#506DE- -30-

August 14, 2010 · Posted in Uncategorized 

It’s only fitting that I headline the ending blog post in a course about writing for new media with an old media notation that is all but forgotten, hence the “-30-.”

No one really knows the origin of -30-, at least not conclusively, that I ever heard.  It’s likely a hold-over from telegraph days when the telegraph operator ended his transmission with XXX–30 in Roman numerals.  Some say it goes back to the days of writing in longhand.  X meant the end of a sentence.  XX indicated the end of a paragraph.  And XXX signified the end.  Whatever it’s origin, it’s end has come and gone in the computer age.

And now #506 has come and gone.  And I’m writing about (glorifying? pining for?) an arcane old symbol from an industry that has been decimated by the very new media that is the focus of this class and master’s program.  (It would  be politically correct to say the industry has been “changed,” rather than “decimated,” but Zinsser and Kalm have reinforced that there’s nothing to be gained from writing weakly     weakly stated thoughts are weak writing is boring and there is much to be gained for the writer and reader when positions are written strongly and with passion ;strong, passionate writing will keep your readers reading.)

The bottom line is no matter how much the the world has changed in terms of journalism and the way we all communicate with one another, writing well remains the key to success.   I fancied myself a decent writer before this class and I certainly appreciate the feedback I received (although, like all writers, I’m certain I would have benefited from more frequent feedback).

I certainly have a better handle now on what it will take to establish a personal brand online.  I remain a bit reluctant to dive in because I do understand what it takes to write well consistently.  At the moment, it’s about available time, or more precisely the lack of available time, to do my personal brand justice.

Clearly, this class has confirmed for me that if and when I find the time to establish that online brand, I could do it.  At the beginning of the term I responded to an email from you and said:  “Sometimes I even have the arrogance to think I might actually have something to say that will interest more than the few people who know me.  But not yet.  So, I’m in the ICM program to prepare for that day.”

I’m not backing away from that sentiment, which comes from a frustration and distaste for much of what is self-published on the web.  But this class, by forcing me to write, convinces me that I really could make a positive contribution to the public discussion in my niche.  As I re-read my blog entries, I liked much of what I wrote.  This class helped me crystallize my plans for my capstone project.  That’s no small accomplishment.

As your blog entries eloquently taught, writing is self-discovery.  Writing forced me to analyze and capsulize.  It forced me to fortify my musings with logic and facts.  The not-so-simple act of writing forces you to hone opinions into reasonable arguments that, one can hope, go beyond mere pontificating to perhaps adding some light on issues.  For that, this class was extremely valuable.

I will continue to write, but probably not on the blog until I can fully commit to creating and maintaining an online presence.  When I’m ready, I hope I can contact you for advice on maximizing my presence.



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