that got answered with 'do it whatever way you'd like, I trust your judgment.'

Part of me wondered if it was because she'd noticed the link to my blog on Facebook (we're friends on there and have been for a while) or just that she knew that I like to write. In any case, it's taken some work to get the server space and the like, but this past week, I've published two posts that have been waiting for us to finally be up and I'm working on two more, with about a dozen topics on a growing list, with the goal of making it a resource for our clients in the next twelve months.

There's a noticeable difference in blogging for fun and one for a business, one that I hadn't really considered. Creating a blog post for work is much like writing a research paper because I end up doing a lot of research. For instance, the two that are in the works are because I am netting down a ton of published information about the topic that nobody ever reads into bite size pieces of information that ultimately saves my department a bunch of emails or phone calls when they're published.

The other thing I notice as that I've got topics that would really benefit from a brief tutorial to walk users through steps on our client website. Thanks to the classes from last semester, I was able to ask "would you like me to develop a tutorial" and was told 'sure, if you can do it,' which is like telling Dr. Frankenstein to go ahead, take whatever parts you want to create that monster of yours.

When I applied for this job, even though it didn't have a direct link to my future plans, I looked at it for the overall experience. Little did I know that it would provide me the means to hone my Instructional Technology skills and play with my hobby-for a paycheck.

Kind of cool, don't you think?


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