My colleague Grainne Conole has started blogging recently. There is something about blogging, it becomes a sort of benign religion you want to convert others to, so I'm always really pleased to see someone else take to it. And Grainne really seems to be enjoying it, she seems to have 'got it' (whatever it is), straight away. It reminds me of when I was younger and a band was breaking, you'd want to press the information on everyone else. I remember this most specifically with the Stone Roses in 1989/90 - it was a real viral spread, you'd lend someone the album and they'd come back two days later with that converted look..
Anyway, Grainne has a good post on the nature of academic discourse, talking about the nature of journal articles, conference papers and blogs:
"So the function and nature of the three media seems to be:
- Academic paper: reporting of findings against a particular narrative, grounded in the literature and related work; style – formal, academic-speak
- Conference presentation: awareness raising of the work, posing questions and issues about the work, style – entertaining, visual, informal
- Blogging – snippets of the work, reflecting on particular issues, style – short, informal, reflective "
While I think this is true in general, increasingly I'm finding that I prefer the blog for all my output. I may have been over-converted.