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All the Science that’s Tit to Blog - ARCS Talk

Research talk for ARCSON, http://arcscon.tumblr.com/

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All the Science that’s Tit to Blog - ARCS Talk

  1. 1. All the Science That Is Fit to Blog: An Analysis of Science Blogging Practices PAIGE BROWN JARREAU
  2. 2. All the Science That’s Fit to Blog • Routines, norms, values and content decisions of science bloggers Qualitative, in-depth Interviews Summer 2014 Survey of 600 science bloggers, Fall 2014
  3. 3. In-Depth Interviews HOUR-LONG, QUALITATIVE INTERVIEWS WITH 51 SCIENCE BLOGGERS DIGITAL INTERVIEWS 31 WOMEN / 20 MEN 19 INDEPENDENT BLOGGERS 21 NEWS MEDIA NETWORK BLOGGERS 7 NON-NEWS-MEDIA NETWORK BLOGGERS 22 PAID TO BLOG 19 CAREER COMMUNICATORS 29 IN SCIENCE RESEARCH / ACADEMIA 12 CURRENTLY STUDENTS 7 GROUP BLOGGERS 3 PSEUDONYMOUS BLOGGERS US / UK CENTRIC
  4. 4. Survey of Science Bloggers ONLINE SURVEY 610 VALID RESPONSES 345 MALES 256 FEMALES 400 INDEPENDENT BLOGGERS 210 NETWORK BLOGGERS Index of 2,112 Science Blogs
  5. 5. Blogging Practices: Major Themes (based on qualitative interview analysis) • Blogging for Myself… • Blogworthiness determined by personal interests (“things I find interesting/cool”) and passions, enjoyment and self-expression (a creative outlet). • Using oneself as a proxy for readers: ‘if I’m interested in this, others will be too.’ • Writing freedom a key characteristic of blogging • … to Popularize Science • A translational/explainer role • Considering reader interests (science of everyday things; relatable) • Reaching a broader audience • Wow factor • Majority of surveyed science bloggers blog for a science- interested non-specialist general audience.
  6. 6. • Journalistic Routines • Blogworthiness determined by traditional news factors, including what is topical and timely, novel, unexpected, important/relevant to the reader or society, etc. • Science bloggers may be socialized into journalistic practices • Outreach, Education and Engagement • A majority of science bloggers mentioned outreach or educational approaches to selecting/producing blog content • Communicating the process and realities of science • A strong motivation to popularize and explain science to non- expert audiences characterizes much of science blogging today Comicfromxkcd.com • As an Expert • Staying within one’s area of expertise, translating research or countering misinformation based on one’s own expertise • 21% of surveyed bloggers having Master’s degrees and nearly 48% (N = 290) having doctorate degrees
  7. 7. How often do you engage in the following roles in your blogging? Survey question based on Fahy, D., & Nisbet, M. C. (2011). The science journalist online: Shifting roles and emerging practices.
  8. 8. Perceived Blogging Roles depend on… • Occupation • (research/academia vs. writing/journalism) • Science Communication Training • Those with scicomm training engage in the role of advocate significantly more often than those without such training even when controlling for other factors • Gender • Male science bloggers report engaging in the roles of watchdog and media critic more often than do female science bloggers. Female science bloggers report engaging in the role of explainer more often. • Blog Location • Network bloggers engage more often as public intellectuals and investigative reporters
  9. 9. Blogging Practices: Major Themes • The ECOSYSTEM Approach • Science bloggers are paying attention to content that their fellow bloggers and science writers are producing Phil's 1stPix, Flickr.com
  10. 10. Ecosystem Approach Value-Added Blogging Finding a Niche; Something Different Avoiding stories/topics covered (well) by others Keeping track of blogs in one’s topic area Having a unique angle or something to contribute Sticking to core topics Focusing on exclusive, unique content Blogging to fill a topic/niche gap Not a slave to the news cycle I can elaborate on this, do something special with this Blogs as a place for opinions, interpretation, personal commentary Having a creative spin on a story, a personal insight, etc.
  11. 11. What factors determine science blog content? Adaptation of Shoemaker and Reese’s hierarchy of influence model
  12. 12. Social Network Analysis SURVEY PARTICIPANTS ASKED TO LIST UP TO THE TOP 3 SCIENCE BLOGS THEY READ ON A REGULAR BASIS. DATA MAPPED IN GEPHI COMMUNITY DETECTION BY MODULARITY CLASS
  13. 13. Jarreau, Paige B (2014): MySciBlog Survey - Top Read SciBlogs by SciBloggers. figshare. http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1278974
  14. 14. Summary • Large majority of science bloggers blog for themselves and to popularize science. • Many science bloggers adopt scientific community values including concern for education and outreach in the production of their blogs. • Growth and professionalization of the science blogosphere has had an impact on approaches, values and routines. • Ecosystem Approach • Community-level factors shape science blog content • Other bloggers; Online vulnerability and community acceptance • Mix of traditional journalistic routines and emergent science blogging routines • Logistics and editorial processes can strongly guide network and group blogging content routines, and even “independent” bloggers’ decisions
  15. 15. Thank You bit.ly/MySciBlogThesis Download the dissertation! (case sensitive)

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