Earlier this month I was able to go to a workshop about Scholarly Blogging, and I ended up hearing some really cool stuff. It was broken up into two sections, Research Blogging and Blogging in Education. If you want to see what the presenters had to say, check out their blog posts: “Research Blogging: Notes from Our Workshop” and “Things I Didn’t Know that I didn’t Know about Student Blogging.”
The part that really fascinated me about the workshop was the idea that scholars are really into blogs and what blogs might mean for their professions. Blogs are a way to share information with a greater audience, and for research, this means being able to broadcast ideas to other academics and the public all at once. It allows people to keep in touch with current research goals, and the ideas that are being discovered, in a faster way than journals or books. It also gives a voice to smaller areas of research that don’t get as much attention.
It brings to mind an article I read, “Academic blogging: academic practice and academic identity” (Kirkup, 2010) which discussed how even though blogs were at one time considered below scholarly work, they’re becoming more and more popular among scholars, in particular allowing them to broadcast ideas that maybe didn’t make it into a peer reviewed journal, or even just engage in intellectual material in a different environment. The article also made it clear that scholars think of blogging as a different form of writing, and don’t necessarily connect blogging with their career work.
I guess the whole idea of academic blogging is just really intriguing to me. I like that scholars feel that they can hash out ideas in an informal way, and even communicate with each other over their blogs to discuss these ideas. Maybe they’ll even start some really neat collaborations with each other simply because they connected on a blog. I’m not entirely sure what this may mean for the future of academic writing or scholarly research, but I’m very interesting in watching to find out.
I’m also very excited by the possibility that researchers and academics would be able to really bring their ideas to the public directly. It’s something I’ve talked about with people in the LIS program, and there definitely seems to be a gap between research that’s done and the practitioners actually connecting with that material, even though it’s about their profession. There needs to be some sort of bridge built over this research-practice gap, and I wonder if blogs are the way to go. Then those employed in the field would be able to learn new advances about their profession rather easily.
During the workshop I asked if in any way a blog could be detrimental to a person’s future, especially if someone – like me – is about to enter the profession and look for a job. Both presenters answered absolutely not. They thought it would only improve our chances, as it shows we’re interested in the profession, and that we’re tech savvy. (Yay!) I guess that adds another benefit to carrying on with TheLibraryLife. :)