why i blog

I won’t post much during July, since I’ll be moving. In August/post-ASA, I’ll have some snappy stuff for you, like a book forum with Steve Teles, and reviews of books by Tina Fetner and Neil Gross. To tide you over, here’s a post on what I’ve learned since I’ve been an active blogger.

People often ask why I blog:

  • Blogging is a fun way to build a community. It’s an easy way to reach people with similar interests.
  • Blogging has low barriers to entry. All you need is an idea you want to talk about.
  • Blogging is useful. I’ve learned so much about by asking readers and other bloggers. It’s rare that I ask a question and not get at least the beginning of a good answer.
  • Blogging is good networking. You wouldn’t believe all the cool sociology people that I met through blogs. I don’t think I’d know the orgtheory crew, if I didn’t leave a comment on a post a few years back. The readers are equally cool, and one person has pointed me in some very fruitful professional directions.
  • Blogging is good mental health. Aside from keeping me connected, blogs can be fun. 
  • Blogging is great self-promotion. Long as you aren’t ridiculous about it, blogs can be a nice way to promote your work. I’ve gotten some really good media coverage because a journalist stumbled on this blog. I think some people bought my book because they saw it linked on the blog.
  • Blogging can make the world a better place, even if it’s just providing information. The Grad Skool Rulz has a fan base because it provides knowledge that people need, but isn’t yet out there in any systematic form.
  • Blogging is a memory aid. Harrison White recently compared blogs to index cards – a great comparison. A post may preserve a thought, idea or citation that may be useful later. And it’s easily recalled.

Cons? Honestly, not many. Some people may spend a lot of time on the blog, but I don’t. For me, most posts are meant as a fun, short term communication with readers. People spend more time on things like going to church, writing email, working out at the gym, or watching tv. I’ve found that the occasional negative is vastly outweighed by the community that’s attracted to a fun and academic blog.


Written by fabiorojas

July 1, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Posted in blogs, fabio

7 Responses

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  1. I had a post in the works on blogging as a second brain of sorts — I have now used this blog in just such fashion a dozen times when looking for research, clips, etc. I’ll be racking my brain, and then, think…right, didn’t I (or one of the others) blog about that?And, sure enough, a quick search of orgtheory gets me the answer. Quite helpful.



    July 2, 2008 at 5:36 am

  2. All good reasons Fabio. My initial purpose for starting this blog was to create a place for working through ideas that were in my mind, but the unintended consequences of blogging (e.g., networking, community-building) have been overwhelmingly positive.



    July 2, 2008 at 5:30 pm

  3. I blog to forget. No, wait. Never mind.



    July 2, 2008 at 7:11 pm

  4. I like your list very much. I agree with Brayden that a blog like this is a great place to flesh out ideas that have not fully crystalized.



    July 5, 2008 at 8:39 pm

  5. I have given several talks on this issue here in Taiwan where I have a mildly popular English blog ( I agree with all these points. Basically I think blogging is a great way to build networks with like-minded individuals. An informed and intelligent blogger can create change in the community by raising issues and shaping discourse. Plus, having a blog is a kind of credibility check — anyone can come to your blog and see that you are an informed and intelligent human being. I’m in total agreement with the index card idea — the blog will form an excellent basis for a book some day.



    Michael Turton

    July 27, 2008 at 12:43 am

  6. Turton´s blog contains discourse-shaping such as this:

    “Taiwanese parents also do not give their children the rich stimulation that middle-class parents overseas do, particularly with respect to outdoor activities. Taiwanese kids, especially outside of Taipei, do not read books, or play board games, nor are they given ‘dirty’ things to play with like markers and paper, clay, flour, sandboxes and so forth (because of the lack of things to do, mothers constantly complain that their children are uncontrollable. In reality, they are just bored.)”

    I will let interested parties count the number of generalisations in the above.



    July 28, 2008 at 12:36 am

  7. […] you go. Here is an older post on blog benefits. If you have other questions, or “how to” ideas, drop them in the comments. Possibly […]


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