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.

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Science Blogging Sandeep Gautam

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

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