Archive for the 'blogging' category

Brian Mathews, The Ubiquitous Librarian, is blogging at the Chronicle!

As I have in the past, I'd like to point out a librarian embedded in a faculty-focused blogging network.

Brian Mathews recently moved his blog, The Ubiquitous Librarian, to the Chronicle Blog Network run by, you guessed it, The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The new URL for Brian's blog is here.

And a few recent posts:

Run on over and say Hi!

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Friday Fun: We Don't Need No Steenkin' Social Media Gurus

I chose this one more for the humourous title of the post since the content itself is very seriously intentioned.

I almost see this as a double sequel to both the social media evilness post and to some of my recent ramblings on thought leadership.

The post in question is We Don't Need No Steenkin' Social Media Gurus by York prof Robert Kozinets.

After I had left the stage and assumed a position within the audience, beer in hand, a woman began talking to me in the crowd. Let's call her "Jennifer." Jennifer told me that she knew nothing about social media even a few weeks ago, but that her husband had bought her an iPad for their anniversary and now she was devoting all sorts of time to learning it. She had driven up from Niagara Falls -about a 2-hour drive-in order to see the Social Media Day event.

"I want to become a social media guru," she said to me, with a big, winning, business-y smile.

Gotta tell ya, Jennifer. That's just about the last thing the world needs. That, another horndog politician, and four bucks will get you a Starbucks latte.

*snip*

So please forgive me for being more than a little ticked off at the gathering of "Social Media Gurus" like ants at the proverbial picnic. While this boom is still booming, they will keep swarming. And I feel entitled to spray a little Raid.

As far as I am concerned, if someone comes up and tells you they are a social media guru, they are telling you, essentially, that they have a Facebook and Twitter account, talk about it to their friends and family, and hope to one day cash in on their "spiffy mailing list" of 406 friends and 217 followers. Maybe they have even written one of the 968 popular business press books about social media you can find lying around the shelves of your local bookstore like old remaindered copies of The Celestine Prophesy or The Coming Stock Market Crash of 2003. (emphasis mine. -jd)

Read the whole thing. It's truly wonderful. And the last line is priceless, but I'll leave it to you to discover.

Consider this Part Whatever in my ongoing "making fun of social media/tech mavens" series:

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Welcome to YASBC: Scientific American Blogs

Yet another science blogging community. The more the merrier.

We've had another quiet period in the science blogging universe these last couple of months. It seems that the rapid evolution that kicked off with the founding of Scientopia in the wake of Pepsigate is continuing.

And this is the big one: Scientific American Blogs. This is easily the biggest and most important science blogging community launch since ScienceBlogs itself launched back in 2006.

Of course, it was engineered by the master of us all, Bora Zivkovic.

Here's what he has to say about the makeup of the network:

Diversity

The vision for the blog network I have is a collection of people who bring to Scientific American a diversity of expertise, backgrounds, writing formats, styles and voices, who will bring diverse audiences to Scientific American. They differ in typical lengths of posts, in posting frequency, in the "reading level" of their work, in the use of non-textual media, and in their approach to science communication. Each one of them will appeal to a different segment of our readership: from kids to their teachers, parents and grandparents, from the hip-hop culture to the academic culture, from kindergarteners to post-docs.

Another thing I was particularly interested in was to find bloggers who in some way connect the "Two Cultures" as described by C.P.Snow. Some connect science to history, philosophy, sociology or ethics. Many are very interested in science education, communication and outreach. Some make connections between science and popular culture, music, art, illustration, photography, cartoons/comic strips, poetry, literature, books, movies, TV, video, etc. Several produce such cross-discipline and cross-cultural material themselves - at least two are musicians, two are professional photographers, several produce videos, two are professional artists, a couple are authors of multiple books, some produce their own blog illustrations. But there are also commonalities - they all have strong knowledge of their topic, they strictly adhere to the standards of scientific evidence, they are all very strong writers, and they are all enthusiastic to share their work with a broader audience.

When I put together this group, with such diverse interests and styles, it was not surprising to discover that, without really having to try hard to make it so, they also display diversity in many other areas: geography, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, personal/professional/scientific background and more. This is something that is important for science, and is important in the science blogging world.

So, as I expect that several of you are already counting, let me make this easy for you. We have 47 blogs with 55 bloggers. Of those, our editors and staff make up 13 people (8 women, 5 men), while independent bloggers make up the difference with 42 of them (25 women, 17 men). That is a total of 22 men and 33 women writing on our network. The age ranges from 22 to 58, with the mean around 32 and median around 31 (at least when including those who are willing to admit their age).

While geographic concentration in New York City is mainly due to the fact that most editors and staff have to come to our NYC office every morning, the rest of the bloggers are from all over the country and the world (see the map of some of their birthplaces) and also currently live all over the place (see the map) and, as academic and other jobs require, move around quite often. Right now, other urban centers with multiple bloggers are Vancouver city and area (4), Triangle NC and surrounding area (4), Urbana-Champaign, IL (3), Los Angeles, CA (3), London, UK (3), Columbus, OH (2) and Austin TX (2). There are bloggers in Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Canada (5) and the UK (6). And the birthplaces also include Trinidad, Hong Kong, Belgrade (Serbia) and Moscow, Russia (two bloggers).

This will take a few days to sink in, for sure. It'll take even longer for us all to ponder the meaning and evaluate the repercussions.

But most of all, I have to say I'm super-impressed about the strength and breadth of the contributors. It's a world-beating bunch with some of the best formerly-independent bloggers on board as well as some very strategic names lured from other networks either moving their blogs outright or starting a new one for SciAm. (Of course, having a librarian in the mix would have been nice too...)

