This is my 100th blog post here at Think Links. I started blogging October 23, 2008 with a post about the name of the blog. That’s about 5 years of blogging averaging about 20 posts a year. So not a huge amount but consistent. This blog is what I would consider an academic blog or at least a work related one. As a forum of scholarly communication, I’ve found blogging to be a very beneficial. Here are 10 things that I like personally about the medium (yes, a listicle!):
- It provides a home for material that is useful but wouldn’t belong in a more formal setting. For example, comments on work practice, teaching or neat randomly related stuff.
- It’s quick. If I have something to note, I can just put it out there.
- The public nature forces me to make my own notes better. In particular, I’ve been doing trip reports, which have been really helpful in synthesizing my notes on various events. Even though most are not read the fact that they are public makes my writing more coherent.
- Embedding multimedia. It provides a way to aggregate a lot of different content into one place. Lately, I’ve been using the embed tweet feature to capture some of that conversation in context.
- Memories of the 5 paragraph essay. I had a very good history teacher in high school who drilled into us how to write 5 paragraph essays quickly. I find posts fairly easy to write because of this training. (I know there’s criticism of this style but I think the form helps to write.).
- It let’s me put another take on research papers that we’ve done in a more personal voice.
- A single searchable history. Reverse chronological order is helpful way to review what’s gone on. Furthermore, because it’s on the web you get all that fancy search stuff.
- Analytics are fun to look at. – altmetrics anyone?
- It’s part of the future of academic discourse…
There’s more I’d like to do with this blog. Publishing directly from code. Personal videos. Interactive visualizations. Whether I do those things or not, having this space on the web in this format has been great for my own thinking and I hope for others as well. If you’re reading this, thanks and I hope you keep following.