Working in Public (as an Academic)

Alright! I’m just going to do it. I’m going to try out this working in public thing. This is the very first post of my journey along which I will be sharing ideas and things I learn about academia, technology, and other things. I’m excited that you’re here too.

The idea of “working in public” refers to openly sharing the process behind creating work, rather than just the finished product. Writers, artists, and other creatives often work in isolation, keeping their ideas and progress hidden until a final polished piece is ready for release. Similarly, as academics, we often focus purely on publishing final papers. But rarely do we provide a window into the winding process that produced those polished products.

Here I will explore “working in public” - sharing not just outputs, but the ideas, struggles, and wins throughout my academic journey, inviting you along for the ride. My goal is to document my experiences, unearth new insights through writing, and engage with you, the readers, to refine my thinking. This purpose goes beyond using a website for personal connection or professional branding. Thinking out loud socially, not alone, should improve the quality of my ideas. Explaining and maybe even getting feedback forces me to confront gaps in my understanding.

Overall, I’m aiming to create an online intellectual home, an idea greenhouse, optimised for thinking and creativity. That means carefully designing the space, tools, habits, and community that bring out interesting work (I’m sure there will be space in the future to write more about some if not all of these). This will most likely be an iterative process over many years, but I’m hoping that the payoff of enhanced abilities will make it worthwhile.

In future posts, you can expect:

  • Notes on research papers primarily about social aspects of technology from disciplines such as Information Systems and Organisation Studies.
  • Reviews of books I’m reading. I’ve actually been publishing these here already for a while.
  • Ideas that stand out on their own and that may eventually feed into research papers.
  • Technical posts about software development as an academic and what tools I find useful.
  • Curated content and links from elsewhere on the internet.

Ultimately, this blog represents a public idea repository - one that I believe will enhance my creativity and research. Putting fledgling thoughts out into the world accelerates their refinement. And sharing these ideas in public will uncover insights I’d likely never find in isolation.

This is Working in Public (as an Academic) by Julian Prester, posted on 25 Sep 2023.

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