Sunday, March 15, 2009

Blogs are dead - long live the blog

Why do people blog? It is a good question. Recent advice from Wired magazine rings true. Most importanly, blogs ARE so 2004 as the design of this blog instantly gives away.

There is something faintly amusing about blogs being "old tech" when most academics are just about able to make the transition from chalk to overheads let alone the ability to use powerpoint slides.

I agree with almost everything written below. It is hard to compete with the "professional blogs" with many contriubters such as Gristmill or Treehugger. This blog does not attempt to compete but the average "reader" has only so much blog eyeball time and blogs like "globalisation and the environment" are likely to be squeezed out :-(

Many academic blogs have come and gone whilst other cling stubbornly to existence (like this one). As I have just taken on a senior management role I suspect my postal frequency will also fall. :-(

Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004 [WIRED]

Thinking about launching your own blog? Here's some friendly advice: Don't. And if you've already got one, pull the plug.

Writing a weblog today isn't the bright idea it was four years ago. The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths. It's almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers. And why bother? The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter.

If you quit now, you're in good company. Notorious chatterbox Jason Calacanis made millions from his Weblogs network. But he flat-out retired his own blog in July. "Blogging is simply too big, too impersonal, and lacks the intimacy that drew me to it," he wrote in his final post.

Impersonal is correct: Scroll down Technorati's list of the top 100 blogs and you'll find personal sites have been shoved aside by professional ones. Most are essentially online magazines: The Huffington Post. Engadget. TreeHugger. A stand-alone commentator can't keep up with a team of pro writers cranking out up to 30 posts a day.

At least the editors of NATURE are still fans of the "academic blog" and this fits with the ethos behind Globalisation and the Environment.

It's good to blog [NATURE]

More researchers should engage with the blogosphere, including authors of papers in press.

Is blogging a part of science, journalism or public discourse? In fact it may be all of these — an ambiguity that can sometimes leave scientists feeling uncertain about the rules of the game.

Imagine, for example, a case in which Nature's blog The Great Beyond highlights new scientific results presented at a conference on climate. That blog entry then stimulates an online debate, with climate sceptics interpreting the results their way, and others firing off rebuttals. Imagine also that the work is described in a paper that had been accepted, but not published, by Nature. The authors of the paper want to enter the fray, but feel inhibited from doing so because of the embargo imposed by Nature and many other journals on communication by authors to the media ahead of publication. And why was Nature blogging their work anyway, ahead of its publication?

This scenario highlights a need for clarification about Nature publications' procedures, and about how embargoes apply to blogs. It also highlights more generally the potential importance of scientists engaging in the blogosphere.

H/T: Direction not destination.


1 comment:

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