Insights from a Blogging Professor

One of my old professors (and general Africa expert), Chris Blattman, just posted a blog entry entitled, “Is This My Final Blog Post?” (It marked his two-year “blogiversary,” so he re-evaluated his desire to continue posting.)  He has gathered quite an army of loyal readers over the past couple years and therefore the article title made a lot of couch-potatoes in the economic development community extremely anxious.

Long story short: it is not his final post and he’ll stay a popular guy on others’ blogrolls. While not terminating his blogging reign, the post did offer a lot of insight regarding the question, “Why Blog?” which I really like:

  • It’s fun. True academics like sharing ideas, hearing opposing views and telling their students they have a website.
  • It’s educational.  Writing on a regular basis makes the blogger have to stay up-to-date with other blogs and related news stories.  Furthermore, it requires careful reading, critical analysis, and overutilization of bullet points.
  • It’s a good notebook. A blog helps record all those great links you found on Twitter and insights you found on your Professor’s blog.  Two months later, I can look back on ideas, comments, or old news stories really easily.  Neato.
  • It keeps you accountable.  Blattman refers to readers “pounc[ing] on his logic” when it is weak.  I don’t think I’m at the point where the blog has a critical mass of followers to worry about pouncing.  Just knowing that these posts are publicly available, however, does make me a little more meticulous in getting my ideas down.  It also (hopefully) makes sure I regularly update this thing and therefore constantly develop my ideas on issues.

Hopefully, all these benefits will hold true with “Change for a Dollar.”  Looking forward to a bright blogging future and who knows, maybe a special blogiversary down the road.

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One Response to Insights from a Blogging Professor

  1. Akhila says:

    Hi Justin!

    I just stumbled across your blog from the Acumen Fund community. I’m a student blogging about similar issues, and I love your blog (and I’m also a political science senior)! You’re doing a great job so far and are writing about topics I always think about on my blog, as well. I’m subscribing.

    I love Chris Blattman’s blog though I’ve never met him – his blogging is inspiring me to approach some of my professors and try to get them blogging too. Haha.

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