Attending Prof Andrei Zvelindovsky’s seminar yesterday brought back memories of my blogging journey. When I applied for a job at UCLAN naturally I went to the website to look at their research. The most interesting was the blog from the Theoretical Physics Group. I was impressed for several reasons.
- The work was of high quality and interesting.
- Photographs of group members showed them having fun with their research.
- The group had an international following.
After arriving at UCLAN I asked about Andrei and his work and was told by colleagues that his work was very good and he is an eccentric academic who hides in the basement with his research group. After several months I saw him at school meetings and finally spoke to him. I found him interesting and very friendly. Much later on he told me to start a blog but I thought it would be a waste of time and complicated to do and keep up to date so ignored his suggestion. Andrei was persistent and passionate about blogging and its benefits so he set one up for me. I procrastinated and didn’t do anything for about six months. Andrei then set up an email system for me where all I had to do was send an email to a unique address and the blog would be populated and organised.
I started blogging and learned by trial and error and made numerous stupid mistakes. Andrei was always there to help. I started blogging regularly and got addicted. Now you can to the popular seminars which Andrei delivers through the year. Keep an eye out for the calender for next one in the series and make sure your there. Don’t miss it.
Why I blog?
- To inspire and encourage research students to fulfill their potential.
- To get useful information across.
How I blog?
- I decide on a topic to write about.
- I allocate a fixed amount of time to writing the post. Initially stared once a week and set aside 1 hour.
- I plan the points I want to make and then write.
- I post the first draft on the blog. Usually it is full of spelling mistakes and poor grammar but I am happy because I got some points across that may be useful to a research student
- I read the blog and make changes. I correct spelling mistakes and grammar.
- I post it to my Linkedin and Facebook.
What I blog about?
- How to carry out research
- How to write reports, papers and thesis
- How to solve problems that you may encounter along your research journey.
- How to organise, overcome obstacles and set big goals and achieve them.
- Tell interesting stories.
10 benefits I got from blogging?
- raised my profile internationally
- helped me to organise your thoughts on a topic and write down as a permanent record.
- saved time and effort. In the past I had to repeat the same information to each individual student. Now I summarise quickly and then point them to a blog post.
- helped me recruit research students.
- cultivated and developed new research links
- helped me to get invitations to give keynote talks at international conferences
- got me invitation to guest edit special issues of journals and to write and edit books
- helped me to a good foster group spirit and develop cohesion
- improved recruitment of research students and help you expand my research group
- helped get UCLAN known in remote places all over the world
Don’t do what I did, take Prof Andrei’s advice and start blogging now. I can’t wait to learn about your blogging journey.