The Time Has Come to Blog

I must admit, I am incredibly apprehensive about blogging. I have tried it before, with little investment in the outcome. Doing something for class credit without fully understanding the scope and importance of the task makes it difficult to immerse yourself into the activity. This is without a doubt my own experience with my first blog. It felt forced. As if I needed to check the boxes and just “get it over with”. Despite my lack of desire to engage in the blogging assignment, I attempted to at least passionately write my thoughts about the topic at hand. It became easier as time went on, and I did enjoy having a space to share these thoughts.

My thoughts on random topics, however, felt akin to the times when LiveJournal was popular. A digital space to share your thoughts, it became more like a diary that was shared with the whole world. Clearly, professional blogging is much different than the LiveJournal diary spelling out the details of a scorned relationship. This is where I struggle with the benefits of blogging. Tom Peters, author and management visionary, raves about blogging, claiming nothing  has been important in his life than blogging. Tim Hitchcock, Professor of Digital History at the University of Sussex, similarly encourages professionals to engage in blogging. In academia, this practice seems to be an opportunity to take part in a larger public discussion on the topics at hand.

Still, despite the growing trend of blogging professionals, I am not sold on the benefit for me. Sure, there are many in my field (marriage and family therapy) that participate in regular blogging. And certainly many academics participate in various digital ways via Twitter and Facebook. But, what do I have to say? Who would listen? Who would care? Is this yet another sign indicative of my imposter syndrome?

Do the answers to any of these questions really matter in the long run? Seth Godin has said that it doesn’t matter if anyone reads your posts. Instead, what matters is the process- engaging in humility and metacognition of your ideas. I certainly would benefit from strengthening these skills in order to better communication my thoughts (and writing) on my research and profession. Perhaps the time has come to finally invest in an official blog- outside of the classroom.

 

References:

Hitchcock, T. (2014, July 28). Twitter and blogs are not just add-ons to academic research, but a simple reflection of the passion underpinning it [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2014/07/28/twitter-and-blogs-academic-public-sphere/

[innerpreneur]. (2009, April 18). Seth Godin & Tom Peters on blogging [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=livzJTIWlmY&feature=youtu.be

 

 

6 thoughts on “The Time Has Come to Blog

  1. Thanks for the post. I have wondered some of the same things, “who will listen to me?” etc. And yet, I think that there is something meaningful in taking the time to think about your research in terms of a wider audience and the broader impact. What am I working on that other people might care about? What is something that I have learned that others could benefit from? What topics are widely misunderstood and how could my expertise clear up some of the confusion? etc.etc.

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  2. I love your honesty in this post. I had to blog for a class last semester and came away feeling not so positive about it. I think the main factor that played into that feeling was that I was blogging about something I wasn’t so passionate about. When I watched the Seth Godin and Tom Peters video for this week, even though it was a super short video, it really turned around my perspective on blogging! Like you said, it is a way to engage and put thoughts and information out into the world in a not-so-formal way. Their use of the word “micropublishing” was where I got hooked. Instead of seeing it as a burden, I now see it as a way to get my thoughts out to the world or share my research in a lower profile way. That way, hopefully I will be stronger when it comes to sharing it on a more professional stage!

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  3. Everything you talk about here is so honest and relatable and easy to read. As much as I’m sure you’re nervous to put your thoughts and ideas out in the world, I hope you know you have a natural writing voice that is enjoyable to read. As long as you continue to focus your points on writing how you feel, you’ll be surprised how much that relates to the rest of us in class! 🙂

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  4. I’ve often wondered the same thing when writing posts. (At least this semester, we have the benefit of having each other as our audience.) In all seriousness, the Seth Godin quote that you reference at the end of the blog post is a great way to re-frame thinking about blogging. Talking about my own research in different social contexts has made me think about it from different angles. Blogging would provide another avenue for reflection.

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  5. Mary – I really enjoyed reading your post and appreciate your honesty. I was apprehensive about blogging at first but I also really appreciated the reflection and metacognition that were so necessary for me to 1) write a blog post and then 2) engage in discussion with peers. Since I first took the GEDI class, I have tried to embrace the idea of blogging, and I have written about topics that are interesting to me and that I think others will be interested in. And this has helped me create a portfolio of resources that are beneficial for me on a more professional level as well. I hope that you further explore the idea of creating a blog that continues outside of class. I will be interested to see where that takes you! Thanks for sharing your views on blogging!

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  6. I’ll just second what Amy and others have noted. I really appreciate your honesty about your reservations and your willingness to give this a try. For the purposes of this class, blogging gives us the opportunity to exchange ideas and think about the material in ways that simply aren’t possible in a F2F setting for a group of this size. But in the end, whether you keep on blogging after the class will mainly depend on whether or not you find it valuable. To my mind the only good reason to blog is because you want to — because the medium gives you a platform for your ideas and allows you to connect with particular people or communities. Thanks for this!

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