I felt like there was a lot of pressure surrounding my first blog post: what if nobody reads it or (worse) people read it but nobody likes it? Unlike when I wrote for the Spicy Learning Blog, which was a team effort, this time it’s all down to me. So I’ve spent a little while thinking about how to get started, visiting various sites for advice about getting a new blog off the ground, and generally procrastinating. Today I decided to just take the plunge and get on with it, and what better topic for a new post from someone just getting started than getting started itself?
Another reason for the nerves surrounding my first venture into solo blogging is the fact that I’ve only been doing this (instructional design) for three years or so, which doesn’t seem very long at all compared to some of the other well known industry bloggers. But one of the benefits of that is that I can still vividly remember what it’s like to be new to the business and the things that I did to get to grips with the basics and move up the learning curve as quickly as possible. The two most useful activities that helped (and continue to help) me develop my understanding of the e-learning industry in general and of instructional design in particular were reviewing courses (designed by as many different people for as many different audiences and purposes as possible) and reading blogs.
I’m still an avid reader of blogs and have added my favourites to the bar on the right. My absolute top recommendation for anyone specialising in instructional design is Cathy Moore’s Making Change, where there are some real gems and lots of practical tips and examples for engaging, effective e-learning. Hopefully as this blog takes shape I’ll be able to sit on the other side of the fence and take a leaf out of Cathy’s book, offering the kind of examples, advice and suggestions that I find so useful on other people’s blogs and making a valuable contribution to the online learning and development community. That’s the plan anyway!