This is the first of what I hope will become a regular feature on the blog. I’m planning to interview other careers bloggers and see what makes them tick. In the first one however I’m going to interview myself on the basis that you probably shouldn’t ask other people to do what you won’t do yourself. I also thought it might be a good reflective moment as the blog has been going for about a year now.
If you would like me to interview you about your blog just email me or add a comment to this post.
AiCD: Introduce yourself
TH: I’m Tristram Hooley and I work at the University of Derby as the Head of the International Centre for Guidance Studies.
AiCD: Tell us about your blog.
I write the Adventures in Career Development blog. It is essentially a miscellaneous collection of my thoughts on various subjects related to my working life.
ACiD: What technology do you use?
The blog is on Posterous. I mainly update it from my desktop by email. Sometimes I’ll update using a Blackberry when I’m feeling that I’ve got something urgent to say.
AiCD: Why did you set it up?
I wanted to force myself to read and to write. I found that the constraints of writing academic publications and policy reports didn’t really allow me to experiment and say what I really thought. I wanted somewhere I could put my ideas before they had been signed off and peer reviewed until all of the edges were knocked off. I also wanted to build a bit of a profile – although that probably came a bit later. I remember the first time someone commented I was a bit shocked. Up until then I’d enjoyed the illusion of ranting in an empty room.
AiCD: What sort of things do you write about?
The blog is generally about stuff relating to my work. In the main this is about careers, but it also includes stuff about academic life, research methods and teaching etc. Probably the thing that people expect to see when they come to it is stuff about careers and technology as I write about that a lot. However I’ve made a real effort not to respond to what I think readers want and just to put out what interests me. I assume that most people ignore most of it and I just hope that some people like some of it.
AiCD: How often do you update?
At least once a week. Sometimes more. It depends on my work. I usually put presentations and sections from things that I’m currently writing up there, so if I’m having a creative week most of it will end up on the blog.
AiCD: Who do you think reads it?
A few people in the careers world. A few others in the Web 2.0/learning tech world. Other than that I don’t know. It is mainly people that I know in someway although I may never have actually met them face to face. I’ve just had a browse through some stats and it looks like an average post gets about 1000 postviews according to Posterous.
AiCD: What is it about you that makes you think people should pay attention to what you blog about?
Nothing really. I don’t expect people to read it, if they do it is their own fault really. I’ve worked in careers and skills in and around higher education for a while so that provides me with some experience that might be useful. However I treat the blog as a place to do my learning so you are more likely to read about what I don’t know about that what I do. I often use the blog to ask people to help me.
AiCD: What have been the best things about blogging so far?
Keeping the blog has been an amazing experience for me. It has improved my writing, made me more reflective, driven my professional development and enabled me to make contact with loads of interesting people. I’m almost at the point that I can’t imagine living without it.
AiCD: What are the downsides?
I have a constant blog running in my head. Everything I do I think – could I blog about this? Most of my ideas for posts never make it onto the blog for reasons of time.
AiCD: Do you think blogging will ever replace conventional careers advice/education?
Nope. But, I do think that it should be a mainstream part of every careers advisors practice. It frustrates me that it is seen as a weird leftfield add on when it is actually a great way to develop reflective professionals and for professionals to communicate with clients.
AiCD: What blogs do you read?
Careers in Theory http://careersintheory.wordpress.com/
Career Realism http://www.careerealism.com/
AiCD: Any final words?
Just a request for any careers bloggers to volunteer to be interviewed in a similar way.
Excellent interview! I especially liked the ‘Do you think blogging will ever replace conventional careers advice/education?’ question/answer. Looking forward to the next instalments…
Perhaps you should interview yourself. "What is it like to have greatness thrust upon you" – that sort of thing.