Saturday, August 20, 2005

Re-evaluating the mission of Harvard Extended

I've been thinking over the last few days about why I blog. In my very first post I talked about how this blog was meant to share information about the Harvard Extension School, and keep me motivated as I started my thesis. I would say that the blog has achieved its mission in these regards.

However, I've found that Harvard Extended had a couple of unanticipated effects as well. One is that it has really made me a faster writer, and given me a lot of freedom to expand my thoughts on various subjects. I knew how to write before, but often approached it as I would a student preparing academic papers, or a journalist approaching a reporting assigment, with careful planning and concern for how my professors and editors would react. Now I just fire up blogger, and start writing. It's a free-form structure that's not constrained by rules (other than my own), and it really gives me a lot of freedom to say what I want, how I want.

Another effect: it now serves as a global platform for me to ruminate upon Chinese history, journalism, society, the Harvard Extension School, and other areas of expertise or interest. It's like having an op-ed page all to myself.

A third effect: It allows me to be part of a much wider discussion about these topics. I get questions about the Extension School, and I am sometimes featured on Asiapundit, which finds my commentary on Chinese journalism and history to be worth sharing with a wider audience.

Of course, while unanticipated, these developments are certainly welcome. I have therefore decided to formally incorporate them into the mission of Harvard Extended.

5 comments:

Cybersam said...

Hi Ian, I read your blog from time to time. I like your writing style and find some of your articles insightful.

I agree with you on the free-form writing that blogs permit. After all, it's your blog; you make your own rules. Keep up the good work. ;-)

I Lamont said...

Hey Sam,

Thanks for the encouragement. Blogging has been an adventure and a great aid to my studies.

Ian

Anonymous said...

Great to hear that. I'm a journo myself and blog mostly because I enjoy the format. Though I was enjoying this under the original mission; seriously, reading about the developing content analysis on Xinhua was great.

I Lamont said...

Thanks Myrick, for your encouragement.

The Content Analysis discussion will continue. Right now I am concentrating on additional research, by boning up on foreign policy and other topics ... hence all of the recent book excerpts and commentary.

jcbmack said...

I find Chinese history fascinating myself. I am currently attending an online program, however, will soon be attending the Harvard Extension School in conjunction with my current scholl as well. I think to diversify my education as much as possible and to take my intellect as far as it will go is an imperative in this modern, global economy. On a final note, I also enjoy your wriitng.