Process Post #4
This week’s reading by Tanya Basu about “digital gardening” prompted an entirely new way of framing this work-in-progress of a website for me. Ordinarily, I would’ve just referred to it as a blog, but now I’m not so sure. Is it a blog or is it a digital garden? The latter certainly sounds nicer, or at least more sophisticated.
Basu differentiates between digital gardens and blogs by saying the former doesn’t follow rules. “With digital gardening, you’re talking to yourself,” she asserts. That is, you’re focusing on “what youwant to cultivate” rather than writing specifically for a larger audience that you’re talking to, as is the case with a blog.
With that in mind, I certainly feel like this site qualifies as a digital garden, at least until this point. I certainly don’t have or imagine a large audience that my writing is going out to. Instead, it is more just a place for me to work on my journalistic style of writing. If someone happened to stumble upon it, that would be great. But for now, I’m not necessarily writing with any audience in mind.
For that reason, I feel comfortable writing predominantly about my sports interests instead of trying to cover the entire Canadian sports spectrum. I love watching, reading about, or writing about hockey, baseball, tennis, and golf in particular. I’m lukewarm on basketball, and truthfully quite disinterested in soccer and football. Thankfully, by having no large audience on the other end, I don’t have to aim to please anyone, at least not yet.
Another commentator on digital gardening is Mike Caulfield, who explains that “when you learn more, you add to [your writing].” This has also been the case with my experience so far, as I continue coming back to make certain revisions on my posts, whether they’re content or information-based, or more structural. Rather than making a static blog post or a “fossilized bit of commentary,” I come back to my writing after publishing it in order to improve it.
As the semester progresses, or perhaps beyond, my approach might change based on the presence or lack thereof of an audience. I have attempted to put my content out on social media through a new Twitter account I created (GWSportBlog) specifically for the blog, but understandably my following is virtually non-existent so far.
Social capital is a term used by Pierre Bourdieu to describe “the resources which accrue to people because of their social networks and ‘who they know,’” says Tara Chittenden. I’ve tried to use my ‘social capital’ from my other Twitter account (where I have more than 1,000 followers) to draw attention to the account and website, but there has been little traction so far. Despite an outright callout to the account and several retweets on my primary account, I’ve yet to see any growth, but as I’ve said before and I’ll likely say again, this is all a work-in-progress.