Nowadays academic and scientific blogs are becoming more and more popular. For example, The Thesis Whisperer by Dr. Inger Mewburn reaches over 80k subscribers, and even journals like Nature now offer scientists to share their career stories in Career Columns.
But, as PhD students, why undertaking this path?
Blogging is a unique communication experience through which you can acquire various and valuable transferable skills to carry with you, no matter where your career brings you!
Blogging is a way to:
- Figure out your own communication style, beyond academic writing;
- Develop your critical thinking by writing on subject you care about;
- Make yourself visible and develop your online image;
- Find and develop your community, your network;
- Develop valuable technical skills linked to website management and social media use.
How to get started? Let's do it together!
In this workshop, you will have the opportunity to reflect on your blog's purpose, to identify your audience, and to define the subject(s) which you want to write about. You will be invited to work on a short "about me" page, just like a pitch of yourself.
We will discuss best practices concerning posts' style, length, tone, and the use of particular media such as pictures, GIF, emoji. Some practical tips about self-organization to help you commit to regular posting will also be addressed.
The format will be very practical and interactive: together we will set yourself a free blog on WordPress.com! We will also discuss online visibility and the use of social media like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
NB: no matter on which subject you would like to blog about you are welcome to this workshop!
That being said, blogging about your PhD research is a great way to take a step back and take a different, less formal, approach to it. You might get new ideas and could use it to get in contact with other researchers in your area.
At the end of this workshop you will be able to:
- Identify some good practices for blogging and regular posting.
- Identify your purpose and audience.
- Get an overview of technical tools available.
- Set up your free WordPress.com blog.
- Publish your "about me" page, or your first blog post if you feel ready for it!
All students should come with their personal laptop.
Please note that a two-hours preparatory work is required. You should have:
- A name for your blog,
- An idea of the subject(s) you want to address,
- A first draft of your "about me" page.
CUSO will provide you with further details four weeks before the workshop.
Date: Monday, 11th May 2020
Schedule: from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Place: University of Lausanne
Dr Pauline Fritsch graduated with a PhD in biology from the University of Fribourg during which she got actively involved in CUSO's transferable skills program, in particular to develop her communication skills. After graduation and while traveling for 18 months in Asia, she launched her professional blog academiac.net in 2018. Before this, Pauline has been using WordPress since 2012 for private traveling blogs.
On academiac.net, she is writing for the PhD students community on subjects like soft skills and career development. She has been exploring different blog post styles, from reflective pieces to resources and scientific article summary. Using her blog for networking, she is now setting foot in the community of professional in doctoral education in Switzerland. She is currently coordinating the Doctoral Program in Organismal Biology at the University of Neuchâtel.