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Metablogging

June 17, 2007

Why do bloggers eventually end up blogging about blogging at some point?

  • profound realizations through examination and reflection of self
  • running out of ideas
  • too lazy to think of ideas
  • something to do during bouts of writer’s block while trying to write about about the controls on Holocene turbidite accumulation offshore of southern California

Regardless, metablogging can be an interesting exercise (am I meta-metablogging right now?).

Someone asked me the other day why I spend time with a blog. Good question. When I first started it (fall 2006), it was more of the public journal/diary type with some personal commentary. That was okay, but there’s plenty of commentary out there…and some of it very well-written and engaging. I’m not one to share every thought in my head to the public at large so the diary type of blog wasn’t really my thing either. As the geoblogosphere community grows, I find it more satisfying to post about earth science-related topics most of the time (although the beauty of the blog is to be able to throw in some random stuff from time to time….we all should take advantage of this wonderful self-publishing freedom). Besides, thinking and writing about geology is what I spend nearly all my time doing anyway.

Nowadays, I view this blog as the online equivalent of that person who, in the pre-internet days, would cut out and tack up various clippings from magazines or newspapers on their office door. I enjoy telling people about stuff I think is interesting but I really don’t like bothering people. In that sense, the blog is perfect. Readers can check it out if they like…or they can move on. The majority of my posts are brief, contain a link or two, and include some imagery (photos or video) about a specific topic or current event.

I would love to create posts about the specific research i’m doing in a lot more detail. But, being relatively early in my research career, I don’t have this stuff out in the literature yet. I’m focused on getting my work submitted and published in peer-reviewed journals first. When (not if) the papers start coming out, I will very much enjoy writing posts about my own research (i’ve got some stuff in the pipeline that will be featured on here soon). Others may disagree, but I think it’s prudent to wait to put your science on a blog until it reaches a “cite-able” status. At least for work that one would want published. I think scientific blogs have the potential to be an appropriate venue for presenting original results someday too, especially review papers and others studies that look at previously published data with a new perspective or in light of other findings.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. CJR permalink
    June 18, 2007 12:51 am

    I too am a little cautious about posting about my unpublished research on my blog – especially since I’m having trouble with peer reviewers over some of it and don’t want to seem like I’m trying to circumvent the process (other times I get so annoyed that I’m very tempted just to put it all out there)

    The other problem is that I need to write a few more reference posts before any of it will make any sense to people…

  2. Kate permalink
    June 18, 2007 7:47 pm

    ditto. it’s strange to dance around the subjects that you’re interested in, without actually getting to the heart of it all.

    plus, it still seems to be a hornet’s nest of publisher’s rights issues, i.e. shelley’s fiasco on scienceblogs.com.

    but i too found myself waxing science-philosophical (or just plain nerdy) to often and decided that i needed an outlet. my friends are much less bothered now.

    so maybe metablogging is just a way to explore our new science-receptive info outlet :)

  3. CJR permalink
    June 18, 2007 11:45 pm

    Hmmm. Blogging as a convenient outlet for the inner science nerd. This could be why everyone says I seem much more ‘balanced’ nowadays….

  4. Brian permalink
    June 19, 2007 8:30 am

    I think another issue about creating very good posts (with scientific value) is that they simply take quite amount of time and effort to create.

    Kate…i enjoy your blog, by the way…it is a portal into another world for me, keep posting.

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