Science Blogging Sandeep Gautam
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Science Blogging Sandeep Gautam

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A presentation presented at blogcamppune2 about niche blogging and how blogs a re a form of lifelong learning.

A presentation presented at blogcamppune2 about niche blogging and how blogs a re a form of lifelong learning.

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Science Blogging Sandeep Gautam Science Blogging Sandeep Gautam Presentation Transcript

  • Blogging as a learning media Sandeep Gautam http://the-mouse-trap.blogspot.com
  • Blog as a platform
    • Private and unsupervised; Read at leisure and at one’s own pace and inclination just like a book
    • Hyperlinked and divergent. Enabling discovery of new related content like google search
    • Subscribed by self as per one’s expertise level, and thus not thrust-upon like emails
    • Updated regularly and thus relating to state-of-the-art as opposed to static websites
    • Opportunities for interaction/ feedback/ commentary thus enabling a two-way interaction
  • Blog as a media
    • Unbiased coverage as less financial interests involved as compared to Main Stream Media (MSM)
    • No compulsion to cover all types of content. A blog can focus on a niche area in its area of expertise. More authoritative.
    • Due to idiosyncratic interests, a collection of blogs covers wider range of topics than an MSM subject-area experts team. Content earlier ignored, now finds expression on blogs.
    • Multiple perspectives on the same issue, by multiple independent subject area experts.
    • Due to ease of creation and maintenance, attracts newer content-providers that earlier relied on journalist to get their message across.
  • Blog as a repository
    • Content archived and dated; though modifiable on a later date.
    • Content tagged, organized in categories and searchable; enabling sifting through what is relevant to self
    • Public commentary more rigorous, immediate and substantial than private anonymous peer review.
    • More and better (video) supplementary information can be placed on blogs than is typically present in academic journals.
  • Science blogging
    • A community built around carnivals, blogrolls, wikio lists, hosting sites (scienceblogs.com/ scientificblogging.com) etc.
    • A motley collection of working scientists, grad students, professionals, journalists, and enthusiasts.
    • Commentary on peer-reviewed papers (researchblogging.org) with app. references.
    • Aggregation of Science blog feeds/ prizes like 3QD prize
    • Open lab since 2006(collection of best science writings published by lulu.com) and science blogging conferences
    • Social networks: FriendFeed/ Twitter.
  • Blogs as lifelong learning
    • Interesting and diverse daily content
    • Expert opinion and commentary
    • Articles directed at newbies/ layman- just right to pick up a new subject
    • In-depth analysis and coverage with added interactivity
    • Online experiments, demonstrations etc.
    • Up to date and state-of-the-art information about a subject
    • Writing forces you to develop and mature your thinking
    • Comments move you out of your comfort zone.
  • The Mouse Trap blog
    • Focused on psychology, neuroscience, cognition
    • ~500 subscribers, ~500 followers on twitter, google major driver of traffic
    • 3yrs, ~350 posts, diverse range as well as focal areas (autism/psychosis/ stage theories)
    • International audience, mostly students from universities.
  • Challenges of niche blogging
    • Directed at layman/ experts?
    • Populist and controversial vs. sidelined, but important?
    • Too restrictive a niche/ too dilute a focus (and expertise)
    • Developing expertise/ exploiting existing knowledge?
    • Passion vs. social responsibility?
    • Peer niche bloggers- competitors or collaborators?
  • Emerging trends in Science2.0
    • Twitter and easy sharing of links
    • Feature length articles that can be converted into books (NERS)
    • Online experimentation (cognitive daily, Richard Wiseman)
    • Journalistic assignments in MSM –print-web symbiosis
    • Open access online publication with blog-style post-publishing comments and discussions.
    • Citing of blog posts in scholarly articles
    • Collaboration and online science databases etc
  • Tips for starting a niche blog
    • Passion , passion and more passion!
    • Offer something original – either in presentation (SciCurious) or content
    • Add value to the content provided by others
    • Connect with peers and audiences
    • Read a lot, think a lot and write a little – in that order.
    • Don’t be shy. Jump in and join the conversation!
    • Be prepared for a long haul!
  • Thank you! Questions, comments?