In this age, where many readers have a breath-wise/skimming habit of reading things, instead of depth-wise [Ref 1, 2], blogs are an awesome since you can write as much as you want, post as many pictures one wants to. Blogging by those who are in science is a one of the ways of bridging the gap of communication that is abysmally low between researchers and the non-scientific public. No, not as a propaganda machine, but reaching out to the people who are interested in what one is talking about.
PLoS Biology’s article “An Introduction to Social Media to Scientists” sets the right pitch for those who are thinking of whether they should take the plunge to blogging or not! Read the article here [Ref 3]
Of course, there are other ways of communicating in the social media. But, I will for time being stick to blogs for the two main reasons mentioned by Birk and Goldstein
Longevity; posts are accesible via search engines
Robust platform for building an online reputation.
One other effective way of making an online reputation is by editing Wikipedia articles. As of now, I find blogging about research articles to be highly rewarding for the following reasons
- Sharpening my writing skills (I don’t have to emphasize the importance of this skill for researchers whose native language is not English)
- Expressing one’s views in a professional manner
- Making me find more interesting articles that I can blog about, which translates to more reading done as well.
- For every post, I see my brain working the process of forming an idea, and finally seeing the effort achieve fruition. (This is very helpful to plan the way your write your manuscript with your own results)
- A sense of satisfaction that comes after clicking the button “Publish”
- Literacy Debate: Online, R U Really Reading?
- What is the Internet’s Effect on Deep Reading?
- Bik HM, & Goldstein MC (2013). An introduction to social media for scientists. PLoS biology, 11 (4) PMID: 23630451