A late response to @k8nowak's request for why we blog. I have a hard time actually writing blogs, hence this coming in about a month after she asked the question.
1. What hooked you on reading the blogs? Was it a particular post or
person? Was it an initiative by the nice MTBoS folks? A colleague in
your building got you into it? Desperation?
Blogs, not Twitter, got me into the #MTBoS. In the summer of 2008, I was a backyard BBQ at a co-worker's house. I met a friend of theirs, Ben Blum-Smith, http://researchinpractice.wordpress.com/, a fellow math tutor visiting from NYC. At that point, I was mostly doing private tutoring and only teaching Calculus at my school. After a long conversation about the merits of tutoring, he gave me his business card. I went to check out his website, and found his blog. I'm not sure that I fully understood what a "blog" was, but gosh, he wrote about things that I had been thinking about for years! And, he linked to other people writing about interesting topics. I binge-read everything that Sam Shah, samjshah.com, had written. I saw the blog-rolls on people's pages, and realized that many more people were writing about things that I found fascinating! Over the next several years, I would periodically binge-read on a weekend day. At some point, I set up a Google Reader.
2. What keeps you coming back? What's the biggest thing you get out of reading and/or commenting?
At this point, I feel like fellow bloggers are my friends, supportive, insightful, intelligent and driven friends. After attending TMC13, I actually know some of these people, and their words and passion help me to stay inspired, even when the going gets rough. The gift culture is astounding...so much amazing stuff is available! I have a hard time understanding why other teachers don't also jump in! This fall, as I have been blogging a bit more myself, I have been trying to push myself to comment on posts since I know how much I love it when folks comment on my posts.
3. If you write, why do you write? What's the biggest thing you get out of it?
For years, I had been feeling like I really ought to write myself. But writing for me is like pulling teeth. To be honest, a tiny portion of my decision to major in math in college was to avoid writing as many papers! I respond very well to deadlines, and for the most part, there are not deadlines around blogging. In the summer of 2012, the New Blogger Initiative gave me the push to actually start this blog. I dutifully completed each assignment (usually hours before the next one would be announced). Once I get past the, "I don't want to write" whiners in my head, I'm actually not a bad writer, and a part of me enjoys it. So, having the deadlines really helped! For the Explore the MTBoS Challenge, I didn't hold myself to the same strictness around deadlines, and I have participated much less. I have tons of blog ideas in my head, and briefly outlined on my computer, but something often stops me from taking the time to really sit down and write. Perhaps I'll write a blog post about that!
If you chose to enter a room where I was going to talk about blogging
for an hour (or however long you could stand it), what would you hope to
be hearing from me? MTBoS cheerleading and/or tourism? How-to's?
I would want to hear how your blogging has changed over the years, your story generally. I would want some quotes from folks who use blogs well, and then some guided time to explore things on my own. Maybe a short lesson on Feedly or something else to help me to organize all of this stuff! Overall, though, I would want to hear your story and the stories or other bloggers.