Monday, August 08, 2005

To write, or not to write: that is the question:

I am talking about writing blogs, and the answer to that question is the same as what the Cheshire cat told Alice in the wonderland: "it depends a good deal where you want to get to". Abi in some of his posts has discussed the perils of blogging and the reasons why academics blog: in the most recent piece in the series, he gives a few examples of people who lost their jobs thanks to their blogging activities and ends his piece with two suggestions, viz., do not volunteer information that you wouldn't in a personal interview, and, do not say vile things about your colleagues and workplace. And, these two suggestions of Abi find their echo in an article titled Blogging as a social activity, or, would you let 900 million people read your diary? published by Nardi, Schiano, and Gumbrecht in the Proceedings of the 2004 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work. This paper, by analysing the language used in blogs, and the reasons why people blog, establishes that blogging is indeed a social activity: it goes on to list some of the motivations behind blogging - (among other things) to let people know about your activities and whereabouts, to express opinions and influence others, to seek others' opinions and feedback, to clear one's thinking, and to release emotional tension. So, if the reasons for your blogging is the last, you have to be more careful (and, probably, think of keeping a journal/diary instead of a blog): otherwise, blogging is the way you ought to go from here!

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