Following on from my previous post, Mark Carrigan offers some thoughtful reflections on academic blogging. He raises lots of issues here. The piece explores (and defends) the relative value of academic blogging and how it might fit into academic work. Mark offers some considered responses to the potential problems or questions raised about academic blogs and blogging. The suggestion is that blogging can fit into research by offering space for working out ideas, trying things out and for communicating with different audiences. It is now just coming up to a year since I started this blog. I’ve found that there is scope here for doing lots of different things here. I was a bit sceptical when I started, but I found increasing value in using this blog.
A key feature for me is the way that it can be used to archive materials. It is an easy way to archive interesting things I find, I can then return to these later – and so can anyone else who wants to. That seems like it is of quite a bit of value, I would probably have struggled to record so many potentially useful resources in any other way. The blog also lets me record ideas and to capture these in short pieces for later development. I’ve also used it to write short overviews and reviews of articles, books and the like (I’ll probably start doing this again when I move onto my next project). Here’s a short section from Mark’s piece:
Academic blogging holds out the possibility of extending the role of the academic, rather than threatening its diminution. I share many of the fundamental concerns which I hear expressed about impact and public engagement – particularly the entirely justified fear that this agenda, as well as the broader changes within higher education within which it is unavoidably implicated, threaten the autonomy of academic work. I think there’s a risk that the production of academic knowledge (in the broadest sense of the term) becomes subjugated to the contingencies of the political cycle, particularly as its mediated by funding bodies and other intermediaries.