Looking Back on My New Challenge: Writing Blogs in English

"Earthrise" taken from the moon by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

As I wrote in my About page, this is my first personal blog for NYU professor Laurel Hart‘s class on social media. Writing in English is tough for international students like me (I’m from Tokyo). And unlike ordinary writing assignments, blogs are supposed to be open to the public. However, the openness has taught me many lessons, broadening my horizons.

Fraser Seitel says in his book, The Practice of Public Relations:

・1.5 million blog posts are created every day–in other words, 17 posts per second.
・Nearly 1.5 new blog sites are launched every second.
・The No.1 blogging language is Japanese (37% of all blogs), followed by English

Moreover, as Charlene Li and Josh Bernhoff write in their book, Groundswell, blog reading is more popular in Japan than the U.S.–57% of Japanese adult Internet users read blogs at least monthly, compared to 31% of their American counterparts. According to the authors, “Blog reading is one of the most popular activities in the groundswell.”

Though I am from the most blog-loving country, I hadn’t created a blog before I came to NYU. Nevertheless, through blog assignments and feedback from Professor Hart, I was exposed to the blog world in all its democratic verbosity. Furthermore, comments and advice from my classmates and readers outside the class have been encouraging for me. Their words of wisdom–insightful and thought-provoking–have given me energy to write.

Blogs promote dialogue, not only between writers and the public but also among the public. The interaction creates relationships and forms the blogosphere, enabling us to speak in our own voices and to share issues and concerns. As Alicia Eler writes in her blog post, people can speak more freely on social networks. She says, “When we do not look at each other in the eye, we are more honest with each other.”

The Internet and social media are important tools in the public relations business. But, as Seitel warns, “It is important to remember, they are ‘tools’ nonetheless.” Even if technologies change, the basic conversational nature of those technologies will, as expressed in Groundswell, remain central. As Dominique Ellis points out in her blog, P2P–People to People relations–is the core of communication.

I’ll keep posting new entries to my blog, engaging with people, and exploring the social media world in the future.

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