A reason to blog, con'd Boynton has kindly offered her motivations for blogging. Agrees that #1 was part of it, along with #4 (which I suspect is a reason behind a lot of blogs, actually. It's also probably why so many of them fail. It's a hard habit to keep.) She also says that #14 is a reason, the keeping of a log of ideas and scraps, which I am terribly happy about, because this is how I think of my weblog and hoped other people thought of it similarly.
A reason to blog I lay in bed last night, making a list in my head of all the possible reasons why someone might start a blog. Unfortunately, I didn't write them down, so I shall try to reconstruct what I can remember here, in no particular order:
1. as an aspect of a larger site, to let visitors know what is new, what is coming up
2. knew someone who had a blog and became interested
3. interested in new trends/technology
4. to acquire a habit of daily writing
5. as a travel journal to replace the "group email"
6. as a research tool, keeping track of notes, ideas etc
7. read about/heard about blogs somewhere and wanted to try it
8. to promote an upcoming event (a gig, an art show)
9. as a newsletter for a community
10. for fans
11. as a cathartic experience- assuming an identity and being able to write down complaints or worries that might not have another outlet
12. for a school / uni assignment that requires a diary to be kept
13. to work on a longer piece of writing- a narrative or an article
14. as a digital scrapbook for odds and ends (links, ideas, images) that might otherwise be scattered in a number of different places
15. to present your views on the world, and give a take on world events that sits outside that which is presented by mainstram media
16. to share discoveries with other people who work in (or are interested in) similar fields to you.
I'm sure there are heaps more, so I'll come back to this when I think of them.
On becoming an evangelist Went to the masters discussion group last night, feeling wearily Thursday-ish. Cruel Sensai sprung a surprise on me- would I mind showing the others how to set up a blog using blogger and talk a little bit about how they work.
I initially baulked as I had planned to slump into a chair and listen to others talk, but I managed to muster up a little good grace (Lord knows where from) and did a spiel.
It was actually quite ok, because the thing is I am actually very very much in favour of the whole blogging thing. It has been a really interesting and rewarding experience for me. In what other situation could you have a thought about an issue related to your research and then have someone in London, someone in Bergen as well as another Melbourne dweller all start discussing related issues? It's great for research.
I have found that keeping a blog has given me a whole new appreciation of the web and what it can do, not the least of which is the interconnections that it creates. This is pretty obvious I suppose, (I heard someone say earlier this year that it is the inter-connections that define the internet, if not for them it may as well be called "The world wide straight line").
So I did my schtick and it was interesting to see how people reacted. I felt at first if people were perhaps a little sceptical of how useful it would be- perhaps a little gimmicky. I know Blogger is not perfect, by any means (as anyone who has had their archives eaten will attest) but I sensed that the ease with which you can set up an account and post messages would appeal to time-lean research students. I think I made a few converts. They seemed, for some reason, particularly interested in the "team member" function where other people can post to your account. I'm interested in this too, but haven't really explored it. I tried inviting The Questioning Ant to contribute, but none of his posts showed up, for some reason.
Anyway, I hope a couple of the other students will set up accounts as I do genuinely believe they are a very useful research tool. And if they do, I'll be able to use them for my own research.....