To my big surprise, my last blog received a spike in ‘likes’ – and when I say spike I mean going from 0 reads to something like 5 – as well as a couple of subscriptions (thank you automatic promotion of recently published posts on WordPress!!). A further surprise was the quite random and rather obscure people who liked/subscribed. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing (actually thank you so much for reading!), though it does make me wonder a bit more seriously about what exactly the point of this blog is – Is it purely about getting into the important Writing Routine? Is there any need and/or interest from people working or researching in the same area? What is the point of it all!?
When in doubt and confusion, I, as many PhD students before and after me, turn to the
oracle sage wisdom of The Thesis Whisper. And, yes, there is a blog post about blogging. As you would expect it provides succinct and useful advice to enable you to conceptualise your blog’s purpose and audience. The idea of creating your own editorial guidelines hadn’t occured to me. And for some reason answering the questions posed is actually a lot harder than you’d think it would be – perhaps because I am still struggling to resolve what my research question and methodology will be. However, although I am struggling to answer all the questions posed, I can answer some and I’m hoping that counts for something. For instance – I know that I can offer a fairly unique experience, having worked in the non-profit sector for 10 years, with first-hand experience translating research to practice, using innovative methodology in the area of my research. What is not so clear is, oddly, what I will write about.
I guess there will always be a lingering doubt that blogs are basically self-indulgent (and who else might ever want to read what you blog about), but I guess you just have to push that fear to the back of your mind, and keep true to your own editorial guidelines and purpose. I also think I need to spend some time reading blogs in area similar to me. The only one that I know of that comes close is the excellent Family Practice, written by a US GP about using technology in her practice (and of course so much more!). And perhaps I also need to rewrite my ‘About’ section to articulate more clearly what this is all about.