The nice thing about a funded research project at a new university is the possibility of an exchange of experience with a whole new set of colleagues. So I am, for instance, learning that it is not everyone’s cup of tea to write blog posts about one’s research. I see the point, up to a certain level. There is surely no need to publish snippets of one’s first efforts, and only little need to communicate one’s mid-project struggles in any detailed way. At the moment, still in the middle of a mixed collecting and text-accumulating phase (and side-tracked, I admit, by some specialties of modern British life, such as recurring incorrect energy bills), I feel that it is not helpful for anyone if I publicize what I haven’t yet properly thought out. Otherwise, I find it totally excusable, even commendable, to blog about snippets, gems, side-thoughts or meta-musings that would otherwise find no real place in one’s work.
Whether to admit that good research takes time (as I did above) is something that should be withheld from the critical eyes of potential search committees (and hence not be blogged about), as people try telling me, is another matter. I am writing blog posts in order to demonstrate how my particular branch of the trade works for me. This can only be a good thing for the community. I would have liked to have access to similar resources when I was studying. One all-too-often thinks that the problems one encounters are exclusively one’s own. They’re not. (more…)