Q&A: the art of academic blogging

Amy Genders at Cardiff University recently interviewed Kip Jones to find out more about how he uses social media to share his research and his advice for other academics who want to try their hand at blogging.

Q: You have created quite a prolific online presence with regular blog updates and use of Facebook and Twitter to share your research. Why is this important to you?

Facing our fear of the future… to embrace it

Exploring future lifestyles or professional options with disabled people and their families is a creative process – albeit often in an unfamiliar territory. Too many people feel ‘stuck’ and don’t dare dreaming about a meaningful future for a disabled loved one. So they organise carers who focus on solving the problems of day-to-day living. 

Crossroads often force us to plan – like when leaving a service or joining a personal budget-type scheme. However the most common emotion around change is fear. 

…… and my next question is!!

I went for a cliffhanger approach at the end of my last Creative Bite when the first question was "Is there time to be creative?" My argument was that there was a lot that we could do to create time through collaboration and sharing. When I reflected on the examples that there were of this, it made me think about another question, which is why we seem so ready to accept activity as a substitute for action?

My Home Life Scotland

My Home Life (MHL) was originally a project set up in 2006 by the National Care Forum (an organisation that represents not-for-profit care homes) and Help the Aged. It was established to promote quality of life for those living, dying, visiting and working in care homes for older people through relationship-centred and evidence based practice. MHL has evolved into a collaborative movement of people across the UK.

HTML - a tool for creativity

Recently I had the opportunity to try Paperlater a new service from the smart people at Newspaper Club.  It's a service that enables you to take web pages you’ve been meaning to read and collect them into your own personalised newspaper with little more than a single click (or email if you like).  When you have enough pages hit the order button and your issue is then printed & delivered for £4.99

Are you thinking with your hands?

“We have to understand that the world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is more important than the eye…The hand is the cutting edge of the mind.”

(Bronowski, 1973)

We’ve been running some design thinking ‘crash courses’ over the summer.

The ‘crash course’ is a short, hands-on, introduction to the design process – developed by the d School at Stanford University. In pairs, we take a real-world problem and come up with some solutions. In 90 minutes.

A different way of doing things

The first thing I learnt having a significant life long impairment is that to succeed in the world as a credible disability consultant and activist is that I had to do things differently to make the most of my situation. Time, energy and of course money are the three things in my life I never have enough of and therefore I have needed to find often creative ways to use these resources as effectively as I can.

Time to get rid of the forms

Good assessment of someone's care and support needs to start from a blank sheet of paper. This is a notion that has the power to strike terror into hearts of seasoned professionals - or does it?

When one of organisations I've been working with decided to experiment with blank sheet assessments there was an uproar, as some people saw it as reducing their professionalism.

Six months on and moving away from ' boxed in' assessments has allowed people to use their creativity and be creative in finding solutions to the care and support issues people were presenting.

The power of asking

Through the very act of asking people, I’d connected with them, and when you connect with them, people want to help you.

This quote comes from a brilliant TED talk by the musician Amanda Palmer called ‘The Art of Asking’. It’s only 15 minutes long and well worth a watch:

Enterprise Social Networks

The term 'Enterprise Social Network' is getting bandied about quite a lot of late. It sounds a bit techie, but it's really not. Enterprise Social Network (ESN) is a term that emcompasses social networking tools and software, some of which are used internally in organisations such as Sharepoint. However, ESNs also include the new wave of public social networking websites that allow people to connect, collaborate and share information on subjects of interest. Yammer and Socialcast are two popular examples. These websites can facilitate groups both within and outwith organisations.