Is blogging obsolete?

Text-based blogging, or weblogging, developed in the 1990s as a medium for recording and presenting date-stamped content, accessed through a single web address, presenting the most recent post at the top of the home page.

I’ve been doing this for 10 years now. So it’s time to reflect.

Video blogs (vlogs) and audio podcasts have taken over from text-based academic blogs in many cases. Where blogs are popular, a plethora of genres compete for attention, delivering popular interest, and providing political, newsy and promotional content.

Most online advice now about blog writing focusses on maximising the number of visits to the site, how to gain revenue through advertising delivered via the blog platform, how to grow product sales, and how to keep in touch with potential customers.

Thought space

Contrary to that approach, my site and many others operate within an academic model unencumbered by the need to maximize hits or sell product, though a blog does serve as a means of disseminating research and promoting research outputs.

For me, the main value of this blog is to keep up the regular practice of research writing and in manageable theme-based chunks. All content is indexed automatically which overcomes the difficulty of recalling every thought — from an archive of over 523 short essays, each averaging about 700 words.

Blogging provides a way of searching and recalling my own thought space. URL links to individual posts also provide a shorthand means of communicating with students. Blog posts refer to academic and popular literature sources. They also provides a medium for experimentation with video, audio and graphic content.

Trial and error

This blog is a public archive of my research findings and reflections drawn from philosophy, cultural theory and popular literature. I’ve tried to develop and trial new understandings of current affairs, architecture and digital technology.

Generating regular blog content has helped me develop material for 3 books since 2010, and provided a channel to revisit, review and update the content of previous publications. My recent books also refer to individual blog posts providing the reader with more detailed explanation and access to experiments.

The last few blogs have helped me develop ideas about cryptography and the city, and to experiment as I learn new techniques for processing information, and to keep intellectually alert during periods of government mandated social isolation.

See posts: Academic writing and publishing online; Written any good books lately?; Developing a publication strategy in the internet age; A word in your ear: Podcasting for introverts.

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