The sociologicalimagination.org has some thoughts on why academic blogging is useful. There are some tweets here about the topic and some reflections on what these different points suggest. Mark suggests that blogs are being used in a variety of ways but the common conception is to see them as an ‘ideas garden’, that is a space in which to try out and develop ideas away from the usual constraints.
I’ve posted about this topic once or twice in the past (and i’ve got this short article coming out soon). I find though that the purpose of the blog changes quite a bit, I try to include a variety of posts. Sometimes I try to capture ideas that I can develop later – this post on snooker became part of a first year lecture for example. Sometimes these ideas just stay as blog posts (maybe to be redirected at some point), like this post on people becoming more media savvy. I’ve noticed as well that posts about academic practices seem to circulate the most, such as these previous posts on reading, writing and revising journal articles.
The other posts, which are the most common on this blog, are an attempt to capture interesting or important content that I come across. I set this blog up with the primary aim of creating a classified and searchable archive of materials about culture. I wanted somewhere that I could capture a keep useful materials on this topic. The blog has been designed with this in mind. The archive of materials on culture, which I often include comments and reflections on, can then be used in my own research. My hope as well though is that it will also then become a resource or archive for other people to use to explore there interests. I think it is as an archive on a particular topic that the blog is of most use. This requires a mixture of types of posts to keep it lively and well stocked.