PhD Thesis, Appendix VI. Blogging for academic purposes.
August 24, 2011
(The following text will be the Appendix VI in my PhD Thesis)
Blogging refers to basically posting texts online. During my Ph.D. studies I have used a blog http://carlos9900.wordpress.com/, and a microblog account in Twitter: http://twitter.com/carlos9900. I chose to include the number 9900 because it is the postal code of Frederikshavn and helped me to keep in mind the blog’s orientation towards my Ph.D.
I set the goal of uploading a couple of paragraphs once a week or every two weeks. I wanted to post regularly but not distract myself. I also used Twitter (also known as microblogging and related to social network software) and uploaded some of my ideas almost daily. Very few Ph.D. students use blogging, and even fewer claim to use these tools for academic purposes. Among professors this is even rarer. I understand that for people who do not use these tools, blogging may not sound like an efficient tool to use during a Ph.D.. Thus, I would like to clearly establish what I achieved by doing it:
- Practice much needed writing, without worrying too much about grammar, sources, etc.
- Was able to get immediate feedback from ideas I shared. 13,000 people have visited my blog, and I got more than 100 comments.
- Was able to ask for further information (sources, clarifications, etc.) from others and engage in conversations with colleagues and experts. Twitter’s virtual social network is an important place for dialogue.
- Keep update on pre-state-of-the-art information in some fields. Many scholars and research centers share ideas on Twitter before publishing them.
- One can follow the zeitgeist in some fields by following the discussion of academics, practitioners and consultants in real time.
During the Enlightenment in Europe, coffee houses played an important role in cultivating many innovations. Today in 2011 I believe social media is the place to nurture many of the latest ideas. On the other hand, these tools must be used properly since one can waste much time on them. Overall, however, I think that using blogging wisely can be a good tool for research purposes. I have also been satisfied to use blogging to spread knowledge among society.