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Friday, September 4, 2009

Changing the Blog Roll

It was about two and half years ago that I belatedly jumped on the blog bandwagon. I had resisted for a few years because I already had a perfectly serviceable website, but by the beginning of 2007 it was increasing apparent that if I wanted to continue to teach and research people's relationship with digital media and online content then I really should be one of the guinea pigs.

I've got a surprising amount out of it, from simply sharing fun stuff I've discovered online, or getting things off my chest, to developing ideas that are a bit to speculative for academic publication. I've discovered that for a professional academic a blog can fill the scholarly hole left by journal letters and other informal correspondence, it's a good lightweight way to get ideas out there and participate in community discussion that may or may not lead to a more formal publications.

It also turns out that it's a perfectly good way to put other types of occasional content onto the web without having to mess up a perfectly good site-map, although its a bit of a reality check that my Ticket to Ride map gets more monthly hits than my academic-style articles - even if you add them all together :-/

Old site design: Blogger

I chose Blogger out of laziness, and went with one of their standard templates, but it's been looking more and more tired, so this week I started having a play with the templates, and have redesigned the site using the SoulVision open source template and an icon set from WebTreats.

New site design: SoulVision

Twitter may have taken the place of short and pithy posts, but all things considered I've enjoyed being a blogging guinea pig, and I've had a lot of fun writing in a less formal style. Academic workshops, conferences and especially journals will continue to be the gold standard for new science and research, but there's a soft spot in my heart for the humble blog and the new voice that it can give to all of us.

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