Category Archives: University

Question: Why Do You Blog?

Ok, I have a question for you.  I want to know why you blog.  The reason I want to know this is because I’m preparing a lecture on autobiography and blogging, and I want to know what the medium of the blog uniquely offers those who choose to blog.  I am particularly interested in why people choose to blog about their personal experience of the everyday, rather than those who blog for professional or business reasons; however, I do appreciate all thoughts, opinions and perspectives on this topic!

So, what does the form of the blog do for your writing?  Do you blog to help you reflect and articulate, or do you blog to share, connect and build a community?  If both, which is more important to you?  Would you blog if no-one was reading?

I will be using a selection of responses in my lecture, which is as part of an undergraduate unit at Stirling University on Digital Media, and I will be feeding back to this blog too with results and conclusions.  Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!!


Teaching With YouTube


A while ago I presented a paper at a conference concerned with the teaching of contemporary women writers at Brighton University.  My paper was about how I teach using YouTube as a way of enhancing my tutorials.  After I presented, I received a lovely email from Dr. Nicole King inviting me to turn my paper into an article for the magazine WordPlay, which is the English Subject Centre publication for Higher Education in the UK.

Today, I received a copy of the magazine with my article in it, and words cannot express how happy it makes me to see my words in print 🙂

Here’s the introduction:

The screen on the laptop becomes animated as a figure of a woman fidgets awkwardly in front of a microphone.  The camera takes in the mocking scepticism of those sitting in the audience and the cynical raised eyebrow of the critical music mogul judge.  The background music begins and the woman starts to sing, her voice soaring with a clear resonance evidently astounding to the attendant crowd.  The clip lasts only minutes, streamed directly from source to computer, and yet it has been watched by millions and has generated a media storm leading to international news coverage, tabloid frenzy, Oprah interviews and a week’s retreat to ‘The Priory’.  Surely this is the power of the Internet, and, more specifically, the power of YouTube.

And yet, the power of YouTube as an educational resource is still largely underestimated, as it is currently more famous for its facilitation of Britain’s Got Talent singer Susan Boyle’s hyperbolic rise to international celebrity than for its usefulness to the university teacher.  However, the video-sharing website surely deserves recognition as a valuable tool in the university teacher’s arsenal, rather than be disregarded as a fame machine for the talented few and the talentless many.

If that’s whetted your appetite, then you can download the magazine as a pdf document here: WordPlay.

If you like what you read, and you would like to approach me to write for your publication, please get in touch with me at amypalko [at] madasafish [dot] com.


On the 25th of June I graduated with my doctoral degree for my thesis Charting Habitus: Stephen King, the Author Protagonist and the Field of Literary Production. It’s been a long and, at times, arduous journey, but I got there eventually, and the celebrations were a lovely way to mark the end of my time as a student in higher education.

Here’s a short clip of me collecting my degree:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Graduation“, posted with vodpod

Thanks go to everyone who helped me on my way. I appreciate you all more than I can possibly say.