I recognize writing is a creative art and that I am emboldened, strengthened, and refined by it. It is a constant pursuit of perfection, that stringing together of the perfect sentence surrounding the perfect thought encapsulated in the perfect context of time and space. It is an instructional art as well, a learning activity without parallel as it involves the constant refinement of understanding, the sequencing of that understanding into credible constructs, reflection.

It is also one demanding activity in terms of dedication, more of a marathon than a sprint (even short form writing is an exercise in disciplined brevity). And some days, you simply do not feel up to it. I churn out my fair share of writing daily, much of it work related for a variety of social media channels, blogs, internal emails, project proposals, even business goals and roadmaps. Couple this with my current status as a Masters student at the University of Edinburgh, one about set to complete (“about” is an operative, highly volatile term here) his dissertation and two years of study, and you have one tuckered writer. I am only now realizing I have maintained about 5 blogs during that time. Maintained is not an understanding of quality or even frequency here; maintained as in they exist and I have posted there.

So I am attracted to the possibility that Amplify brings to the table. Streamlined, browser-based blogging a la Tumblr and Posterous. I love Posterous but am starting to realize my attraction was to the simplicity of email posts, but that isn’t enough of a value add; ideas come out “there”, amongst the ether of the larger network. So that is where I want to blog. These Amplify posts will be routed to my WordPress blog (which I cling to because it is useful, but mostly because it is all I have in terms of legacy). I love WordPress but I need something a little less cumbersome (and presumably powerful). I love Tumblr for its incredible lightweightness (and I do use it still), but I want to give this one a whirl for now.

So, hopefully, this reinjects some tiger blood into my writing lest I dwindle into apathy and mental sloth.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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