Academic Blogging

With guest speaker Alexandra Mihai (7 July 2021) speaking on Zoom about academic blogging. Hosted by Dominic Pates and Jane Secker from Learning Enhancement and Development, who schedule monthly appointments for writing, using a blogs as the chosen medium for City University of London staff. This was their first open event with external visitors. Alexandra spoke and I took a few notes.

Benefits of Blogging

Blogs allow you to express the essence of your research in different ways for different audiences. The blog allows you to connect with a broader network and allows you to plug in to conversations that go beyond an immediate academic circle. Blogs are a place that offer you the opportunity to “brainstorm with yourself”. You can collect and process information, play around with ideas in a safe space at a exploratory or private stage of your research. Blogs also allow you to become unstuck, re-work and rewrite and allow you to receive feedback on a minimum viable product in a more timely manner and from a more diverse audience (including non-academic peers). This can lead to very fruitful exchanges, especially if you begin to combine your blog with your social media stream.

Challenges that comes with Blogging

Blogs are a time investment, it takes time to write a good blog. Deciding what you want to share is difficult, and it hard to know when to “let go” and publish. This is often a very personal decision and it is BIG making it public. Academic blogging isn’t a copy paste of your research. A blog requires that you take steps to translate your “academic knowledge” into ordinary day-to-day language (not simple) that isn’t intended for peers. Blogs mean that you are expected to highlight practical implications and be catchy and accessible, if the blog is to be read by a broader and mixed audience. And then blog posts about unpublished work becomes tricky when it comes to publishing into a journal.

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