Using blogs to develop a personal learning network
Using Blogs to Develop a Personal
Amalia Cochran, MD, FACS, FCCM Burn Center at the University of Utah
Goals for the next 10 minutes
Explain the idea of blogs
Understand the spaces that blogs can occupy in
Recognize the value of personal learning networks
What is a blog?
Contraction of “Web log”
Almost ubiquitous presence on the internet
Can find blogs on almost any subject you are
“Spontaneous expression of instant thought.” -
Andrew Sullivan “Why I Blog” (The Atlantic,
Blog types in medicine
The personal…the professional…the personal AND professional
Personal Learning Network
Definition: An informal community that allows for
reflection and collaboration as a life-long learning
Blogs fill semisynchronous/asynchronous spaces
because they can be almost real time…or when you have
Using a blog effectively
Decide what your posting frequency is, then stick with it! Readers
won’t “attach” to you unless you do so.
Also…choose things that tend to be your “topics.” That also brings
reader loyalty and interest
It’s not a rant. Or if you do want to rant, find a way to make it
constructive/ thoughtful/ something others can learn from.
It can be a great extension of your academic work and persona.
Unlike your professional writing, this is a place where people can
really “hear” your voice.
Recognize your audience
Do NOT commit a HIPAA violation. Please. I beg you.
The Grandma C. Litmus Test: What would your Grandma
think if she read what you are sharing?
Recognize your responsibilities
PLNs are a two-way street; engage with your readers!
Recognize if you are going down the rabbit hole
See next slide…
Stages of PLNs
A closing thought
“Blogging, though, is where I have the most fun with [that] expertise,
and make it the most freely available. “- Rohan Maitzen, PhD