Having spent four days in the company of researchers, bloggers, journalists, editors, etc. at the annual ScienceOnline conference (Scio12) in Raleigh, NC, I’m now back in Copenhagen and following on up some projects regarding exactly that. Online Science. I’m trying to motivate people within my own institution, my own department, and also other departments at the university to start blogging about their work. This is not an easy task. As highlighted by the session “Why the Resistance to Science Blogging” (by Pascale Lane and Holly Bik) at Scio12, I’m faced with skepticism, reluctance, and also fear. But mostly just ignorance.
Yesterday, I decided to call upon my fellow bloggers and new acquaintances from Scio12 and tweet them this simple question: Why do YOU blog? Within a few hours, I had received more than 20 responses. Here’s a few of them:
Blogging is teaching, whether it’s yourself or others, and that’s the best feeling in the world (Joe Hanson @jtotheizzoe)
To provide an interesting source of accurate sci stories for general readers. To practice writing. Because I’m addicted (Ed Yong @edyong209)
I blog bc I am a compulsive writer w/advocate, didactic, & argumentative tendencies & wanting to contribute to community (Emily Willingham @ejwillingham)
Helps me work through ideas & then refine them through responses from friends+commenters. Also to learn to be a better writer. (Marie-Claire Shanahan @mcshanahan)
I can’t help myself – need to write, contribute to the community (Bora Zivkovic @BoraZ)
(a Storify of all the responses is available here)
The list of reasons why a scientist/researcher should be blogging is long. So why is it still so hard? What are people afraid of?
(featured image derived from Blogging by xkcd)