Reflection: The Blog So Far…

When I first created this blog, I had very little direction or idea where it would take me. I did, however, assume it would be guided by this course and allowed the ideas presented in the readings and lectures, as well as the discussion in our tutorials to lead the way.

One of the first ideas presented was that of forming an online identity. As I did not necessarily want to create an online identity using my real name for the period of trial and error that this class was likely to be, I instead have developed a rather strong theme for my blog and it’s identity, which centers around the URL I selected initially upon creating the blog for this class.

The part of the URL I formed my online identity around (as should be obvious) is the term ‘secret viking.’ For this I have created a character, so to speak, from whose perspective all of my blog posts are written. ‘Aela the Viking’ is named for a character in Skyrim (a video game created by Bethesda Studios) which I go into detail about in this post here. The character’s entire premise is that she has the spirit of a Scandinavian viking of the 8th century but is stuck living as a western girl in 2016.

This identity is not only memorable, but unusual, which allows my blog to stand out amongst the many others.

The idea of hypertext is another which has helped me work towards making my blog stand out. Although I used pictures on nearly every post and often included songs and videos, by far my post used form of hypertext was linking.

As Aela’s blog is one giving advice to fellow secret vikings. she was often referencing things outside of her blog that would help secret vikings express their inner viking without ‘coming out,’ so to speak, as ‘vikin.’ (A word of my own creation referring to someone who has the spirit of a viking in the modern age.) In particular a post about Skyrim (the game from where Aela is named) and is full of links that open up a separate tab to whatever Aela was talking about, thus allowing the reader to easily find what was referenced. At points other posts that Aela had made or was planning to make were referenced. I have gone back and added in links to posts I had planned to make when writing the article after they were published and, when referencing previous posts, linked them straight away. (For example.)

 

Overall my experience blogging as Aela the Viking has been a fun one. I would never have considered writing as a character this way, in terms of novel writing certainly but posing as a character for a mostly satirical blog? Never. It’s a media that I would never have explored for fiction before but one that I found I enjoyed immensely. It allows for the character to be placed more realistically in our world and for them to engage with it in a way that is familiar to the reader and doesn’t distract from the story. It also somewhat removes the linear structure of storytelling but allowing the reader to go off on little tangents, to watch a video, listen to a song or explore something Aela was discussing through a link provided.

 

Bibliography

Articles Referenced and/or Linked

Videogames for Vikings

Finding Your Viking Name

Improving Your Skyrim: For a Greater Viking Experience

Readings Considered

Landow, George P. Hypertext 3.0: Critical Theory and New Media in an Era of Globalization. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2006. Print. 69-71, 77-85 and 107-124

Miles, Adrian. Network Literacy: The New Path to Knowledge [online]. Screen Education, No. 45, 2007: 24-30.

 

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