The blogosphere sounds like a strange galaxy in another dimension, but is the term used to refer to all blogs (such as this one!) and their interconnections. Readers of blogs share their thoughts and views in a collected community. Academic blogs tend to focus on professional topics, showing explicit connections between blog content, research issues and academic life, and more academics than ever are now engaging with the blogosphere to share their work, establish networks and connections, and to develop their careers. But are the benefits really that great?
Academics who blog regularly report positive outcomes, such as networking and collaborating, finding new audiences and opportunities, disseminating research more widely, and building reputation. Bloggers argue that far from diluting scholarly success (as has been suggested by some academics), online writing can be a serious tool for academic practice. Blogging should be seen as part of a programme of dissemination and collaboration, and is best used alongside traditional academic outlets (such as journals) as a means of amplifying the reach and potentially the significance and future direction of the research.
Blogs are usually accessed by a different audience to traditional forms of academic dissemination. They are freely accessible to a global audience, and their public, collaborative nature has helped many academics to develop new relationships with students, peers and other audiences (such as schools, charities, the general public, etc) and to develop cross-disciplinary partnerships. The accessibility and exposure to different audiences tends to broaden reputations, which opens up new professional possibilities. Blogging can lead to further research and knowledge exchange work, public presentations and interviews, as well as invitations to write for academic publications.
Academic blogging is a method of public engagement, allowing academics to connect and share their work with the public, generating mutual benefit for both blog authors and readers. This can help to build trust and understanding of universities, and can increase our relevance to, and impact, on society.
Academic bloggers at BU include:
- Christos Gatzidis – Dr Christos Gatzidis’ Scientific Diary
- Dimitrios Buhalis – Dimitrios Journeys
- Darren Lilleker – Politics, PR and Marketing
- Media School blog
- School of Tourism blog
If you’d like access to add posts about your research to the Research Blog or would like your own blog then let me know.