I’m sure I had a good reason for volunteering that didn’t just involve putting it on my CV…
The ‘job’ is supposed to involve a number of tasks of which only one is checking the forums for inappropriate material. I should have been prepared to accept that in the world of academia simply monitoring colleagues for offensive material and looking out for spam and advertising would be too simple a prospect.
In fact the key part of the role will be stimulating discussion. That is, if I actually want them to give me any money for this I have to make a number of blog posts and actively comment on other people’s writing. I have been given some guidelines on good blogging (none of which I have consciously followed on this blog -which may explain my dearth of readers) and on the sort of references to the academic research community I should be making. Other than a commitment to actually writing on the boards on a regular basis this is not too tricky; in fact I think a little bit of discipline surrounding my thoughts on the research process and the rigours of part-time study might be a good stimulus to writing more of my thesis.
However, so far this particular venture has not generated much in the way of chatter. I am not sure that I am the person to encourage the flow of conversation and exchange of ideas in any environment, let alone one without any background noise to bounce off. Anyone have ideas about the sort of things that people might want to talk about or things to encourage people to be light-hearted and fun.
I think the experience will be good for me but it is a little daunting.