Greetings from an hotel room in Munich. I cant not blog from here: I was hear to talk about this very blog at Weblogs in den Geisteswissenschaften at Die Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, today.
It was only a 20 minute paper, plus questions, looking at my personal experience of blogging, how this place has developed over time: for example how I used to post “cool stuff what I had found” online here, and now that stuff gets posted to twitter, and this blog is for more reflective content. I talked about the distinction between personal and professional, and where to draw the line at telling people things about your private life, which can be difficult sometimes. I talked about leaving yourself open to snark, and worse, trolls. I talked about developing confidence in this sphere. I talked about how I’ve been putting up little stories about my research, and the type of effect this has had on downloads of papers, etc. I talked about how you balance between the public outreach, and public engagement and actually sitting in front of your computer to get some, ya know, “real work” done. I talked about the reader stats of this little blog (about 100 readers a day now, when I havent posted anything new, and anything around 500 readers a day on the days I have posted something new). All backed up with slides of my previous content posted here. Fun, and some interesting discussions followed about whether we should be encouraging students to do this kind of thing, issues of self confidence in the blogosphere, why there arent more women academic bloggers, and so on and so on.
I then got interviewed for 30 minutes for a documentary for Austrian National Radio on blogging (which I wasn’t expecting) and for something for someone in Switzerland about Digital Humanities (I have no idea what that is even for, apparently they will email me) and then talked to Cornelius Puschmann for an hour about my blog, for his research – on the motivations of academic bloggers.
The whole day was very thought provoking: it has strengthened my belief in why I should bother/continue to keep up posting these random musings here, how beneficial it has been to my career (I met lots of people today who actually read my blog – that is why I was invited here!) and… well, it just allowed me to contextualise what I am up to a bit more, in my own head.
Its been a busy ten days. I should have four or five hours tomorrow in Munich before I have to head back to the airport, so I hope to see an exhibition, as a reward. I didnt even get to tell you about going to Paris on Monday, to keynote there. So in the past 10 days or so, I’ve keynoted in Edinburgh, Paris, and given this talk, as well as been in London for a day 8.30-7pm with meetings back to back, including examining a phd upgrade. Some of that has to wait for another day. Time to recharge, both my computer, and my own batteries. And tomorrow, time to go home. I’m not going anywhere else for three whole weeks!