My blog – my castle

This blogosphere craze is simply fascinating. Everybody seems to have a blog and I’m convinced that those who don’t have at least once in their life dreamt of starting one. I’ve never personally met most of the bloggers whose blogs I follow, but peeking into the virtual rooms called blogs is like dropping in for a visit. Like our homes, our blogs reflect our personalities – they reveal a lot about what’s going on inside of us. And it’s not just the words we write – it’s the design which we choose that makes a difference and shows who we really are.

Anna Loseva’s blog is painted white. I associate this colour with purity and virtue. Anna might have chosen aggressive red or striking green, for example, but she didn’t. Although she is a very creative writer and I find her posts little pieces of art, she chose a very simple template for her blog. Nothing disturbs the reader – eyes just skim the white plains without being distracted by loads of images or conspicuous colours. I guess it’s because Anna doesn’t want to be intrusive – she wants us to create mental images for ourselves.

Rose Bard’s posts and the accompanying images are telling – they reveal a lot about her and her humanistic approach to teaching. She looks so content, natural and compassionate being surrounded by her happy students and family members, even though she often talks about some really worrying issues on her blog.

Roseli Serra’s blog is colourful and friendly. From what I know about Roseli, it perfectly reflects her personality and it’s exactly what her home looks like (as far as I can tell from her Facebook posts). If visual styles hadn’t been abolished, I’d say that Roseli is definitely a visual type learner and teacher 🙂 And yes, she loves coffee. That’s not really surprising; she comes from Brazil, after all.

Dear Vicky Loras and her wonderful blog… It’s so neat – everything is in the right place, absolutely flawless. I suspect that her teaching is the same. Judging by the current cover photo, she adores books and reading. Yes, she does. And she loves poetry!

Like Anna’s space, Mike Griffin’s blog is not too embellished. But I suspect that Mike chose the design for strictly pragmatic reasons. Mike doesn’t need pictures to tell his story – his weapon is eloquence. I love Mike’s uninterrupted-stream-of-consciousness-like style of writing, and one has to be alert not to miss a tongue-in-cheek remark.

Divya Madhavan’s blog is dressed in deep red – my favourite colour. I would have chosen it for my blog as well, had I had the courage. I think the shade perfectly sits with the topic Divya passionately discusses on her blog – critical pedagogy – as well as with the image of the Eiffel Tower on the right. I don’t want to promote stereotypes but I associate red with Paris and France in general.

When I heard Sandy Millin speak for the first time, I thought: this woman speaks briskly and to the point. Now, whenever I read her blog, I imagine Sandy reading the lines out loud for me. Sandy seems to like images a lot – but again, they are always to the point – not just a means to decorate.

David Harbinson’s blog is well-arranged and uncluttered. Nothing seems redundant. The graphs and images he chooses reveal his interest in technology. The way he writes is transparent, professional and restrained – his blog reminds me of a renowned broadsheet, and I think this is the way David wants to be seen by his readers.

I love coming back to Josette LeBlanc’s cosy space. I go there when I need to calm down and recharge batteries. The colour which seems most dominant is orange, even though I have no proof of that. It must be the energy that feels orange – the colour of candle light and flames. For me orange is about harmony, aspiration, sociability, contentment and intelligence. I’ve never met Josette but I imagine she’s just like that.

There are bits and pieces of green in Vedrana Vojkovic’s space. Not too many, though. I’m trying to figure out if it means anything at all. Is it mere coincidence? I hear that researchers have found that green can improve reading ability. This may be related to the fact that Vedrana teaches writing and she does everything in her power (maybe subconsciously) to make her own writing intelligible and reader-friendly. Also, green is thought to relieve stress and it has a calming effect. And that’s how I feel when I visit Vedrana’s space – relieved and relaxed. 🙂

Finally, Anne Hendler’s blog …. it’s a puzzle for me. It seems that it’s hiding more than it reveals. When I look at the design, I imagine a square. I have no clue why but I do. Squares represent the natural (structure) order of the universe. I think of foundations, like building and homes. Yes, it’s a humble home – pure and simple. But I know that apart from being modest, the owner is also very sensitive and perceptive, something that she can’t hide behind the imaginary straight lines.

They say that we shouldn’t judge the book by its cover, but I believe that the way our blogs look may reveal a lot about us – they may show whether we are serious, humorous, creative, playful, reflective, honest, open, reserved, chaotic, cynical, sensitive, organized or sloppy.

That’s how I see it but I wonder how people perceive me through my blog 🙂

About Hana Tichá

I'm an EFL teacher based in the Czech Republic. I've been teaching English to learners of all ages for more than 20 years. I love metaphors and inspiring discussions concerning teaching, learning and linguistics.
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12 Responses to My blog – my castle

  1. Unknown says:

    This is a very fun and funny and insightful post. Interesting as well. When (not if!) I meet you in person I will tell you about my blog theme and its genesis. Thanks for the mention as well. It is nice to be in such great company.


  2. lizzieserene says:

    I see that you have forgotten to analyze your own, so please allow me. 😉 A blurry picture in the background reflects the adventure that awaits in the content. Without being entirely sure what I'm getting myself into, I know when I open one of your posts that the result will be a thing of beauty and the process will be engaging. The owner of a blog like this follows her heart and sees with clear eyes.


  3. Hana Tichá says:

    Thanks for your comment, Unknown Mike 🙂 I'm very happy you stopped by. This place suddenly feels much cosier …..


