Thirty challenges in thirty days. It all sounded so simple when we first got started. I never would have expected that there would be multiple days when I’m typing furiously at the 11th hour to try to squeeze the entry in before the clock ticks over! Or that nearly 60 people would list themselves on the wiki as participating in the challenge. Additionally, there has been a grand total of nearly 700 comments and trackbacks on challenge posts throughout the last 30 days. It really is pretty humbling to have had so many people participate together. And the best thing about it is that while today is the final post of the challenge, that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be ending. Anybody can pick up and start the challenge at any time! People who just learned about the challenge yesterday could very easily start themselves back on Day 1 and work through it. And if they do, they’ll have the benefit of all of your comments and links to learn from.
So how to wrap up a project like this? I think the only proper way is to turn it over to the participants. So today’s challenge, final one in the series, is for you to choose your own adventure. I saw Alec Couros mention the old adventure series in a recent blog post, and so many things clicked in my head. To me the idea, and challenge, really takes on two meanings.
Image by mediafury via FlickrThe first meaning is that this last challenge is completely up to you. At some point, you’ve probably thought to yourself, “Hey, is he going to cover this or that?” Have you had an idea for a challenge that just never got addressed in the last 30 days? Do you have a challenge that you think would help make participants a better blogger that you want to share? Well, this is your chance. What is your challenge for the other participants? Share your ideas as comments. After some time has passed, I’ll feed through them and repost them all in the body of this final blog post. So if you have more than one idea, make it very clear that it’s a separate one or even submit it as a second comment. But think about your own tips and ideas for each other and post them here.
The other meaning of ‘choose your own adventure’ is more of a suggestion than a challenge I suppose. And that’s simply this: Ignore any and all advice that anybody has ever given you about blogging… if it doesn’t feel right to you. There are no hard and fast rules about blogging. It’s still a new frontier much like the wild west expansion, except in this case the coast is still nowhere in site. We are still learning what works and what doesn’t. What is ethical and what isn’t, what makes for good pedagogy and what doesn’t pass muster.
So what IS the best way to blog? I can tell you what I’ve done before, along with what’s been successful and what has failed. I can share with you my ideas, my theories, and my speculations, but in the end it all comes down to my own gut instinct based on my experiences. And at the end of the day, I’m no more an expert than anybody else who chooses to share their thoughts. If my ideas seem to vibe with you, then I say run with them. But if there’s a shadow of doubt, don’t squelch it, explore it. Your blog is exactly that… yours. Only you are going to know what the right voice will be, what the right tone will be, and what the right look and feel will be.
I’ve been very happy to share with you my ideas for how to be a better blogger, but in the end you’ll be the one traveling on down the path. So be assertive and take control of your own journey. Heed the advice of others, but don’t follow it just because you respect them. Evaluate it for yourself, and so long as you are true to yourself, your blog will be a success, regardless of how you define it.
So with that, consider this the conclusion of the 30 Days to Being a Better Blogger challenge! Thank you to everyone that participated in it. I’d like to add a special thank you to John, Jenny, and Jason who put together and maintained the 30D2BBB Wiki. Major kudos to them for taking that on!
And now, I’ll leave the challenge into your very capable hands. Throw down the gauntlet and issue a challenge of your own for the group. And once you’ve done that, return to your own blog and choose your own adventure!