How Blogging and the Internet Has Given me Freedom
Hugh MacLeod from his Gapingvoid blog asked his readers to tell their story about how blogging or the Internet has given them freedom. His request is tied into the launch of his new book “Freedom Is Blogging in Your Underwear“.
As a huge fan of Hugh’s gapingvoid cartoons or social objects as he calls them, I’m pleased to respond with my story.
First off, a bit of context. I’m a life time community/youth worker who four years ago, switched to a career as a free lance social media consultant.
I’ve worked with many organizations over my 25 plus years and looking back I see that I was always attracted to developing and working on projects that were experimental and dare I say cutting edge. Along came the Internet and deep in my gut I knew these new forms of communications were as cutting edge as I’d ever experience.
In the late 1990’s, hardly knowing how to use a keyboard, I took the plunge into the computer driven world. I soon experienced my first inkling of autonomy and an appreciation for a new found ability to design programs and control my own professional/personal learning needs via the Internet.
Fast forward a few years and I’m increasingly using the latest social media tools such as blogging, video and podcasting as a strategy to empower youth by giving them a sense of pride and accomplishment as they created and published their stories. I was also blogging regularly on matters related to community/youth work and on breaking news in the world of social media.
My last JOB was with Street Kids International and again I was using blogging, video and social media tools to support the outcomes of my capacity building program. Specifically, I was disseminating the learning from a community of practice initiative that had practitioners from many sectors innovating around new skills and networks that can better address youth poverty.
It was at this conference that I decided on a new career path as a free lance social media consultant, helping groups in the burgeoning field of social tech integration or development of web 2.0 strategies to better serve their constituents.
Since that major turning point, I’ve never regretted my choice to work free lancer in the social media sector. It’s not being easy by any means as I discovered that paying work was at times, hard to find.
I also realized how difficult it is for leaders to adopt new strategies that open up their organizations and empower staff to share, connect and learn together.
Despite those challenges, I am continually learning, developing new skills and discovering new qualities of my personality. I deeply and intuitively know that I am on the right journey.
We truly live in exciting times. I’m feeling very fortunate to be an active participant online, sharing my work via my blog and connecting with so many fellow travelers who are expanding their learning through the Internet.
Freedom is as freedom does – thanks for the challenge Hugh.