The articles and video that were assigned for GEDI F18 Week 1, delivered the message that I should focus more time on building my digital presence via blogging. According to Seth Godin and Tom Peters (Inside the Entrepreneurial Mind), blogging is a free platform that can help an individual (or perhaps an organization) network and learn to effectively communicate with their audience. Agreed. However, I’m not sold on the idea of networking via The Internet. Is it really necessary that my peers know and follow my thoughts?
I’ve never been much of a blogger, or blog follower, for that matter. I was required to blog in PFP (GRAD 5104) and though my response was to fear and resist, I did feel a sense of satisfaction when I received positive feedback from my peers. That being said, outside of class I am still hesitant to post my thoughts to The Internet for public viewing. (I prefer reposting other people’s thoughts or educational content. That’s still a form of blogging, right?)
My level of blog knowledge is admittedly archaic. I am still under the impression that blogs are where people share stories about their lives (mainly their cats, see image below), or share details about their most-recent cooking/baking accomplishments… My wife just informed me that Twitter is a form of blogging. (She is all about her digital presence, thanks to GEDI.)
I didn’t realize that the websites for some organizations can be considered professional blogs. A quick Google search of “Science blogs,” directed me to a list created by www.atascientific.com of the “14 Science Blogs Everyone Should Read.” From there I started reading to find out what I was missing. I found that many of the blogs were similar to news websites, i.e., different categories for different posts (e.g., read these 10,000 articles related to Health and Medicine that includes multiple articles per day). I could have spent hours clicking through one category. Where should I begin and where does it end? It was overwhelming (and not in the ‘this is awesome’ sort of way). Some were more traditional, one post per day on a particular topic. But then still, should I check the archives or do I start reading the post from today? If today is the only day that matters then what is the point? (This post is turning into an unending rant so I’m going to wrap it up.) I think I would be more willing to blog if I enjoyed following other people’s blogs. I enjoy reading stories when I happen upon them but I wouldn’t say I follow any particular blog.
In the end, the readings did give me a greater appreciation for blogs. I never considered blogs to be, as Tim Hitchcock explains, “a form of publication” or a means to improve a person’s writing into a form that is “more engaging, simply written, and to the point.” Writing a blog does require a significant amount of thought, planning, and time. For those who enjoy blogging, whether for the intent of networking or simply to write down your thoughts (or share pictures of your cats), kudos to you!
Quote that I found valuable from ATA Scientific Instruments on science related blogs:
“A quick search in Google, and you can generally find whatever information you need. But sometimes the mass and diversity of material on the Internet can be overwhelming. Blogs are a valuable resource that can give analytical insights into the people, inventions and discoveries driving scientific innovation. Macro or micro, the blogs in this list engage in discussions and topics that will continue to evolve and change throughout history. Up-to-date and topical science blogs are the future for scientific research, education and outreach, a future which is being built by the blogs mentioned above.”