Blogging for Operations Research (and for fun!)


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Slides from a panel discussion on social networking and operations research at the 2011 INFORMS Annual Meeting

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Blogging for Operations Research (and for fun!)

  1. 1. Blogging forOperations Research …and for fun! Laura A. McLay Department of Statistics and Operations Research Virginia Commonwealth University
  2. 2. You know what a blog is, right? A blog (“weblog”) is a series of articles (“posts”)  akin to a journal  displayed in reverse chronological order Blog features  categories and tags  RSS (to access the blog in a reader)  Links to other sites (in posts or in a “blogroll”)  Widgets (twitter, tag clouds, recent comments, recent posts, etc.) Blog posts contain lots of information (as opposed to twitter) Blog posts are peer-reviewed if they allow comments Some people consider bloggers to be journalists
  3. 3. Reasons to blog Fame and fortune! (OK, probably not) It’s fun! It’s “just like writing academic papers, except with shorter words and a higher likelihood someone will actually read them” [Paul Rubin]
  4. 4. How to get started with blogging1. Come up with a theme and a snazzy name for your blog2. Create your blog3. Personalize your blog with widgets, etc.4. Maintain your blog*5. Publicize via twitter, Google+, FaceBook, etc. * This is the most important step (and the most work)
  5. 5. Best blogging sites
  6. 6. Open a account inseconds
  7. 7. Widget opportunities areendless
  8. 8. Punk Rock OR via the web
  9. 9. Punk Rock OR via a reader
  10. 10. What to blog about “Thoughts on the world of operations research” [Mike Trick’s blog] “Lessons learned and musing about software tools, software testing, computational experiments, optimization, operations research, and other interesting stuff that I run across...” [William E. Hart’s blog] “A mix of operations research items and software tricks that Ill probably forget if I dont write them down somewhere.” [Paul Rubin’s blog] “intersection of operations research and sustainability” [Ian Frommer’s blog] “Research, Education, Networks, and the World: A Female Professor Speaks” [Anna Nagurney’s blog] “Thoughts on business, engineering and higher education” [Aurelie Thiele’s blog]
  11. 11. You’re not tenured yet. Isn’t blogging careersuicide?  The short answer: No.  Blogging is fun. Assistant professors are sometimes allowed to have fun.  The blogging journey is the reward.  Blogging has broader impacts to society and to our field.  Blogging is the best social networking tool currently available, because it provides content that people are willing to read on their lunch break.  Time named bloggers the 2004 “People of the Year.”