Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Ten Years of Spew: Am I Running Out?

Today marks the tenth anniversary of Saideman's Semi-Spew!  Time flies when one is ranting about civil-military relations, ethnic conflict, Harry Potter, NATO, US politics, Canadian politics and all sorts of stuff.  Blogging has been very, very good to me, as it helped me pre-write my book on Canada and Afghanistan, it helped me get grants that had knowledge mobilization (sharing ideas) as a key criterion, it helped me get my ideas out beyond the narrow confines of the ivory tower as pieces were cross-posted or heavily quoted in Vox, the Globe and Mail, and the Washington Post, it has led to a ruckus or two, and more.  It hasn't gotten me fired (yet) and may have even played a role in my getting the job I have now since public engagement is a thing at NPSIA and something they reward at Carleton.

I started out writing mostly for myself--to get my ideas out of my head to examine them--kind of like a pensieve.  Then, I started sharing my posts on facebook and then twitter (tis no accident I joined twitter a few months after starting the blog).  I never had any discipline about what I wrote about and would only cross-post at Duck of Minerva if I found a post to be "duck-worthy."  I do blog less than I did, mostly because of two things: I have said stuff before so I just re-post rather than re-write AND I often now get out of my system what I need via twitter.

For this anniversary post, I was tempted to invoke one of my very first posts, where I took a question asked of President Obama and answered it for myself--what surprised me, troubled me, enchanted me and humbled me about blogging for these past ten years.  But then I realized I have already done that.
One consistency over time has been that when people meet me and say that they read my blog, I get embarassed.  Because I write so much stuff that is half-baked, I worry that they remember the truly under-cooked or overly silly stuff.  But recently I have realized that some of my posts do have some value--useful advice for the job market, educating people about how NATO really works, highlighting the work of sharp women in the field, calling out sexual harassment--so now I try not to blush and just appreciate the sentiment. 

So, I just hope we can all keep ...

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