  4. Hana Tichá says:

    Oh, what a lovely analysis. Thanks, Anne. You've made my day. 🙂


  5. annloseva says:

    Hello Hana =)

    I've briefly thanked you already for the mention of my blog here and I want to give a more extended comment maybe. I found your analysis really interesting, especially so since I'm an *amateur* analysis aficionado myself)) I totally agree with you that the design of a blog makes a whole lot of a difference for a reader. I liked your choice of the blogs to comment on – such an interesting selection, diverse and definitely telling about their owners (I think). What I also have been paying attention to as I visit blogs is the way people use widgets and structure their spaces. Some are very easily navigable, while mine, for example, is just a stream of posts which is not designed or meant to help ever find anything there once you're searching for something particular. I kind of admire people who take good care of their blogs and neatly sort their posts out =)

    I second the Unknown Commenter in saying that it's nice to appear here and in such a great company) It is.


  6. Hana Tichá says:

    Thanks for your comment, Anna. Yes, I agree that the way bloggers structure their blogs says a lot about them as well. Sometimes I come across a really interesting post and want read more but it takes me ages to find it. Well, I admit it may be my fault, especially because I'm only used to certain formats. I've recently made a couple of small adjustments on my own blog to make it easier to navigate but the thing is I'll actually never know for sure if it works for all the readers. That's why I think it's really beneficial to see how other bloggers do it and change things based on the observations. And, of course, occasional feedback from the readers and friends is helpful as well. A friend of mine is a designer so I take her comments very seriously, even if I disagree 🙂
    Thanks again for being part of this lovely company.


  7. Zhenya says:

    Hi Hana

    I have been meaning to write a comment for this post but every time I opened it, could not resist the temptation to re-read and then follow the links to the blogs you described, and read, and then again, and again. I really like the idea for a post – kind of very warm reflection about visiting each other's worlds.

    I am learning so much from your blog: how an image can continue a story, how openness can be helpful, and reassuring, how topics for writing can emerge from (almost?) everything around you. Reading what and how you think about the students feels like visiting your classroom, and then having coffee (or tea?) together and talking about it.

    I feel really fortunate this year because the names and the links in your post mean a lot to me: I have been reading and sharing with an amazing group of people I endlessly respect. I think being a beginner blogger is a wonderful state (I almost write excuse or reason, but then deleted) which I really value.

    Thank you for making me feel connected. Have a great summer!


  8. Hana Tichá says:

    Thanks for your comment, Zhenya. I'm happy to hear I motivated you to visit the blogs I'd included in my post. I believe that's what blogging should be about: about sharing thoughts, experience and tips. A great thing about blogging is making new friends – and blogging creates a special kind of friendship, I dare say. You connect with people who you've never met and will probably never meet in person, so you develop a kind of sixth sense when interacting with them. You start to pay attention to small details because you don't have what you normally have with 'traditional' friends. I love reading your blog – I love the modesty and purity of your ideas which is clearly reflected in the way your blog is designed. I’ve never talked to you but judging by the way you write, you are a very humble and reflective person. I’m happy to be part of your virtual world. Have a beautiful summer too!


  9. Sandy says:

    Hi Hana,
    I love this idea for a blog post. What a great way to introduce people to new blogs – I've subscribed to three more thanks to this list. Thanks for including me on it!
    As for the images, I actually include them because it helps when you're sharing a post, so it's very practical 😉 People are more likely to click on a link with an image, although I try to keep them as relevant as possible! I chose the colour scheme on my blogs because I've always liked things to be colourful and energetic, but I also like them to look professional too. I hope that my theme is a good compromise 🙂
    When I visit your blog, I always feel happy because it makes me think of spring and summer – the blue skies are a great way to lighten my mood. I'm sure there's a sociological study waiting to be written in here somewhere 😉


  10. Hana Tichá says:

    Hi Sandy,
    Thanks for elaborating on the visual aspects of your blog. I'm happy to hear you liked the idea of my post and that you've subscribed to some more blogs thanks to this.
    I'm also pleased to hear that my blog arouses the idea of spring for you and makes you feel happy. Ironically, yesterday I got a bit restless and I started tampering with the present template, trying to apply some changes. I wanted a more dynamic, modern design which I had come across on a different blog. However, finally I decided to come back to the original design because I realized that, perhaps, one of the reasons why some people read my blog is that they know what to expect and they can navigate easily through the blog because they are familiar with the layout. Also, I’m not exactly a techie so why not stick to the classical?
    Yes, I agree that images are a powerful tool but unlike you, I don’t usually use them for practical reasons – I simply believe my post would be bland and incomplete without a suitable picture. However, I do try to find a relevant pic in my files and to be honest, selecting an image is actually the most enjoyable part of the process of writing a post, a kind of closure before clicking the publish button.
    Thanks for stopping by, Sandy. I really appreciate it.


  11. Hi Hana, it has been a while since I have commented on your blog, but I can assure you that does not mean I haven't been visiting regularly.

    I do really like this post, and feel very flattered to have been included on it. It's very interesting to see how you see my (and others') blogs. I think you've done a really good job.

    When I first started reading blogs, I was a bit confused by their structure and how they worked. You mention that 'nothing seems redundant' on my blog, and you might be interested to know that the name of my blog theme is 'Truly Minimal'. When choosing it, that's what I was hoping to aim for.



  12. Hana Tichá says:

    Thank you very much for visiting my blog, David. I'd like you to know that I consider you one of the most thoughtful readers who drop by. I feel honoured to have the kind of readership I generally have on my blog – reflective, supportive and motivating.
    I'm glad to hear you liked what I did here in this post. And it would obviously be incomplete without mentioning your great blog, which I find highly practical and informative. I'm not surprised by the choice of blog theme – that's exactly the impression I get when I read it.
    Like you, I was a bit confused by the blogosphere craze at the beginning. Or rather, I was fascinated and that’s what encouraged me to start and continue. Some people say they’re afraid to start blogging because they think they might not have the will to go on. My blog’s almost one year old and I never actually felt I might want to quit.
    Anyway, I hope we’ll stay in touch.


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