This was the very provocative title of an article I found while browsing the internet. Jakob Nielsen argues that if you intend to ‘demonstrate world-class expertise, you should avoid quickly written, shallow posting’. Instead, you should invest your precious time in writing thorough, value-added content that attracts -for his audience- ‘paying customers’.
We, as academics being used to writing scientific journal articles and now running a new blog, could take this as a warning signal to not invest our time in writing blog posts. However, the longer I think about it, the more I become convinced that his story does not completely fit our blog. We do not write shallow blog posts but we try to provide a platform for serious discussion on a scientifically and societally relevant topic; Water Governance.
To be keeping the blog ‘alive’ it is sometimes argued that you should post regularly to generate frequently returning visitors. In this we did not succeed with a average posting rate of one blog per week, but I think we did succeed in writing readable quality blogs with added value. Not for 90 percent of all people, but they are not the point -as I quote Nielsen again- : ‘.. let them read Wikipedia.’
In academic terms we may not call our posts ‘articles’, but in the way Nielsen talks about it we certainly come closer to writing articles than quick and dirty blogs.
If you are up for it, and want to be motivated in writing blogs, please read Nielsen’s other internet articles as well, such as: ‘How Users Read on the Web‘.