Can blogging be academically valuable? Seven reasons for thinking it might be

John Danaher, Philosophical Disquisitions, Apr 02, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

My academic career basically exists because of blogging, so I think there may be a point to this article. Here are the seven reasons (my thoughts in parentheses):

  • It helps to build the habit of writing (this is key for me - for me, doing this newsletter is like gettiung some exercise each day)
  • It helps to generate writing flow states (also true - most essays that I write, even the ones I publish, I basically write in one sitting)
  • It helps you to really understand your area of research (because I read so much I get a sense of the flow and development of the field)
  • It allows you to systematically develop the elements of a research article (meh)
  • It enables you to acquire serendipitous research interests (this is true for me as well, and my work is a cross of numerous fields)
  • It helps with networking and developing contacts (I'm not so good at meeting people in person so this has been crucial for me)
  • And yes, it also helps with teaching (indeed, that's how I started with blogging)

I know that gushing about blogging is out of vogue these days, as people attach themselves to the virtues of Twitter and Facebook, but for me the daily ritual has been the cornerstone of my intellectual development.

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