Monday, 10 March 2008

Criteria for my blog

I realised that I haven't actually documented anywhere who this blog is aimed at, or how I am going to use it. So here is a retrospective look at how I've been writing the blog content:

Who is the audience
Primarily the audience is mostly intended to be myself; I am treating the blog as a 'dumping ground' for the thoughts and reflections that I would normally record on paper or just in my head. Other people that I think may read the blog are other people in the advanced technical communications course. I doubt anyone else will stumble upon it: in particular although I have told my supervisor about it, I wouldn't think he would have the time to read through it, and I'm not expecting him to. So I am really writing this blog as a personal reflection but making the contents public for the benefit of the ATC course.

What tone will I adopt
In keeping with the above point, I have mostly used quite a conversational and informal tone. If I am mostly communicating my thoughts, then I don't want to rephrase them in more formal language, but to keep them as raw thoughts. I have, in an earlier entry, practised some more formal writing, which was very useful for formulating my abstract for my voice separation paper. But I have quite a few outlets for formal writing this term - papers and funding applications - and wanted to keep this relatively informal.

What types of content will I write about
In addition to the required entries, which I have been considering the content for over the last week, I have used this blog to 'dump' my thoughts and self-reflections/organisations in, as I mention above. I do this to some extent on paper in a notebook I keep on my DPhil, but for this term I decided to try and use the blog for this. It has been relatively useful, however I can't bring this blog to lectures and talks in the same way as I can bring a notebook (not without a laptop anyway).
One way this blog has been useful is that I can always access the content anywhere there is a computer,rather than having to have the notebook physically with me. Of course with this there is the proviso that I need to have a computer nearby, attached to the internet...

To what extent do I want to engage with a peer community
I assume this refers to this blog in particular, i.e. to what extent do I want this blog to be a point of interaction with a peer community. I have little objection to the contents of this blog being in the public domain in general (although I'm not sure I will keep the entries online about where I have put down my reactions to other people's papers - they are by no means a considered and well-founded reaction to the papers' content but just my reactions after a few sweeps of the paper, on what I think is the general gist of the paper).

I don't think that an academic peer community would be particularly interested in this blog's comments, however, as it is written as a personal reflection of what I've been up to this term rather than providing any academic contribution. I have my personal and Sussex website up for providing information about me to the academic peer community I am hoping to be considered part of - hopefully those sites do a much better job of this than this blog does.

The only peer community that might be interested to a small degree in the blog contents are other DPhil students, and ATC students (MSc and DPhil), to compare with their own personal reflections. However, as I say, this blog is very much for personal critical reflection and thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. Looking back now, I'm not sure I still agree that this blog is really just for personal reflection, and that I wouldn't want to keep the paper reviews etc online. I think now I'm more happy for other people to (potentially) see my thoughts about various academic pieces, and to respond if they feel they would like to. Perhaps that's as a result of going to some conferences this year and being more confident about the worth of my own academic opinions, now that e.g. I have some peer-reviewed publications.