Wednesday, 23 May 2012

A half century

Posted by Jean Adams

This is the fiftieth post on the Fuse blog. In the spirit of using arbitrary milestones as worthy of note, I will now take stock. No, not make stock, that would take much more in the way of root vegetables and animal carcasses than I have right now.

A cricket image  might have been better, but I don't get cricket
Over the last five months, we have had 49 posts, written by 14 authors, and more than 8000 page views (yeah, I wrote it that way because I know it doesn’t mean ‘more than 8000 readers’). There has also been a lot of #fuseblog twittering, coffee room chats, and (you surely didn’t think it could be any other way?) blog-related committee discussions.

I have enjoyed myself. I have learnt a bit about community and herding cats, I have made some real-life and virtual friends, I have enjoyed the discipline of having to write 500 words for public consumption every week, and I got some good marks for the two pieces of coursework that this blog has contributed to (you surely didn’t think I just did it for a laugh?). I think the other writers have enjoyed it too. Perhaps more so after I decided to stop taking it quite so seriously.

From all of this, I surmise that people value both reading and contributing to the blog. But I don’t have a clear view of who you are. You also seem to be discussing it in some forums. But you aren’t leaving comments on the blog itself. We have had a grand total of 32 comments posted, of which five were spam. So that’s 27 sensible comments. From 8000 reads.

So, I would now like to invite you to use the comment box below to post your thoughts on the blog so far. What sort of things do you like? What stuff would you rather we skipped? What would you like more of? Who are you? You don’t need to tell everyone your name, but what got you here? Why are you interested in this blog? What would make you more interested?

It isn’t that tricky. Depending on how you got to this page, you either start typing straight in the white box, or you need to click where is says “x comments” in orange at the bottom of the post to get the white box to appear. After unloading your thoughts, click on the “comment as” pull-down. If you know what any of the branded options mean, select one. If not, just chose Anonymous. Then do the ‘prove you’re not a robot’ thing and you’re done. I’ll get an email. If you haven’t used bad words or been horrible about one of my friends, I’ll approve your comment and you’ll be published.

That’s it. Easy.

And, just before you get to work: thanks. Thanks to the writers, the readers, the commenters, the RTers, the quiet guidance people, and the ranty ‘advice’ people. See you all again at the next arbitrary milestone.


  1. I think the blog is great for all sorts of reasons. It is interesting, Informative, often witty and offers a great opportunity for us to witter on about how our lives collide with our work. I hope that the process of writing and reading it will help foster shared understanding not just within academia, but also beyond. I'd like to see contributions from a wider variety of authors at all levels. I'd also like to see more blogs about the challenges of our research, not just the challenges of academia in general (amusing as those are)... Well done to all and keep it up.

  2. Well somebody has to be first...

    I came across the blog as I follow some of the authors on Twitter. It's been an interesting read - I think it captures the joys and frustrations of public health research very well. As a fellow blogger (albeit one with a rather smaller output) I think it's important that there are opportunities for people to talk about what they do (warts and all) in more than 140 characters.

    I look forward to seeing how the blog develops.

  3. I'm a fellow researcher in public health. I like the Fuse blog because you get to know the people writing it, and your blogs are often the kind of thing that is really interesting but wouldn't be in a conference presentation or paper - for instance, how to manage time, or the pro's and cons of being a generalist v a specialist. And the blog also seems to make the web site as a whole feel engaging and something that's alive, if that makes sense?

  4. Dot Newbury-Birch23 May 2012 at 18:07

    i came across the blog after being asked to write a blog and look forward to new posts daily. I too would like to see more authors at different points in their careers. It would also be good to get some practitioners points of views of working with us academics. Well done for keeping the momentum going and I hope to contribute more in the future.

  5. As a Funder of the initiative I like reading the blog as it often gives me a heads-up on interesting work to look out for, or people to contact for further information.

    Without wanting to seem like I'm spying(!) it's also interesting to read about researchers' frustrations and challenges in order to learn how we might make things more efficient or in some cases just more transparent.