In the flurry of activity that usually comes from the end of the semester rapidly approaching, I completely missed the three year anniversary of my entry into the blogging/social media world. On March 20th, 2010, I made my first tweet. Five days later, I published my first blog post.
How times flies. Three years feels like a lifetime ago.
I was unemployed when I got on Twitter and started blogging, largely in an attempt to start my own small business. Having the free time to experiment and explore Twitter and to write was really important in order to understand how both work, so to speak. Being in it with the goal to sell my product (which was essentially me) also helped me focus my efforts; I knew exactly why I was blogging and why I was using Twitter, so I had a laser-like focus in my interactions.
Now, clearly, I am in a completely different place than I was three years ago. And I was open enough in my interactions on Twitter to expand beyond my initial intent. In my thirst to learn, I started following people who were doing similar things to what I wanted to do. And then I started following academics, to stay connected to academia. I very quickly discovered Twitter chats and saw them as an opportunity to engage in discussions that I had long wanted to engage in, but, to that point, had no outlet.
Keep in mind, I was at home full time, with a 15-month-old power-napper. I was stuck at home, but even when I did get out, it was in an unfamiliar small town that we had just moved to. And don’t underestimate the fact that at this point, I had given up on an academic career, so felt empowered to say a lot of the things I had wanted to say, but couldn’t for fear that it would negatively impact my career. It also emboldened me to take chances and take advantage of opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise (like the fateful decision to submit a piece to the University of Venus).
I suppose I could have written a novel. Or the book I am currently trying to finish. But I threw myself into blogging and social media in the same way I have anything that seemed to feed a part of my soul. I tallied my results last semester, and it is impressive. It continues to grow, on new platforms. I don’t think I would be presenting at this year’s Digital Humanties 2013 conference if it weren’t for my blogging and social media. Or last year’s MLA. Or this year’s.
In three short years, I am now not only reaching an audience I couldn’t even imagine, but people are coming to me for my social media experience and expertise. It feels like a lifetime, but I have to remind myself that I haven’t even been at this as long as it took me to complete my BA, let alone my PhD. For three years, I’ve worked tirelessly at this. And I haven’t taken many opportunities to look up and appreciate all that I’ve accomplished.
I’ve really done something with myself. I’ve accomplished something. No, I’ve accomplished something pretty amazing.