A very interesting post about blogs, bloggers and their blogging.

Now I’m feeling something. Something of a nerve to write a messy piece about many things at once.

 

Thing number one, about blogging habits.

In her recent post Zhenya Polosatova asked her readers the questions that brought about a storm of responses, both in the comments and as separate blog posts. It’s amazing just how easily *some* bloggers are drawn into analysing their blogging ways, how excited they get. Well to say “they” would be wrong since I’m normally the very first in that eager line. Here’s my short (see Thing number two) take on the topic.

Last year my blogging habits underwent quite an upheaval. I blogged in a cafe, on a beach, on the floor, in a train station, on a couch, on a bench in the park, on a tatami mat (at home at my desk being the habit). I blogged with people and alone (which is the habit). I blogged both in daytime and nighttime (the latter being the habit). I posted without liking my writing (… liking or disliking can’t be called “a habit” I reckon))). I blogged about teaching and about things far from it.

I really don’t know what else I can do. All in all, I’m more than pleased with how my blogging is developing and I feel desire and energy to proceed the way that will feel right. One new ritual I’m looking forward to establishing this year is going through my WP Reader once a week to balance my blog reading. Hope to see you there.

 

Thing number two, which tries to devalue part of Thing number one.

I can’t believe I’ve just written the above first thing! Because in fact it makes me sick to realize just how much I write about myself and my relationship with my writing. Seriously, look:

In this post I say I blog for my own pleasure but hope for shifts in the classroom. Then in no time I come up with a follow-up which is 800 more words about blogging and writing. Here I keep mentioning myself and my plans for writing in what some say are most powerful parts of a blog post – opening and closing paragraphs. If you need more proof of how obsessed I am with writing about (my) writing, don’t hesitate to look here, check this out and click this link.

First I wanted to make a difference. Then I turned into an ego-busting persona. Hedonism? I’m *possibly* done with it. At least with the part which whispers to me that it can be interesting to anyone to go on reading after my “I think that…” At the moment I think that I could think of writing something more exciting.

 

Thing number three, about us Russians.

I am, just like Vedrana Vojkovich here, continuously stunned as I check my blog stats and see that the overwhelming majority of my readers are from Russian Federation. Who are you?! I know a few and I am grateful to them for being ever supportive, plus last year several times my former students left a line or two and it felt great. Otherwise, I am unaware of names and faces of my ghost Russian readership. In any case, everybody is most welcome.

There is yet another, far more critical point to be covered in this part. Russian and Russian-speaking ELT bloggers. A little pre-story: a while ago, in my more energetic Twitter years, I created a public list EFLRussia which I updated with handles of Russian teachers of English who I happened to come across on Twitter (70 now). I haven’t done that for over a year and I’m sure there must be many new faces to be added (my confidence comes from seeing quite a lot of people tweeting at annual E-merging Forums). The situation with the blogs was different. I’m talking about blogs that Russian(-speaking) teachers of English would run in English, so they could be accessed by teachers from the world over. Fortunately, there are now interesting, thoughtful, different blogs that I irregularly follow and will now share the links to here:

iamlearningteaching by Ekaterina Makaryeva aka @springcait

The aforementioned Zhenya Polosatova aka @ZhenyaDnipro and her Wednesday Seminars

Elserga ELT by Elizabeth Bogdanova

ELT Diary by Alexandra Chistyakova aka @AlyaAlexandra

TeachingEnglishNotes by Svetlana Urisman

 

That’s about it. If you happen to know of any other blogs that fit the Russian category, please do share, even if that’ll shamelessly be your own)

One last bit, which is my sincere wish. I wish the following three people started to blog:

Fatima Baste, who has a blog in Russian and also writes about a million things in captions to her pictures on Instagram: languages, teaching, culture, trends, psychology, ideas. Thoroughly enjoyable, entertaining, and educational, so I’m quite certain Fatima should start a blog in English =)))

Masha Andrievich, whose Instagram gives a peek into fragments of her teaching at own school (right?) and her learning (DELTA?). I’d love to have a #livebloggingparty one day, when she starts her blog. =)

Ludmila Malakhova, who is a fantastic lady from Yekaterinburg that I had a real pleasure to meet twice at the Forum I mentioned earlier and who suppported me in a very indecisive time with just the right words.

 

Thing number four, untitled for lack of creativity.

In connection with the previous part, there’s a story back from March 2014. Ludmila reached me and asked to participate online in the teacher training she was doing on-site in Yekaterinburg. That was my first (and only) suchlike experience, and in Russian! For 15-20 minutes I talked to a group of teachers sitting several thousand km away from me, and I talked about Facebook and blogs for English teachers’ PD. It was, as you might understand, a brief and general introduction and of course I am not at all sure what impact it eventually had on the participants, practically, if any. However, it was remarkable to me that the teachers sounded mildly interested and asked me post-session questions, such as:

Which blogs do you follow?

How do you find these blogs in the first place?

There are so many, how do you keep up?

Which platform would you recommend to start own blog?

Should we blog in English or Russian?

