Is Twitter killing my Blog?

Writer’s Block is a real illness. It is! That feeling when you want to punch a wall and hopefully the words will flow, with the blood and plaster flakes and swearing! But it doesn’t really work that way…poor knuckles could have done with that information up front! If only the thesis subject were a little more accessible, but then again that’s why I chose to break ground by talking about the Auxiliaries!

So if violence doesn’t bring forth the creativity, what does? Other creativity? I’ve almost finished the garage tool racks. The spuds, beetroot and onions are all taking care of themselves. The lawn is mowed….hmmm. Painting or Photography? I feel guilty for taking time away from the frustration! That’s irony for you now!

Writing for me is like exercise; the more you do, the more likely you are to do. So then armed with this information I d decided to attend a social media workshop given by the Irish Association of Professional Historians (IAPH). The speakers made an awful lot of sense really. The gist I came away with was that one should use the shorter messaging/less heavy sites to direct interest to your more detailed research activities, e.g. using Twitter or Instagram to direct attention to musings and papers on WordPress, or LinkedIn.

Or so the theory goes at least. What I am finding out is that the short tweets, 140 characters long, are quite time consuming. Or rather, to maintain the frequency (once a day) and avoid repetition, my tweeting (I still ruefully shake my head at such language) habits take a considerable bite out of my waking hours!

Even with the use of a tweet scheduler like Hootsuite, that allows me to plan and pre-schedule my tweets for the week or month in advance, I am finding that the constant need for publicity, dare I say adulation, is quite tiring! This over use of one medium, ironically to promote another, seems to be reducing my inclination to write my blog, which was the reason twitter came onto the scene in the first place!

My blog is the bread and butter. It showcases my thinking and interesting tidbits of information that I hope will keep those of you interested in policing, mil-social history and the Auxiliary Division of the RIC, interested and up to date with my research activities. It allows me to test out ideas for chapters and essays and is a great forum to engage. But by posting links to ideas and stories on twitter, I often find that some of my best longer concepts and areas that could do with some accompanying discussion, are often short changed and you the reader loses out as well.

So in short, this is an announcement. I resolve to leave the thesis a little, to leave the tweets take care of themselves a bit and to blog a lot more! Life was good to me with the blog, bringing me followers and work and its time to return some love to the blogosphere!

About eamonntgardiner

Dr. Eamonn T. Gardiner, is a Consulting Historian. He has previously conducted research into links between wartime traumatic-neurosis and evidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) amongst veterans of the First World War serving as Auxiliary Policemen, during the Anglo-Irish War 1919-1921. He has written extensively on British central and colonial administrative responses to popular insurgencies. In 2009 he published 'Counterinsurgency and Conflict: Dublin Castle and the Anglo-Irish War (CSP, 2009).' Published papers include; 'The training of the Irish Volunteers, 1913-1916' (The Irish Sword, 2017); 'Scattered, Ambushed and Laid Out: War and Counterinsurgency in the greater Tuam area, 1919-1921' (JOTS, 2015). Research interests include De-Colonialisation/Post-Colonialism; Insurgency, Police/Military Histories; Institutional Histories; Modern Irish/World History; History of Conflict, Protectorates and Peace-Keeping; Hegemony; Old and New Terrorism.
This entry was posted in Auxiliary Division, discussion, Historian, Historiography, Learning, Narrative, Social Media, Thesis, twitter, WordPress, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Is Twitter killing my Blog?

  1. Mixed Messages says:

    My blog posts are in no way academic and generally are not very long.

    I was generally a daily blogger. I joined Twitter before Christmas and can so relate to your post.

    The traffic to the blog has definitely increased but the time monitoring Twitter has eaten into that time that was used for blog posts – so some days are missed and there are so many posts that did not develop beyond the idea stage. This would have happened before to same extent.

    There is a definite buzz in both responses to blog and Twitter exchange. Neither bring work (or gain) so I do not have that consideration but you have certainly identified and summarised something that has floating upstairs.

    I may need to re-assess the Twitter-Blog balance for the residue after allocation of Work-Life.


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