As I prepare the slides and review my dissertation in preparation for the defense on the 19th, I keep coming back to the assertions I made in 2004 about the value of blogs for personal knowledge management. More recently, Pat Thomson blogged on THE about the value of blogging to scholarly writing. I think the value of blogs for communicating with the public is probably oversold. Seems like a lot of the scientists, social scientists, and other scholars who go into blogging with that goal find that they are instead communicating with like minds - scientists in other research areas, teachers, hobbyists/enthusiasts/citizen scientists - instead of changing minds and informing the uninformed.
It's not that there aren't cases in which that's true, it's just probably not frequent or widespread enough to sustain involvement for a new blogger.
I also don't mean to imply that there's no social in the social software. The community built through blogging can be very rich and supportive. The feedback on blogs can be very helpful.
I do miss blogging more and I don't think that blogging less has made me more productive offline. Instead, I find writing very slow and tedious and I get very frustrated that readers of my work are not able to understand me through it.
So. I'm going to try to be here more. I'm going to try to practice writing more. I'm going to try to do more research blogging. I'll also try to capture and share any neat tricks in analysis.
Some further reading:
Dennen, V. P. (2014). Becoming a blogger: Trajectories, norms, and activities in a community of practice. Computers in Human Behavior, 36(0), 350-358. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2014.03.028
Hank, C. (2013). Communications in Blogademia: An Assessment of Scholar Blogs’ Attributes and Functions New Review of Information Networking, 18(2), 51-69. doi:10.1080/13614576.2013.802179
Mewburn, I., & Thomson, P. (2013). Why do academics blog? An analysis of audiences, purposes and challenges. Studies in Higher Education, 38(8), 1105-1119. doi:10.1080/03075079.2013.835624
Olive, R. (2013). ‘Making friends with the neighbours’: Blogging as a research method. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 16(1), 71-84. doi:10.1177/1367877912441438