Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why I Do What I Do

See this blog for a rationalization for why I blog.
So in research terms blogging is quite simply, one of the most important things that an academic should be doing right now.
Good qualification.  Teaching is the most important thing I do. In terms of research, I have started to realize that blogging is pretty important.  I read far more on blogs these days that inform me and direct me to interesting research than the good old days of waiting for journals to arrive and hoping there would be an interesting article or two inside.

One of the most important?  Hmm, I will have to think about that.  What do my fearless readers think?


Anonymous said...

As a professor, would you accept undergrad research papers referencing a blog? Assuming the blog is written by a verifiable and reputable source.

Kyle Saunders said...

Please forgive any typos--doing this on a smart phone with my thumbs.

I think blogging *can* be an amazing medium for innovation, idea generation and exchange, but it completely depends on quality of the content, the level of buy-in/engagement of others, and the ease with which ideas can be conveyed through the medium.

It's not about having a megaphone, it's about having access to the dinner table while people stay for a while and eat well, and then the people who ate do the dishes and clean up.

Way back when I started The Oil Drum with my co-founder, we had no idea of its potential, that it would gain as many readers as it did, or that it would in essence become a think tank of sorts (since its founding, @TheOilDrum has spawned quite a few research programs and still promotes a lot of original research on EROI, energy, and other stuff.)

Of course, that was 2005. Times are different now with the web, folks back then could more easily enterprise and build things, because there was more air in the room.

I am not nearly as involved with TOD as I once was--I've given the reins over to others in the past year or two, but the lessons I would put forward from it are these: success of a web think tank, or even a personal site, is about quality of engagement, sorting the talent of your readers, sustained quality content, and the ability to bring attention to the ideas espoused there through various web devices.

Your Mileage May Vary.