It took me a while to write this post. I spent a considerable amount of time reading up on how to start a blog, figuring out the technical aspects of deciding between different providers (Blogger or Wordpress) and choosing a domain name. Then I went on to read about the characteristics of good blogs, the relationships between academics and the public, and explored several blogs written by academics in my field and outside. Eventually, after many forays down these interesting but unproductive byways, I reached the conclusion that I was going about it all wrong. The problem was that instead of just writing, I was approaching the blog as an academic problem, the way I would go about writing an article to be submitted for peer-review somewhere. Where is the data, I was asking? How do I interpret this data? What does the literature say? What do other academics say and do?