I'm an advanced PhD student and I've decided I want to make a professional website, including a research/analysis/commentary blog about my work and my field. I'm looking for general advice about the blog.
The professional website is a no-brainer as it will give me a place to host my CV and such, and I'm sure I can whip this up with Blogger on myname.com or something fairly quick. But I'm especially interested in writing more about my work, and about broader societal issues that I can comment on. My work is in the technology/environment/policy arena and there is a lot I can write about. I occasionally have things to say in my AskMe comments (e.g. 1
) which is along the lines of what I imagine doing in a slightly more formal sense, and looking at a broader range of issues, and perhaps responding to current events in my region that are close to my area of expertise.
Goals for doing this:
- Practice writing for a broader audience
- Encourage me to engage with relevant issues so that I have things to write about
- Help me develop research ideas that I haven't had time to explore which might lead to research projects down the line
- Give a favourable impression when Googled by prospective employers
- Get my name out there in my broader community of peers
Before I start writing articles, what do I need to know? What kind of audience should I be writing for? How frequently should I write? How detailed? How much effort is it worth putting into this, instead of my research, or instead of trying to submit articles to journals and magazines and such? Should I try to promote this, and how? Or will people just find it through Google if they look for it? Are there any risks I should think about in having my name attached to this stuff? How cautious should I be about taking a political position on policy issues -- should I try to maintain an objective science-based stance? Could there potentially be media interest if I write about something topical, and are things I should do to prepare for that in advance? Or maybe no-one will read this stuff and it's not worth the effort and I shouldn't worry? Any general tips?