Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Why I started blogging

I just submitted a short essay to The Blogging Scholarship. It got me to thinking about why I started blogging. Here is a part of the essay I submitted:

One of the hardest parts of making your academic work interesting to readers is not so much the content, as the way you convey that content. Research that is too esoteric can be lost on the general public, and so the social value of it is greatly diminished. Ensuring that your work makes a difference thus means first doing good work, and then explaining it well.

I try to write my blog so my parents can understand the material, which means I need to write for a very non-technical audience. At first this proved very hard, but lately I am finding it easier to convey the information. For me, blogging has been an exercise in both conveying information, and in conveying it well.

I also use my blog as a way to start what I like to call “social thinking” about a topic. An idea does not end with a post; instead that is when it just begins. Some of the comments people have left and the emails they send have been very insightful, and sometimes even challenging. On more than one occasion I have had to rethink my entire thesis because of a comment. There are few ways to reach such a wide audience that is so willing to be honest about what they think of your ideas.

So please keep the comments coming!

1 comment:

Peter said...


Not only "social thinking", but with your background, your work, you can also bring an insight to those who do not have the opportunity to experience what you do.

Bring out the message... Go back to the foundations why you choose this work. And bring out that message.

Our work is only a tool. Bring out the message, not only about the tool, but also what it is used for. ;-)