I have been blogging for 4,5 years now and consider blog to an embedded part of my day as an academic librarian. Whenever I have something to share, either tips on good books, experiences I have had during my day in the library or I have an opinion on something in the library community, I blog about it. I see this sharing as a natural part of being a professional. After all, libraries are about sharing knowledge and librarians are the facilitators for this culture.
Firstly, I write to learn. I think that once I have to put something down on my blog, I have to think through my ideas. And maybe this way, many of the ideas I get can actually become real projects or be turned into a more serious study. I doubt that they would have if they were just random ideas in my head. That being said, I find it very important to think while I write and not just before. I don`t write an article in Word and then post it to my blog. My blog needs to be authentic and a little spontanious. And maybe some of my ideas are unfinished when I start to write. Somehow, they become clearer to me while I write about them.
Secondly, if someone actually takes the time to read (and even comment) on my blog, that`s nice and helps me to think more, but I write for myself first and foremost. So if anyone can use my blog posts or get new ideas, that`s a very nice bonus.
Now, of course.. I`m not a scientist, so my results, ideas and so on are not something I will later try to “patent” as my own. I can understand why some scientists keep their results and research papers very close and secret until publishing it. It is the way the printed world of academia has worked for a very, very long time. Maybe it`s time to change that? Maybe it`s time to see that what I know can be worth twice as much or more if I share more openly? I don`t have all the answers to every potential problem with a more open culture within the academic world, but I would love to see more scientists blog about their research. That way, I could not only learn new things, but as a librarian I could give better services to our scientists if I only knew what they were doing..