I love blogging. I am someone who deals better with externalizing their thoughts (which is, FYI, not entirely an extrovert, although so often confused with). It also helps me keep in touch with the wake dear friends and surrogate family I have left strewn across three continents. And, while we are talking about the vagaries of academia – in that rejection filled world, I love the validation I get from my blog. I love it when people link to my blog to recommend help, when I get new followers, when people at academic conferences tell me that they follow my blog.
However, a few months ago I began to think about the effects of having people in study section read my blog. There is nothing in my blog that I wouldn’t openly discuss in person, and even openly discuss in a work setting. I am happy with, and quite vocal about: my feminism, my social liberalism but fiscal conservatism, that I am a Christian but that I find the decisions to make laws based on someone’s interpretation of the Bible borderline abhorrent, that I am a Mom and that I love being a Mom, that I run and bake and craft and that I suspect Pretty Little Liars may be one of the greatest TV achievements to date (<—- only slightly sarcastic). People who meet me, and invite these conversations will know this. However, they will also (hopefully) know me for my Science and engage with me in intellectual discussions. What is someone in study section thinks ‘Who is this Lekki?” and googles me? I am not sure that the search results I want are what is popping up. I am pretty sure that this (the third image in the search) is not I want associated with my (good?) name:
So, yes, there is some Science and some professional shots, but there are also some very tempting personal stuff for the reviewer stuck on a long journey to NIH. It’s not that I am ashamed or secretive about anything here, it is more that I don’t want this blog forefront in Scientific reviews.
It put me off. But I didn’t know what to do; the idea of deleting my blog was emotionally really difficult. It is a record of my move to the US, the wedding, the birth of my first child. It is also a record of how I have grown and changed over the last years. And my followers! It is not great shakes in the blogging world, and it is not going to earn me any money (nor do I particularly want it to) but I have over 300 followers, which I kinda love. Especially when people I meet go ‘Oh! I read your blog’ (<— best feeling ever!).
But equally, suddenly feeling that my work could be affected by my blog was very paralyzing. It is hard to write when you picture the Chair of your Department scowling over your work (OK, my Chair does not know about this blog. But, you get the picture). So, in some way, the blog had to go. No point in having a blog you don’t write in. So, I have imported my blog to an anonymous blog here:
In a few days, I will delete all my personal posts from this page, and just leave up the work related ones. I decided to do this because I have a number of University websites that link to this blog, and I don’t want to mess up their links (or other with expensive wordpress redirects).
So, with some weird sadness, I will stop blogging here and move over to A Scientists Life. The goal is not to be anonymous there, just not to have direct links to my name so that if you google me, it is not high up in the links (I know it will take Google’s spiders a while to catch up with that, and that is OK).
The new blog is still a work in progress; I have not sorted out the background and pictures, and so on. I also have a long climb ahead of me to build up the same following, so please consider following me if you are interested in my personal stuff (Mum, I’m looking at you). Sam growing up, my fitness efforts, crafts, recipes, random thoughts etc. NB: I have no idea *who* follows me, just the number of people who do. Please continuing following here if you are interested in posts related to academia.
It’s kinda sad, but it is probably the smart thing to do.