Sciblogging conference reflections

Yesterdays Nature Science Blogging Conference at the RI was just what I needed to kick start some enthusiasm for blogging again. I’d like to thank the guys at Nature Network for putting it on, and all the lovely people I met, both at the pub night on Thursday, and at the conference yesterday.  There’s a collection of links to the online action at sciencegeekspeak.com, where I also posted audio back to Mike to create a podcast of the final session.  There’s loads of photos up on Flikr- hunt for the sciblog tag. The day has made me totally rethink the way I blog. Is there such a thing as a born-again blogger?  Yesterday is probably the first time I’ve ever talked more than a couple of sentences about what I blog about to anyone.  I feel like I may have finally realised an important thing: what I want to write about….

Contributing to a group blog like the Bridge8 blog, where we have such a broad spread of things that we do, I’ve generally written about things that I’ve found interesting on my random travels round the web (and life). Which is a fine thing to do. There are loads of different types of blogs that were talked about at the conference, which Martin Fenner has nicely summarised, and I don’t think I have ever really decided where what I write for Bridge8 fits.  I feel that up until this point I haven’t really been considering what the whole strength of blogs are, that they are platforms for discussion. If you are putting up posts that are just summaries of interesting stuff, you are not really inviting comment (except maybe a ‘that’s interesting’ sort of comment). So, my the first thing I want to start with is a bit of self analysis.

Why do I blog?

The unconference session on ‘bored with blogging’ had some discussion around this, some of the reasons brought up for why people blog included wanting to ‘have a rant’ (eg about bad science in mainstream press), an outlet for frustrations (in the lab etc) and wanting to share ideas.  One of the reasons I like blogging is because it makes me keep up with things.  Now that I’m not in the lab anymore, there’s less pressure to keep up with reading research papers, but I feel that knowing that I have to contribute to this blog spurs me into susbcribing to loads more news and blog feeds than I would otherwise probably read ie, it makes me not be so lazy.  A good thing.

What influences the way I blog?

I think the biggest influence to the way I write blogs is the other blogs that I read.  And why I read them.  The blogs that I really like to read are generally entertaining (to me at least).  I like reading blogs like SciencePunk, Wired and BoingBoing, which have a lot of collections of interesting cool geeky stuff and collect latest interesting science news bits and pieces.  I don’t really read a lot of blogs that go into deep analysis of research papers, and (oddly, now I realise) I don’t really read any about what interests me most about my current job- science education provision.


What do I want to learn more about?

I want to use blogging (those I read, and what I write) to get more perspectives on how people learn about science.  How both teachers and scientists (and of course students themselves) feel about school science teaching, perspectives on the goals of science teaching and learning.  So- where do I start?  If anyone has recommendations of some useful blogs to start with that would be great.  Even on sites like Edublogger it seems difficult to find science-specific ones.  Is that just me not knowing where to look?
So what next?

A little more time to digest yesterdays discussions.  A bit of time to formulate some ideas.  Maybe a Sunday afternoon nap.  But at least I feel a bit more confident about what the future of my blogging on Bridge8 will be about- sharing ideas and thoughts about science learning.  I’m sure I’ll still post up interesting bits I find, but I think that’s what I want to start having conversations about.  Feeling a little more enlightened about what I am going to try and do from now on.  Yay!

Comments

  1. sarahkeenihan says:

    Hey Lisa, this makes for a great read. I think you are right regarding the ‘summaries of interesting stuff’, which is precisely what I tend to do when I blog. And then I wonder why very few people leave comments…..probably because either (1) they didn’t find it that interesting or (2) they just read it and thought ‘oh, that was interesting’. Hmmmmm. I think I need to get more ‘inviting’ with my writing style.

    Here’s a few of my fav blogs:
    Bad Science
    (http://www.badscience.net/?feed=rss2)
    FemaleScienceProfessor
    (http://science-professor.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss)
    Mind the Gap (http://network.nature.com/blogs/feed/UE19877E8)
    Shifting Careers (http://shiftingcareers.blogs.nytimes.com/rss2.xml)
    The Great Beyond (http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/atom.xml)

  2. My own summary, adapted from a report for my Dean, starts at network.nature.com/blogs/user/rpg/2008/09/11/on-science-blogging-2008—part-1 .

Trackbacks

  1. […] Bailey is thinking about why she posts to a blog. If you are putting up posts that are just summaries of interesting stuff, you are not really […]

  2. […] through Web 2.0. You can see our guides to re-invigorating your work practice with Web 2.0 here and here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Happy 5th Birthday Bridge8Science Communicators […]

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