Taking hold of my domain

The first group of faculty have come together to explore the brave new online world in an intentional way through the University of Mary Washington’s Domain of One’s Own Faculty Initiative. We all have the goal to grab hold of our online identity and do something with it.

Our first thing to tackle is a blog. I definitely enjoy reading blogs (like the FemaleScienceProfessor blog) and even assign them to classes (this semester check out the blogs from Global Environmental Problems), but I’ve always been dubious about writing my own blog.

Then today, I read this interesting column, “How Blogging Helped Me Write My Dissertation,” from The Chronicle of Higher Education. The benefits that Maxime Larive describes and the ideas in the comments all offer encouragement for trying to become a blogger myself.

3 thoughts on “Taking hold of my domain

  1. Andi

    Interesting article, Melanie!
    Since I finished my dissertation long before I started blogging, I can’t really say whether it would have helped. I do find that blog writing is very different than formal academic writing, but that doesn’t necessarily negate the author’s point. Being engaged in everyday discourse and just writing are definitely both useful in my opinion.
    While I understand the “don’t stray from your scholarly topic” guidance, I personally disagree. I work on lots of unrelated stuff. It would be counterproductive to have a separate blog for each. Instead, I think tagging/categorizing can work just as well. In fact, I’m thinking of just making my DoOO blog a general blog once this course is done. By all means, I’m not advocating random rants or kitten pics, but a little levity and variety aren’t a bad thing, IMHO.

  2. Tim Owens

    I struggled for years with keeping a blog. I’d start it, then I’d change it up, delete what I had written, start fresh, lather, rinse, repeat. I had a hard time finding my voice until 2 things happened. One was I found and started commenting on other blogs and started building out that network. Suddenly I had people commenting on my blog (not immediately of course, but eventually it started happening with more frequency). That helped me start writing with an audience in mind, which was something I had never done before. It made blogging more important to me and less a chore. The other thing I’ve done in the past few years is regularly talk about what I’m working on. Before I always felt I had to comment on current events topics, which ultimately was something I wasn’t really interested in *writing* about, just reading them. But when I talked about what was interesting me as far as my work I could find myself getting lost in the topics and writing at length. It definitely became less a chore at that point and something that’s helped me keep it up after all this time.

  3. Jim Groom

    I love the site, it is looking awesome. You are off an running, and I like the frame already. Look forward to seeing you this week and next!

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