Saturday, June 23, 2012

why (I'm still) blogging a phd

It puts me into a conversation- with myself and with others.
In many ways its similar to why write but there are some differences also.
I might have journalled: pen to paper... but i choose this medium because of its capacity for more:
1. My blog has the capacity to link- temporally and spatially. Hyperlinking past with present, spanning distance whether local or global, but it also a space where difference and similarity can be accessed at the touch of a button. Its a space for weaving; for networking in a Latourian sense.
2. My blog connects me with people i might never get to converse with otherwise. >I live in New Zealand, travel to conferences is extremely expensive. Blogging democratizes voice somewhat: When i respond to an article and the author of said article comes on my blog to further the conversation i am engaged with a community of thinkers otherwise denied me (see for example For all the reasons espoused by Pat Thomson expands on in her blog of why phd students should be funded to attend conferences
, sometimes blogging is as close as i can get.
Blogging expands my literacy: A digital literacy in the sense that Lankshear and Knowbel describe in that my engagement mediated here privileges participation over publishing. And a space for relationship- having a place from which to be, to stand and to speak as it were: these are my connections/ this is me. Blogging provides me with Turangawaewae (a NZ Maori word that allows me to claim lineage, and voice, and a right to be heard. My identity is formed here.
3. My blog is a space for thoughtfulness, a playful space where the thoughts of a moment are being spun in the writing. Its the antecedent step to my more academic publishing self.
4. My blog is also a space where my emotional life as an academic can also be held. I have engaged in this space with not only my intellect but with my soul and have found support for vulnerability and compassion and affirmation to be extended. (for example This is about a deliberate endeavour to see and to add to a space for meeting the very human needs of connecting, of love and belonging as well as actualizing
5. Being beyond a textual form it's a space for creative engagement prompting the juxtapositioning of words and text; a space for allegory.
6. And because my phd is about change and the performances associated with emergent technologies, blogging provides an insider experience.

In more concrete and practical applications:
7. Blogging has enabled my co-presenting in an international forum (see for example V
8. It provides me links to otherwise unknown of resources because people here in a blogging world share; its what they do. Expertise and knowledge get held in the connections. A radical shift in how learning might be contained not so much individually but distributed.
9. I believe it was a significant factor in my last promotion- providing novel evidence of impact factor and of scholarship activities. To be cited, i need to be situated and sighted, and being cited is a power base in academia.

An addition:
It was also a space for finding my own voice.
In followinn in my child's footsteps i treated it as a fanfiction/fanfact space. Here i wrote as if writing a further chapter for Sherry Turkle's book Evocative objects; Things we think with.

Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2007). Researching new literacies: Web 2.0 practices and insider perspectives. E-Learning and Digital Media, 4(3), 224-240. Retrieved from doi:10.2304/elea.2007.4.3.224
Latour, B. (2011). Networks, societies, spheres: Reflections of an actor-network theorist. International Journal of Communication, 5, 796-810.


  1. Hear, hear! useful reflections..

  2. Hear, hear! useful reflections..

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