A year of writing for @ConversationUK ...
Credit must go to my colleague Yijun Yu, we were hiding away in my office busy working on material for our imminent (at the time) digital forensics module. When an email came back with edits and suggestions for a discussion article on the search for MH370. Yijun already had success with his discussion piece on cloud computing as a search tool for locating lost aircraft.
More than happy to include me in the edits and use some of my technical knowledge, the article appeared that afternoon with some credit attributed to me.
What was interesting was the dashboard, tracking the readers, republication and comments. Up for a punt, I gave a couple of articles a quick bash ... one concerning the pointlessness of porn site licensing (where did that idea disappear?), another regarding Heartbleed.
I was bitten by the bug, I found that I could quickly pen responsive articles that seemed to engage non-technical and technical audiences alike.
Now, here I am a year later, with over 40 articles and passing 760,000+ readers and increasing. I have used some of the articles in my teaching and social media endeavours and have seen my social media profile improve. It is worth noting that some articles have been republished in some well known newspapers, and I have done a short slot on BBC Radio 4.
So, dear academic colleague, do not be scared it is worth giving it a try. You must persist and be prepared to pen many articles. Some will have greater success than others.