Lilia Efimova‘s right: a lot of research bloggers don’t really use their blogs to document their research. We write around our “real” research”, yes, and blogging has definitely informed my research, and my research focus has changed through blogging, but I bet even those of you who read my blog regularly couldn’t really describe my “real research project” (my recently finished PhD thesis) based on the blog. Here are some of the reasons Lilia suggests for why we don’t do this, some other, possibly better reasons – and here is how she documented her writing of a paper she presented at BlogTalk. (via Henning, who was at BlogTalk)
I find that I blog thoughts that appear, as they appear, and through writing for immediate publication I think a lot more seriously about the thoughts than I would have otherwise. These initially loose thoughts very often lead to more research.
My PhD thesis, on the other hand, was supposedly planned from the start. Well, of course it wasn’t really, but the writing came from the other side, somehow: not chance thoughts caught in flight but large arguments and grappling with a field. When I wrote my thesis I tried to construct a cohesive whole whereas blogging is fragmentary and serial.