Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why I don't blog - or why I'm trying (again)

A couple of weeks ago, Prof-like Substance asked his readers“why don’t you blog?”, and instead of responding in the comments, like a normal person, I thought that I’d come back to this blog that I started with all the best intentions, but ended up being half-arsed, and then just…stopped.

I’m not entirely sure why I stopped - it fell somewhere in the mess of not feeling like I had anything to say, and what I did want to talk about and get advice on, I really couldn't talk about publicly.  I’ve also got to admit to feeling pretty awkward about blogging. It’s a little bit like standing on a chair yelling out to a crowded area “HEY! YOU! COME OVER HERE AND LISTEN TO WHAT I HAVE TO SAY!” which is fine and all, and I’m not judging. In fact, if someone was doing that (assuming they didn’t look dangerously insane) I’d probably head on over for a chat. But me on the chair? Unlikely. Unless it’s in a room full of people I know really well.  Or I’ve been drinking tequila*.

So what’s changed? For one thing I am on the job market, and I have really learned a lot in the past year from the ongoing discussion, and shared anecdotes about the job market, especially at the excellent Fumbling towards Tenure (check out the TT job search advice aggregator for a lot of great advice from a variety of sources).  Because everyone’s experience is different, and because I know I'm not the only one in this boat, I want to have a forum to vent, exclaim, and if anyone ventures over here, discuss issues that come up in this academic life.  Also, because I’m at that stage of my career, learning how to draw attention to myself in a positive way, is something that I have to learn – and am slowly learning – how to do.

Another reason for blogging is that I joined twitter. It was in a moment of madness, but turns out to be one of the better social media experiences so far. The best thing twitter has been the continuation of the conversations started on the blogs, and, uh, MOAR SCIENCE FRIENDS. Seeing more of the discussion means I want to be a part of it.

So come back for more ramblings**, and leave suggestions for topics in comments!

* Or someone dared be to do it. But that's a different story.
**Things I've learned today: Signing off is just as awkward on a blog post as it is on the phone.