Despite the state of my blog, I went along to this “unconference” where lots of bloggers conversed in real life instead of online.
It exceeded my expectations and has led to a shift in the way I am thinking about my blog. This new perspective came from two sources, at the beginning and the end of the conference. The first was Melissa Gregg, an academic who blogs at Home Cooked Theory both what she is researching and what is happening in her life, making a point of not separating the two. Later, Mark Bahnisch made the point that blogging in this way can offer something richer than “hi I’m Mark and I write serious stuff about politics”.
So having gone to the trouble of focussing my blog, and having found that it is difficult to regularly post in such a focussed manner, I am now adopting Melissa’s and Mark’s strategy. From here on, expect to find my thoughts on whatever I am thinking – you’ll get a more complete idea of me. Expect to find the stuff I am researching, even though it isn’t always specifically about the collective nature of creative process.
The session on research blogging has given me the confidence to adopt this approach. Some academic institutions frown on, or don’t permit, blogging about research but I know my university is fine with that. Someone (Anne Galloway) has already done a PhD through a blog. Jean Burgess at creativity/machine used her blog to collect things relevant to her thesis. Through the blog she ended up with a complex network of people in her field, and in related fields. And Sarah Xu is doing her Doctorate of Creative Arts through a blog (which has just been moved to WordPress).
So I won’t have to have two blogs, drawing a neat boundary between divided selves. This feels fine.