Speaking My Mind aka Publishing a Blog

Posted on January 19, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Going into my portfolio defense I will not have any professional publishing experience. I will however have spent countless hours working on this blog which in many ways has shaped my lens regarding the dissemination of information and will forever impact any future works I chose to publish.

The first thing that I’ve come away with is an understanding that the information I am trying to disperse and the audience I am trying to reach are key determinants of how I go about publishing information. I chose toblog because blogs are one of today’s most utilized technologies for sharing personal spins of various issues, in my case the CSSA competencies. I chose to blog because it offered my fairly limited audience, mainly my committee the opportunity to keep track of my progress and ask questions along the way. If I were trying to disperse information with more empirical evidence and theoretical support, such as a thesis, then I would need to chose a publishing venue that further validates the information being shared. I would also want the information to be visibly advertised to a larger audience through a scholarly journal, professional association newsletter, etc.

No matter what information I publish I know that I am ultimately responsible for the content and must be responsive to the reactions that people have to my work. Given the relatively low activity on my blog I have yet to be overloaded with reactions and subsequent needs to respond but it is always in the back of my mind. I must be able to back up my claims with evidence, whether based in science, theory, or personal experience and admit holes or areas of subjectivity when my work.

Another key thing that I have had to keep in mind when writing this blog are my relationships with the organizations, departments, offices, and programs that I have had a large impact on my learning throughout the past two years. I have adapted posts to maintain the confidentiality of people I have worked with and also made adaptions out of respect for the inner workings and complex circumstances I experienced within certain programs. I have had to determine what sensitive, personal information to share and rationalized my choices based on the amount of learning that I perceived would come out of sharing. I have considered how supervisors, colleagues, students, friends, and mentors would interpret the information I was sharing and how it might impact my future relationships with them. While these issues may or may not show up in my future publication decisions, my increased thoughtfulness will benefit me in many future endeavors.


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One Response to “Speaking My Mind aka Publishing a Blog”

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Regarding this comment from Scott “One thought from someone used to reading books and not blogs, is that the information in blogs is much easier to search for in many ways and is certainly healthier than printing a lot of paper. The downside is that it is tougher to evaluate. There isn’t a linier flow of information. It feels to me that I am missing pieces, even if I am not. The blog is also much more interactive. It is also harder to make simple typo/grammar changes from my end.”

First off all, I apologize for the typos. Some of them are a result of me using Internet Explorer instead of Firefox when I originally started out. Some words just get thrown together even though they look fine on my initial screen. I haven’t completely figured that one out. I also had some major programming errors trying to simply cut and past things from Word, which would have also reduced the typos. The other problem is something you mentioned and I agree with completely, it is much easier to proof-read something that is in print form. I’ve been battling my own need to proof-read with my want to help the environment for a while now and I’m sure the battle won’t be won anytime soon. If there is a typo that is truly horrendous and makes the passage completely null and void, please let me know and I’ll correct is ASAP.

As for the flow, I agree that the blog has less of it. I know that the paper would provide for more smooth transitions, but it would also insinuate that everything I learned happened in a timely fashion and eased from one subject right into another. The truth is I’ve been crisscrossing in and out of these competencies for so long now and I’m still not through! I think the blog, with its lack of flow and ability to go from one thought to another in no time at all represents the learning I’ve done here in CSSA. It might not be easy to explain, but I don’t think that true learning ever is.

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