Thoughts on the occasion of having written 100 posts

My first post was written and uploaded to this site on November 24th last year. I wrote about my interest in exploring the mental health system’s ‘wicked problems’, and drew attention to an article Michael Coffey and I had recently published in this area. In this, my 100th post, I want to think a little about what I have learned using a blog as a medium of communication.

As a mental health nurse academic my job involves researching and writing. I have wanted this site to be a vehicle for bringing some of this work to a wider audience. The main way I have gone about doing this has been to write posts to surround published articles, and where copyright makes this possible to add links to full-text green open access versions of papers stored on Cardiff University’s ORCA digital repository. The link above to Michael’s and my paper on wicked problems is an example. I’d like to think that this strategy has had some effect. As I wrote in this post last month, copies of papers I have deposited and then blogged about have been downloaded. By whom I cannot know. Nor can I be sure what use, if any, people have made of what they’ve read. If anyone wants to let me know, then that would be all to the good.

Over the last eight to nine months I have also learned that a blog needs looking after. So in addition to writing about research I have taken the opportunity to write generally about other things I do at work or am interested in, or about stuff which has simply caught my eye. My approach has been to write little, but to write often. I reflect that adding small pieces here and there has helped me in my teaching, as I noted earlier here. I also realise that in blogging beyond research I have blurred my boundaries somewhat, having added notes along the way about (for example) the simple pleasures of running. As an aside, I’ve been plagued by minor, but annoying, running-related injuries over the last few months and am missing my forest jaunts very much.

Just as a peer reviewed, published, article can be given a leg-up by a post on a blog, so too can a new blog be supported by a tweet. I have taken to using Twitter to draw attention to newly published posts, and indeed have started using this (sporadically, it has to be said) as another, independent, way of exchanging ideas.

That’ll do, for now. But I conclude that I’ll maintain this site in its small niche for a while longer yet.

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