The second free public The Social Scholar seminar on social media features Mark Carrigan talking specifically about ‘blogging’. The emphasis will be on discussion, with Mark offering practical advice and encouraging us all to share ideas on how to get started as a research blogger. In preparation for the seminar I asked Mark a series of questions which are now up on SAS Blogs: An interview with Mark Carrigan. I also asked him an additional question about his views on blogging. This is what he had to say.
Hello Mark, do you think blogging is a useful pursuit for academics and why?
I think blogging can be enormously useful for academics but that the concept of ‘blogging’ can hinder the understanding necessary for this. Not only because it still has negative connotations for many but also because it can obscure what a natural activity blogging is for academics. The application of this relatively novel label to the activity can distract from the fact that a ‘blog’ is just a new tool for the writing and communication which have always been an integral part of scholarship. It’s in this sense that I think we can see blogging as an activity which is continuous with ‘traditional’ scholarly practice. The discontinuity emerges from the immense communicative capacity inherent in what are effectively free services. Blogs offer the possibility of instantaneous and zero-cost publishing to an international audience. This possibility is something which seems enormously important to me. I like to stress the continuities with those day-to-day practices which are familiar to academics because it’s only when we start from the recognition of continuity that we can begin to think practically about the possibilities offered by blogging.
If you would like to hear more from Mark Carrigan please do join us on Wednesday 13 November, 1pm-2pm. The Social Scholar is a free public seminar series held in room 246 of Senate House (University of London). Full details can be found on the SAS blog – The Social Scholar category.