Lately I have found myself reading a lot about academic blogging. There is no dearth of articles that aggressively advertise blogging by academics and its benefits; such as the ones here, here and here. Evidently, I have been able to convince myself to start a new blog (and hence this post). Along the way I have also been able get some insights on their drawbacks as well but the positives seem to overwhelmingly outweigh the reasons for not blogging.
If you have been through my about me page, you’d know that I am a first year graduate student. In fact, I’ll be starting my graduate studies this week and it would be nice to try my hands at blogging at the beginning of my grad school journey. I have a couple of my own reasons for taking up this project. Allow me to discuss some of them and a bit on how do I plan on taking this blog further.
Blogging as a writing exercise
Learning to write for a wider audience is one important skill that can be developed by blogging. It may not be easy for you to read through my initial posts but I hope to improve upon their quality over time. It would be a good plan to cut one’s dependency on advisors, course-instructors and co-authors for improving the quality of their writing. In order to succeed, researchers ought to be able to communicate their ideas well enough.
Blogging for fun
Coming up with ideas for a blog post and the planning process could actually be taken up as a recreational activity. Blogging, being so much more flexible than writing formal academic writing, has a lot of scope for creativity. Acting upon the crazy-burst-of-inspirations during the process has been a source of new ideas for their own research work for some of the academics who blog. But here’s a caveat; and it is because of the very same reason that it is useful. One could risk spending a little too much time and energy blogging, getting lost in their train of thoughts and procrastinating about more pressing matters (deadlines!). That’s something that I’d like to keep at the back of my head.
Blogging for record keeping
A searchable data-base containing all my ideas and reviews about other projects could potentially serve a very useful resource down the line. WordPress offers a variety of ways for posting using mobile devices, email etc; it is never too difficult to quickly write about anything worth noting. While there are tools with which I could do this privately (more on this later), blog posts could encourage other readers to pitch in their own ideas and work in a collaborative way. What better way to explore social computing than participating in it!
Hope this also motivates some more people to start blogging. It would be exciting to see where this leads to. And if you have made it till here, thanks for reading my first post!