Blogging: Why I Keep a Research Blog

A fascinating read from a mathematician!

By highlighting the contextual aspect of the papers in a readable format, helps to deliver meaning quickly. However, there has to be a workflow (and a network effect of the community) to surface content quickly.

What does this have to do with blogging? Blogging is a public act. Anyone can read this. When I write a blog post, I imagine my supervisor, a respected colleague, or a future employer reading my explanation. These imagined readers force me to ask myself honestly if I understand what I am writing. How do I know when a post is done? I write until I stop having significant questions, until my imaginary audience stop raising their hands. The end result is that writing forces me to acknowledge and then work through my confusion.

In my mind, the writing style of scientific papers inadvertently contributes to the problem of jargon abuse because it is designed to highlight and convey novelty; any concept that is not a main contribution may be cited and then taken as a given. A novice might mistake this writing style for how a scientist should actually think or speak. Summarizing a paper in your own words restructures the content to focus on learning rather than novelty.

Blogging isn’t a “tough act” but is an immensely rewarding act. It helps to focus on specifics quickly in other domains of activity. I’d say, that it is the most effective methodology of “deep-learning”.

 

via Why I Keep a Research Blog