Why should researchers blog?
On 5th February I will be contributing to the Social Policy Research Unit seminar series on Social Research in the Digital Age at the University of York.
The series is exploring the increasing use of social media and other digital tools in social research. Topics will include the use of online tools to engage people in research and tips on using social media to increase the impact of research on policy and practice. All seminars are free and open for anyone to attend.
At my seminar I will be discussing my experience of micro and macro blogging as a method of engaging people in the research I’m undertaking. In particular, I will be talking about how I set up this blog to bridge the gap between social work research and practice by attempting to engage practitioners in both the process and outcomes of studies I’m working on. I think there is a long way to go to realise the potential of social media in bringing research closer to practitioners, but the optimistic side of me can see positive steps being taken towards this.
In my seminar I would like to address the question of why researchers should blog. I am particularly interested in the views of non-researchers about this question and I invite your thoughts. Do you think we should be using our time blogging about our work or just getting on and doing it? If you think it is worthwhile, why should researchers blog? Which blogs have you come across which effectively engage people in research, irrespective of the topic? What are the key things which researchers should avoid doing when blogging about their research?
Please leave your thoughts below, however brief or profound they might be. Alternatively, if you fancy doing it in 140 characters, please tweet me @mgoat73 using the hashtag #spru2013. The tweet stream for #spru2013 is visible below.
I will be sharing your comments at the seminar and will summarise them here in a later post. I’m sure that I will not be the only one to learn a lot from your thoughts!