Mewburn, Inger, and Pat Thomson’s article “Why Do Academics Blog? An Analysis of Audiences, Purposes and Challenges.”* is a content analysis and not and a study of academics’ self-stated motivations for blogging. Nevertheless, five thoughts on why I blog here:
- Self-promotion: I started blogging in earnest when the Higher Education Academy decided not to fund subject centres any longer. Whatever the rights and wrongs and politics of that decision it motivated me to raise my profile in the online world. I’ve promoted my research, conferences, publications and other ideas on my blog. I’m not ashamed of the self-promotion aspect of my blog. I’m not sure how many people actually read it on a regular basis, but this is part of my voice in academia.
- An aide memoire. Many of my more technical posts are to help me remember how to do things. A web developer colleague gave me the idea of blog things which I have worked out how to do, but can’t be relied upon to remember. If others are helped by this sharing, then that is great.
- Responding: I’m not a person who responds to every news story that comes out about higher education (or anything else for that matter). The annual ritual of worrying about how many people are studying languages is something I’ve written about fairly frequently trying to get behind the data, and get away from some of the less thoughtful discussions about why (or even if) language learning is in decline.
- Reviewing things: I’ve written about software such as nanDeck and AQUAD7 on the grounds that not many other people have.
- To help people: I hope it doesn’t sound ‘corny’ to say I’m motivated by helping others, but it is true. If people say they find my posts helpful then I’m all the more pleased to have written them.
*Mewburn, Inger, and Pat Thomson. “Why Do Academics Blog? An Analysis of Audiences, Purposes and Challenges.” Studies in Higher Education 38, no. 8 (2013): 1105–1119. doi:10.1080/03075079.2013.835624.