All these questions. One might think it’s not a topic that could be conference session worthy: too simple, no activities-interactivities, limited feel of innovation. Yet I’m thinking of doing it. There are so many aspects of online ELT community that I’ve grown to take for granted that it’s easy to forget some of these things still may be new or interesting. Even if a plain session on ELT blogging the way I experience it will not lead to a massive influx of Russians into this particular blogosphere, I’ll personally have a fun time spreading the word about you and your blog… =) What do you think of this idea? It’s a shame the Forum AGAIN does not give a chance to talk/ learn about the things I’m interested in by adding Professional Development strand. (Can it possibly be Russian EFL teachers are NOT interested in PD and the Forum organisers go by some survey results?..)

 

Thing number five, Final Thing, or the Thing of Importance.

It’s been on my mind lately. Namely, from December 2nd.

What else can we, English teachers who are united by ELT blogging addiction, blog about?

I took immense pleasure in taking culture notes in my travels and then publishing this post, as well as other, exclusively personal posts that I had out during my time in Asia. I was thrilled to NOT have it in my mind to make any connections to teaching/ learning, because frankly, I don’t believe a teacher should always, at all times in all situations think about his/ her classes. And while I’m sure we/ you all have our interests that might or might not be reflected in the classes we/ you teach, I don’t really know much about them. I do imagine, though, that there are words to be put into long beautiful/ eloquent/ funny/ witty/ touching  etc sentences.

 

What would you blog about if not ELT? 

 

Thank you for reading and, of course, – happy blogging =)

 

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21 thoughts on “A very interesting post about blogs, bloggers and their blogging.

  1. Maybe learning Serbian, if I was learning it! 😀

    I’d love to have a film blog, but again, I find myself watching films only months after they have been and gone in the cinema.

    Perhaps a photoblog will emerge, if and when I make my travels to Croatia and Slovenia (for starters…)

    But for the moment it’s teaching (not that I am actually teaching at the moment) and activities for the classroom here: http://videoshortselt.wordpress.com

    :))

    • annloseva says:

      Thanks, Mike! For some reason I had known before I posted this that you might respond and I surely thought of you and photography))

      Are you planning those travels? And there’s an untypical language choice to learn.

      • Travels are very much dependent on many other things, but I hope so.

        And re the language it’s because I’d like to spend some time around Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, … Also Cyrillic letters are pretty cool! Добро!!

      • annloseva says:

        I wish you luck!! Will be fun to follow your travels, on blog or other)

        And ohh I know how thrilling it is to recognize an entirely different alphabet/ writing system and make some sense of it! That sense of *relative* power blew my mind this year with Korean. And is continuing to do that with Japanese))

        I wonder what your favourite Cyrillic letter is))

  2. I occasionally blog about my little Lou (puppy), but it’s more of a documentation of her life than much to do with writing. I think if I had the time, I might blog about puzzles, not jigsaw, but just things I find puzzling in life. I think I used to do something like this on a personal blog before ELT, but I don’t remember that person much anymore.

    • annloseva says:

      Thanks for your response, Tyson!
      A documentation of life, puppy’s or other, is an enjoyable blog format, if you ask me.
      I wonder if the posts by the person you don’t remember much anymore could still be found somewhere on the Internets. Suddenly I remember I used to have a blog in Russian, with not a single word about teaching, but quite some about my one year climbing experience, and musings on whatever. Yes, pretty much like now in some posts here))

  3. ven_vve says:

    Hi Anna,

    Re thing number three, I would love it if there were more Croatian teachers blogging in English. I know of only two. Actually, for a start it would be great if there were more Croatian teachers on Twitter (those in ELT). There are a couple of active ones (they mostly teach subjects other than English), but it looks like a lot of them get discouraged early on. I’ve had people asking me what the point of Twitter is if they’re on Facebook.

    Re number five, I can see myself blogging about things that are work-related, but not necessarily to do with ELT. I wrote a post about this EU-funded project I’m working on as a researcher, although I wasn’t sure for a while if I should go ahead with it because it isn’t an ELT-related topic. I’d also have something to say about translation & managing a small business (not as dull as it sounds!)

    • annloseva says:

      Hi Vedrana,

      There’s a very belated thanks for your comment!
      Your point about Twitter vs Facebook is interesting. I personally can see those other teachers’ skepticism, it’s way too easy to get discouraged from using Twitter. I’m not always aware of my own presence there, meaning I don’t make any effort any longer.
      Not that Facebook is a panacea though, haha. What a long conversation that could be! Luckily there’s no need to be everywhere (or anywhere, for that matter).

      I would totally read that post about managing a small business, it does not even remotely sound dull to me!

