The module Principles and Practices of Urban Design has provided a brilliant overview of key topics. The assessment of this module was based on blog posts of the lectures covered within semester one.
I enjoy reading blogs, particularly those associated with urban design, however I had never actually wrote a blog myself or thought of doing so. The group blog provided the platform to share my thoughts and opinions on topics I found particularly interesting, not only with other students but with anyone online with an interest in urban design. I thought this was an exciting approach compared with the traditional essay writing, which is common with many other courses.
As a group we met bi-weekly discussing the blog, sharing issues and ideas we came across, which was a great way better get to know other students. The first few meetings were focused upon teething issues which were actioned in minutes and often resolved by the next meeting.
We discussed the design of the blog and as a group we agreed we should refresh the blog, having been the same for the last couple of years. We updated the banner, adopted a new style of photograph, changed the layout to give posts more exposure, linked to our Pinterest Instagram account and refreshed the colours to complement Newcastle University branding. The combination of student led meetings and the attendance of a blogging professionals and our Programme Director provided opportunities to receive advice and suggestions to ensure our blog got off on the right foot.
Initially I was apprehensive to upload my blog post and share my thoughts on topical areas online. I considered how others would react to my posts and if my writing style was appropriate for ‘blogging’.
Shortly after posting my first academic post ‘Super-gentrification by the Super-rich’ I shared the link with family and friends. After receiving positive feedback and interesting discussions on my post I felt much more confident and was pleased to hear others had enjoyed the read.
Producing and commenting on blog posts provided the opportunity to share the additional research on topics covered in lectures for Principles and Practice but equally the readings and discussions from the Urban Design Seminars which also complemented the blogging process, through encouraging wider reading on multiple topics.
I have enjoyed writing, reading and commenting on our blog over the last couple of months. It has been particularly interesting to see how other students interpreted the lectures and the global examples used to support their blog posts which has helped broaden my knowledge and understanding.
I feel the informal style of blog writing has also been a learning experience and will be beneficial in the future when engaging with none professionals. In writing a blog it is also important that they are concise and not too ‘wordy’ to keep the reader interested, in some cases this was challenging due to the amount of research I had carried out and my interest in the subject, often resulting in going over the world limit and later taking out information I would have like to have shared.
On reflection I would have scheduled my blog posts to be released periodically rather than posting the majority of posts in January.
As a part time student I will not be marked in semester two on my work towards the blog, however I will enjoy writing freely about topics that we cover and places that I visit over the coming months.