chapter fiveHow to Blog about Your Findings

Nicole Levins

List of different communication mediums with the following highlighted: blogs, web features, data visualizations.

I will be honest with you, I am not going to read a 75-page report.

—Senior Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives(National Journal 2018)

Why do you conduct research? To satisfy personal or intellectual curiosity? To acquire fame and fortune? To get tenure? For many researchers, their ultimate aim is to influence decision-making or help inform public policy. To that end, it's unlikely that busy policymakers or thought leaders are going to read your 75-page research paper packed with equations and appendices. If that's the case, how do you get your message into the hands of those who can use it to make better policy decisions?

Meaty, in-depth research products will always have a place in professional communications. In fact, as discussed in the introduction and illustrated at the beginning of each chapter, those reports are the foundation for all your outreach. By distilling and repackaging the message, you can make your work more appealing to and digestible for broader audiences. In this chapter, you'll learn why blogging matters for communicating research, and what you need to know to get started.

What Is a Blog?

A blog (“weblog”; noun, archaic) is an online publication, updated regularly by one or more authors, or “bloggers.” What a blog covers depends on the blogger(s); it can be a source of original reporting ...

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