Document what you do, keep a public profile of your activities. A realistic profile, not advertising hype. I would recommend Google sites as a great starting point, (instead of a blog). http://sites.google.com
For Undergrad students: this is useful for when they go for job interviews:
"What have you done other than get good marks in all the standard subjects ?"
"Well Sir/M'am, if you care to look at www.mystudentwork.com you'll see my final year project, my third year powersupply design. On my blog site at www.studentsFavHobby.blogspot.com you'll see what I do in my spare time."
Now it's important that this site is NOT thrown together in a huge mess in a week or so. It is important that it has grown over years. That it is genuine.
If you've been asked to help out Open-Day at your University, why not make the best of it and see it as an opportunity ? http://haikoteaching.blogspot.com/2010/07/making-best-of-it.html
My favourite grumpy old man has just taken this idea a few order or magnitude further:
----------- I quote from his blog: ------------
Students who are "with it" will understand this.
For academics and professionals:
The same applies.
The inspiration for this came from seeing a well known figure in Engineering Education Richard Felder, put his wisdom and ideas publicly online:
It was Felder who gave me the key idea to build up my own profile on the web. I realized that any employer's site was subject to that employer and if you move on most of the material gets binned.
Hence the idea of making it accessible to all. Hence THIS blog you are reading now.
For Researchers, PhD students, academics.
Another excellent example is collaborative publications such as is exemplified in the ChinaBeat blog:
A group of academics get together around a topic and contribute to it.
Search Engine Journal is another collaborative effort, worth checking out www.searchenginejournal.com
A student of mine who has set up his own sitesites.google.com/site/troyboswellengineering
As a student: Making the best of things such as Open Day http://haikoteaching.blogspot.com/2010/07/making-best-of-it.html
..... having your own profile is probably a good way to say: look this is my public stuff.
The other secret with these blogs thinggies is: you ONLY put out what you are comfortable putting out.
In the early days of blogging people did a psychological vomit on blogs... revealing things most private and perhaps best left that way.
Those days are long since gone.
Now if you have a site like Felder's and people will quote you from it, see what you have been doing, invite you to talk about stuff. They will see what your emphasis and interest is. Do we want to invite this person to that conference ? Is she suitable to talk about XYZ ? etc...
Focus your blog on a topic: ie. Laos, or Lao health or ..... whatever.
I have different blogs for different aspects, some for travel others for teaching, and others for just whatever whimsical ideas pop into my brain.
For me as an academic: I use blogs to say to students.
or to point people who ask about things over and over again to ONE clear answer.
For you as a PG research student: it is your public research profile.
it is your shingle.
You can have another blog for consultancies, etc... add to it as things come up.
Making the best of things http://haikoteaching.blogspot.com/2010/07/making-best-of-it.html
Technically: setting up a blog and using it is about as hard as setting up web based email and using it. I use Blogger by Google because it is easy to use, and they make it with a conscious emphasis on simple to use. E.g. lots of little things they have actually thought about and made them easier to do.