  4. Zhenya says:

    Hi Anna

    First of all, thank you for the mentions in points (1) and (3) of your post: yes, same L1, different countries and English as a common language 🙂

    In (5), your question was What would you blog about if not ELT? – My blog seems to be switching the ‘T’ in ELT and I tend to write more about training. I think I could also blog about books/articles I read, places I visit, people I meet, about running, about Ukraine, about my time management experiments, etc,… I wonder if it is actually interesting for anyone (except me), and how different this blogging would be from personal journaling. I heard somewhere that people read/follow a blogger, not a blog… Also wanted to mention: to me your blog IS making a difference. I learned a lot about blogging and writing process, and I am fascinated by your choice of blog posts and your writing skills. As for the points (2-4), seems to be much more to think about, so might come back with another comment, or respond on my blog.

    Zhenya

    • annloseva says:

      Hi Zhenya

      Nice to see you here! Thanks for starting this off in the first place =)

      All your ideas for potential blogging are very interesting to me! And yes, exactly, I too often notice these days that I follow a blogger. That was maybe part of my point in asking that question – getting another side of a blogger, other than what one and the same ELT terminology here and there and there again may offer, would make a big difference.

      Thank you for kind words and thoughts about my writing. And please, do come back with another comment anytime, or even better – respond on your blog! Making a conversation through blogs is always mind-blowing to me.=)

  5. ljiljana havran says:

    Hi Anna,

    Thanks for the really interesting post on blogging and bloggers. :)

    What would I blog about if not ELT?

    I blog about my school library, some extra -curricular activities, cultural events in my city (Belgrade), books I recommend, and a lot more, on my School Library blog. I write both in Serbian and English, and I use Cyrillic and Latin script on the blog, which is really fun. My idea is to motivate our students to read much more for pleasure, and to learn through blogging.

    As I’ve learnt some interesting things about (air) navigation, teaching Aviation English for more than ten years, it would be exciting, maybe, to blog about celestial navigation, astrolabes, lighthouses, satellite navigation, etc. (at a very basic level, though, just to motivate the students to explore, discover, and learn things about navigation by themselves).

    I’d also love to have a music blog (everything about music I’m fond of , or, maybe classical music and its influence on contemporary music styles/ genres…).

    Ljiljana

    • annloseva says:

      Hi Ljiljana,

      Wow I’m certainly more than happy I posed that question!! It is so easy to NOT know anything about people around you. You’re also giving me all sorts of ideas what I could probably try to write about myself. Thank you!

      I will just hope that next time you blog something I don’t miss it! =)

    • annloseva says:

      And yes SURE we will host your Aviation English posts!! =))

  6. Sandy Millin says:

    Hi Anna,
    Re: thing number 4. If it wasn’t conference session worthy, I would have to half the amount of conference sessions I’ve done 🙂 Even if you only get one person who’s interested, that’s still one, and you can guarantee there’ll be lots of people in the audience who’ve never thought about online CPD. Go for it!
    And as for thing number 5, I think I already do that. Sometimes I worry that I shouldn’t put those none-teaching things on my blog, then I remember it’s my blog and nobody else’s 🙂 Talk about ego-centric! 😉 I think our blogs are about life as a teacher, and (hopefully!) that doesn’t just mean teaching, especially when you’re lucky enough to explore, as we have been this year.
    Sandy

    PS Ljiljana, please blog about aviation English too! I taught it for 6 months, but really struggled to find anything about it. If you don’t have a blog, you’re welcome to write a guest post on mine (or more than one if you like!) I’m sure Anna would host you too 🙂

    • annloseva says:

      Hi Sandy,

      Thanks for the comment – and support! Some days I feel really strong in my desire to share with other Russian teachers how endless and exciting and developing (and anything else you need, really) blogging could be. I might just as well indeed find a way and go for it.

      And you can’t imagine how much I enjoyed to see the transformation of your blog last year! It’s so real, breathing, showing the snippets of your life, the moments and victories and troubles, I am enchanted. I like it to bits! It IS your blog, and nobody else’s, and by this non-teaching posts it is clear as in no other way. My anticipation for your upcoming Thailand period is more than high, to be honest!!))

      Hopeful for more luck and explorations for us both (and our blogs) in this year 2015!

      • Sandy Millin says:

        Thanks for that feedback. I just need to make sure I find more time for blogging in Thailand than I did in North America! I’ve got the bug back while I’ve been home (well, never lost it, but I’ve had time!) and don’t want it to go again!

  7. Hi Anna,

    What would I write about if not for ELT?

    Traveling, cultural, musical and societal things about Korea all figure into Gangwon Dispatches. I focused on those things when I began the blog.

    Music and stuff about music at investinginpolyurethanediscs.blogspot.com.
    Cultural and societal things with a friend at musingsofrandomplebeian.blogspot.com

    Also, since I’m leaving Korea soon, I’m moving my blogging to https://ramblingbadger.wordpress.com/.

    Cheers!

    • annloseva says:

      Hi Chewie,

      Thanks for stopping by! Thanks for revealing those sides of you I had no idea of. I’m really glad I published that post with its question))

      Are you leaving Korea soon? Going to teach elsewhere? Excuse my nosiness))

  8. […] massively excited about for something like 4-5 years: activities, professional communities aka PLNs, technology (apps, web tools, blogs, social media), sharing students’ work, etc. I am far […]

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