People often probably wonder why I write an academic blog(s). The main reason is because I enjoy writing and I enjoy writing things people will read. Why not concentrate on one blog? That’s mostly because it’s hard to have one blog dedicated to so many of my interests. People who read about programming may not be interested in photography, and vice versa. My interests in photography outweigh the digital side, hence why I calved off the new blog (Crafting Pixels). But mostly blogging provides a creative outlet – something academic writing on the whole does not. Blogging also reaches far beyond the small audience of academe. Students are more likely to read a blog, than an academic paper. Unlike the early computing journals, which contained extremely readable articles, many academic journals have become somewhat stuffy – unreadable is the word most associated with some of these articles. On the flip side textbooks are overly expensive bohemoths. Blogging is an outlet. It’s a way of healing. It makes me feel good inside the way that academia just doesn’t anymore. I like blogging articles, I am beginning to dislike the palide world of academia. But I do like teaching people and that’s what really pushes this blog along.
Does academia value blogging? I don’t know. It is far from the traditional way of deciphering information in conferences and journals. Is it useful? Most certainly. Is it stately and does it get citations? Likely not. But this is the age of information, and is it not better to published work in a medium accessible to all? It is 2019, not 1969, and the way the world works has changed… for the better in terms of people’s access to information. People on YouTube and bloggers, Instagram influencers make much more of an impact on society than any academic journal ever will. Blogging is a means of reaching a much broader audience than is possible with traditional means.
This blog has become more than just about programming, and that’s okay as well. If it were just about programming that would likely get boring. But blogging isn’t easy because you have to somehow maintain a certain frequency of publishing. Maybe in the age of social media like Instagram and YouTube it isn’t even important any more – but both Instagram and YouTube are visual, and not often the best medium for describing things. Showing things yes, and I do Instagram, just not computing related stuff. Making videos is a whole other league, and frankly other people do it better. There is a place for blogging, as it is a means of providing information on things that just aren’t readily available anywhere – like weird algorithms. For me, the writing I do on my blog tends to feed my other writing, which mostly exists as books.