Why should a researcher blog?
I write my Vesiuutisvuoto-blog because I cannot afford not to.
Throw a wild guess what the marketing budget of our microenterprise is? As a hint I can reveal there are more than two but less than four numbers in the figure. We simply cannot afford advertising in the printed media. Blogging costs us nothing. Well it does, but working time doesn’t count for entrepreneurs. Actively sharing blog posts in social media takes you a long way in spreading the knowledge of your business and expertise.
In two weeks time I am going to have a lecture about blogging at the anniversary of the EnSTE (Finnish Doctoral Programme in Environmental Science and Technology). I’m flattered by this honour but also feeling a bit anxious as blogging is merely a hobby for me and definitely not my core business. To get the audience in the mood (and because the lecture is limited in time and I tend to talk a lot) here’s three reasons why YOU as a researcher should start blogging.
1. You need to practice writing popular science instead of academic one.
Scientific writing is part of researchers’ studies. The target group of those writings is narrow from a societal perspective. If you want to get your message through to a wider audience or let’s say, to the reader of your research fund application, you need to simplify and compress. It will hurt your academic ego to cut off important scientific details. Practice however makes perfect and you will also learn to live with this agony.
2. By writing yourself you ensure no-one is altering your message.
A journalist once told me that the most popular news in newspapers are the scientific ones. Subscribers are offered with what they want to read. Journalists write articles in industrial quantities and are not experts on every subject. Even if you would be interviewed for a story you never know in which shape and format it will finally come out. By doing all this by yourself you ensure the content remains as you want it to be.
3. A blog is a great marketing channel.
Most of you will not remain researchers forever. At some point in your career you might decide to apply for an industrial position. There are thousands of well qualified people planning the same. How to differentiate yourself from the crowd? Your list of publications might be impressive but a sure way to stand out in application process is to be able to say ”I am an active blogger and have hundreds of readers on daily basis. Check it out”.
Earlier I told I cannot afford not to blog. On top of that I have recently found myself to be slightly addicted to blogging. As an expert and an entrepreneur I feel the need not just to serve my customers but also to influence and develop the society the way I feel is right. Through my blog I can share what I have for all those interested. What a heartwarming feeling is it to hear a customer say ”a great thing you have going on there with your blog – love it!”.
Tämä blogikirjoituksen voi lukea suomeksi tästä.