I started blogging 18 months ago. I started because as Seth Godin says, blogging forces you to be “part of the conversation.” We sit in our offices reading stuff, maybe talking about it with a colleague or partner, but blogging allows the discussion to go alot further. It means you have to stick your head above the parapet and engage.
Although I write with personal views, as a civil servant I have to be extra careful to stick to the facts, which is a good discipline. Sometimes there is room for irony and humour too.
The benefit of blogging has been twofold. Firstly it forces me to articulate arguments around what I can read, to condense and synthesize. It makes me a better writer. Secondly through sharing ideas and experiences on the blog I have made new contacts and accessed new networks.
In 2013, the most visited post was about whether UN officials should continue with the privilege to fly business class: Flying business class greater carbon footprint than economy travel.
My favorite posts since I started mid-2012 are:
On climate change:
When I spoke at my son’s class on climate change: Children bearing “much reality” on climate change
Should we stop flying for work? Should I stay or should I go now
Improving comms on climate change: Lady Gaga, Prince Charles and climate change
On biodiversity and agriculture
No stopping deforestation: Illegal logging in Madagascar
The best academic discipline: Agricultural economics rocks
Taking roads for granted: Why bridges matter to food markets
From the forest: The sound of lemurs
Market approaches to conservation needed: Using rhino horn income to protect the species
The snake skin business, Gucci and CSR: python skin trade and corporate social responsibility
Successful Geneva-based environmentalist (and cricketer): Interview with Scott Poynton, Tropical Timber Trust
On Aid for Trade
Talking gobbledidgook in the aid business: De-leveraging jargon in the aid business
Improving measurement of results from aid for trade: Aid for Trade for exporting companies