Those who use blog software as the media to distribute their science writing might like to browse Paige Brown Jarreau’s summary of her Ph.D. thesis, All the Science That is Fit to Blog: an analysis of science blogging practice, or to download a PDF copy of it. You can also download the data and figures.
Her summary offers bullet-points for the key findings, along with some key infographics and tables, headed with that xkcd cartoon (‘Someone is wrong on the internet’).
There’s a lot to think about. Access to embargoed material is one I’d like to take up, for example.
Below are a few examples from the summary that caught my eye; you will no doubt favour others so check it out for yourself! :-
• Bloggers with more years of experience more often blog to correct current misinformation or to address poor media coverage of research. Perhaps they become more aware of and better appreciate the issues with media coverage over time, especially compared with their own efforts to cover topics they’re familiar with? Alternatively, is it because they become more confident over time? Perhaps both?
• Only 1/5 of the bloggers I interviewed blog occasionally about their own research. Me, too. On one hand this makes me wonder why, but on the other have a plenty of sympathy – after all I do it myself. (I’ve written on this in the past.*)
• Many science bloggers feel pressure to correct misinformation, but tend to enjoy content that is more “oh wow” popular science. Me to a ‘t’. Correcting misinformation feels like a public service in many ways.
• A little over 1/3 of science bloggers I interviewed at least sometimes get blog post ideas from reader requests or suggestions. I get this infrequently—these days, anyway. (It does remind me that there’s a topic suggested by a reader that I ought to get back to!)
• The #1 logistical constraint for science bloggers is “time.” A while back, I wrote asking others How long does it take you to write a science blog post? Most reported over 2 hours.
Comments on my thoughts welcome.
It’s also the only Ph.D. thesis I’ve seen with a smiley (in the acknowledgements). A little ‘internet speak’ breaking through 🙂
* I’d dig these out, but now isn’t really the time.
Other articles on Code for life: