Thursday, July 14, 2011

Why blog? The benefits of blogging

As a research student getting ready to go into PhD studies, I have decided to use the online writing tools of  blogging to allow for personal development as a writer. What I love about blogging is the opportunity to keep track of my thoughts and notes with keyword searching. I also love the opportunity for the public to give feedback and comment on my thoughts and ideas.

Blogging helps to preserve a record of my intellectual development on a subject in a format that can be easily retrievable. In the past, I kept written notebooks and even note cards, that I had to flip through all the pages to locate a specific record of what I had written. Blogs however allow me to locate specific information through keyword searching making retrieval of written ideas faster than skimming the pages of a notebook or indexed note cards.

Audience feedback helps me to know what gaps I have left in my writing and what I need to do further research on. Peer review has taken on a special meaning to me as a published writer (of scholarly papers). Many eyes are needed to see common spelling mistakes, or to discover unclear and ambiguously constructed sentences, ideas or concepts. As a writer, you know what you are thinking and what you mean to say, and you believe that what you are saying is clear and very convincing. However, that does not mean that your audience will get the same message and understand it clearly as you do. Just the other day I posted a note and someone was able to point out another item of interest that could be included to make my argument/communicated ideas stronger or more persuasive. Even now, I have an article that I wrote being critiqued by the editorial team, which has helped me to sharpen my communication for reaching my intended audience.

Apart from these reasons professional blogging can have an impact on your career dreams and hopes.

What is the impact of blogging professionally?

It can definitely lead to you getting a job:
Meredith Farkas:

"I can't say this 100 percent, but I believe that it helped me get a job. There are more new librarians than there are library jobs out there, and I didn't have a lot of experience, so what did they have to go on?… With a blog, they can see that she's passionate about the profession. She's tech-savvy. She has thoughts in her head. It made me a known entity." (qtd. in Kenney and Stephens)

It can also lead to you getting speaking and training engagements and to publishing opportunities
Laura Smart: "Professionally, it's been really great. It has led to a lot of speaking engagements and training and publishing opportunities". (qtd. in Kenney and Stephens)

Further, Asgedom recommends that in order to launch a career in the writing/speaking business, one needs to begin by blogging, rather than by writing a book.

Works Cited:

Asgedom, Mawi. "How to Start a Writing/Speaking Business"  Mawi Develop Greatness. July 13, 2011. Web. 14 July 2011. <>.

Kenney, Brian and Michael Stephens. "LJ Round Table: Talkin' Blogs: Library Bloggers Discuss the Impact of their Work."  Library Journal. 1 Oct. 2005. Web. 14 July 2011. <>.

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