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Lock and Load

I’ve been running digital errands today, chasing up all the odds and ends that were put aside in the rush to finish writing a conference paper. People love to joke about procrastination and thesis writing (“my house has never been so clean since I started my PhD“) but I find the opposite during deadline season. When I really, really need to finish something, everything else (sleep, food, cleaning up the piles of mess on my desk) becomes a secondary concern. Now the deadline has passed, it’s time to spend a day putting my life back in order.

Today I’ve tidied up my Twitter lists a bit, as the torrent of new posts was becoming unmanageable. I tried using Lists to manage things, but the primary group still needs to be something that I can keep on top of… I don’t really want to scroll past 1200 items that have been posted overnight. I’ve dropped a few of the more prolific posters from the list, focussing on the people who add more value. That’s left me with a nice group of people from the #socialmelb community, some socialmedia/entrepreneurship folks, some qualitative research folks, and assorted other friends.

I also cleaned up Google Reader, putting the research blogs firmly at the top of the list. I’ve been a bit slack about reading these regularly, and have no excuses any more… long tram rides give me plenty of time to stay up to date on the iPad, and I can easily find all the things I want to read.

As you can probably see if you read this via WordPress, I’m much more active on Twitter than on this blog. I’d like to change that a bit this year – while Twitter is great for posting spur-of-the-moment thoughts and crowdsourcing ideas, it’s never going to be a medium that encourages reflective writing. With just under a year to go on my PhD, I need to get back into the habit of writing frequently. I’m far more comfortable as an unwriter and editor… Ideally, I’d like to start my thesis with too much content and pare it back from there.

So: Yvonne, consider the blogging challenge accepted 🙂 And modified a bit – I’m working fewer, longer days on my PhD at the moment, but I’ll still aim for three posts a week.

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  1. February 17, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Hooray Ben! If my short stint is anything to go by – it is great for general writing practice and provides an opportunity for analysis while writing! Also a great way of drawing out encouragement from friends and colleagues! And sometimes we need to be spurred on to overcome hurdles (be they real or in our minds).

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