Beki Grinter

Writing Blog Posts

In research, social media on June 24, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Recently I was asked about writing blog posts. I’ve written about some aspects of this before here and here. But I was asked for some more of the mechanics, so here they are…

I have approximately 30 draft posts that are in various states of draft. Some of them are almost finished and waiting to be published. And I am not alone in this. For example, I noticed somewhat recently, that Mark Guzdial is going away on a trip and has written some blog posts that he will, Internet connection permitting, publish while he’s traveling. I presume his reason is to maintain a consistency while he is unable to write a lot of posts. My reasons are less clear. I think I ought to be more regular in publishing content, but I am not. I am actually trying to batch some up to be published while I am in the UK. We’ll see if that happens though. (It did, but curiously this post was not among them…).

My drafts include a variety of materials. Some are extremely short, perhaps even just a link to an article that I want to write about when I have time. Some are based on an email I have sent, say to a student, and I think that perhaps the email might be useful for others. This type of draft involves taking the email and making it less wordy. I write very wordy emails. Actually, a lot of editing my drafts is de-wording them. I am a wordy person apparently.

The person who asked me saw me writing a post while I was at HCIC (the Human Computer Interaction Consortium). I actually find that writing posts related to ideas that come up at conferences to be very helpful in focusing my thoughts. This person may also have noticed that some remarks I made at HCIC were based on some blog posts I’ve previously written. I find the blog very useful for that. In fact, I checked my blog before making those remarks (I was invited to comment on a panel while at the conference so there was not a lot of time to prepare, luckily my blog helped me with that).

Conferences and academic meetings can be very inspirational. I have a series of posts that I wrote based on my attendance at Snowbird, and CHI gave me the idea for several posts too. And potentially a new blog theme, focused on sharing research instruments (a draft on that awaits publication). But I can’t usually get the piece into publishable form at the conference, so I tend to open a new draft and jot down my ideas. So, that’s the drafting process I use.

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