Is ScienceBlogs dead? I don't think so. But certainly we're in an era where ScienceBlogs is clearly only one network among many, each with different traffic levels, different emphasis, different blogger configurations. It's not hard to imagine ScienceBlogs settling in at around 35-40 blogs after the current wave of disruption, especially leading into the merger with National Geographic. That would be around half the number of blogs from the peak and will probably represent around a quarter (or less) of the traffic from that time. On the other hand, it might end up being more focused and start to feel more like a unified community again.

Competition in the science blogging community space is a good thing, it spurs us all on to improve and innovate. A new network doesn't mean that the existing ones are less relevant or that the bloggers at those networks are somehow suddenly inferior to those at the new networks. The grass isn't necessarily greener on the other side of the fence, the new and shiny don't permanently diminish the familiar.

Personally, I don't see a compelling reason to move at this point in time.

We live in interesting times. And that's a good thing for all of us.

Finally, from Bora's post, here's a list of the blogs with authors, where mentioned. There's lots more information about the blogs and bloggers at the original post:

Editorial Blogs

  • @Scientific American
  • Observations
  • The Network Central
  • Expeditions
  • The Scientific American Incubator is a new experiment. The Incubator will be a place where we will explore and highlight the work of new and young science writers and journalists, especially those who are currently students in specialized science, health and environmental writing programs in schools of journalism. There, we will discuss the current state and the future of science writing, and promote the best work that the young writers are doing.
  • Guest Blog

Blogs by Scientific American editors, writers and staff

  • A Blog Around The Clock by Bora Zivkovic
  • Anecdotes from the Archive by Mary Karmelek. You may have heard that Scientific American is almost 166 year old. That is a lot of archives to go through. Mary Karmelek is digitizing all those archives, and while she does that she often encounters interesting old articles and images that make great topics for blog posts: to see how the world has changed since then, and what we've learned in the intervening decades
  • Budding Scientist by Anna Kuchment
  • Degrees of Freedom by Davide Castelvecchi
  • Solar at Home by George Musser,
  • Streams of Consciousness by Ingrid Wickelgren

Independent blogs and bloggers

Welcome!

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Social networks and degrees of evilness

Sometimes two posts just collide in my brain.

I thought I'd share a recent case of this phenomenon.

First up, marketing/PR/social media Rock Star Mitch Joel on taking the best advantage of the inherent evilness of social networks like Twitter in The New Media Pecking Order.

Newsflash: the world is one big pecking order.

My friend - the rock star - travels infrequently by plane. I'm a loyal customer of the airline. It doesn't seem fair and it doesn't make sense. C'est la vie. Klout, PeerIndex, Twitter Grader and others simply bring to light something we've all known for a very long time: it's always been about the numbers and who we all - individually - influence... now we're just starting to see where we all sit. Pushing this further, if everyone has their own media channel (because of our own, individual Twitter feeds, Facebook friends, personal Blogs, etc...) that are published for the world to see, why shouldn't they be subject to the same public rating systems and reviews that traditional media channels have to endure?

It's quite an interesting post. The comments are equally interesting as some wholeheartedly agree with the high school model and others are more skeptical both about the validity of the tools used to measure "influence" and the desirability of the whole project of measuring online influence.

There are also some interesting parallels with the kinds of impact measurements used in the world of scholarly communications -- citations, impact factors and all the rest. But that might be a completely separate post.

The other piece that collided in my brain is Scott Rosenberg's Circles: Facebook's reality failure is Google+'s opportunity. It's about the coming clash of titans in the social networking world, the "Don't Be Evil" gang at Google versus the "Let's Be as Evil as Possible before anyone Notices" gang at Facebook.

I like the way Rosenberg frames what Google is trying to do:

So which was Facebook: a new space for authentic communication between real people -- or a new arena for self-promotion?

I could probably have handled this existential dilemma. And I know it's one that a lot of people simply don't care about. It bugged me, but it was the other Facebook problem that made me not want to use the service at all.

Facebook flattens our social relationships into one undifferentiated blob. It's almost impossible to organize friends into discrete groups like "family" and "work" and "school friends" and so forth. Facebook's just not built that way.

*snip*

Of the technology giants, Google -- despite its missteps -- has the best record of helping build and expand the Web in useful ways. It's full of brilliant engineers who have had a very hard time figuring out how to transfer their expertise from the realm of code to the world of human interaction. But it's learning.

So I'll embrace the open-source, distributed, nobody-owns-it social network when it arrives, as it inevitably will, whether we get it from the likes of Diaspora and Status.net or somebody else. In the meantime, Google+ is looking pretty good. (Except for that awful punctuation-mark-laden name.)

A great post, definitely worth reading the whole thing. I have to admit that initially I wasn't the least bit interested in Google+ but now I'm intrigued.

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My presentation for Scholarship in the Public Eye: The Case for Social Media

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I did a short presentation on Scholarship in the Public Eye: The Case for Social Media as part of a panel for a York Faculty of Graduate Studies Scholarly Communications Series.

And yes, I was the Twitter guy, although some of the other presenters did talk about their use of Twitter. Basically, my point was that Twitter and blogs can be part and parcel of the research and research outreach life of academics. I mostly concentrated on Twitter, but I did try and make the same sorts of points about blogging as well as I spoke.

Anyways, I thought I would share my "slides" here.

You may have noticed, if you went through them at all, that they're a bit odd.

Yes, every single slide is a tweet. They're mostly by other people but I did feel I had to tweet a few things on my own to tie the threads together a bit better. The tool I used to do the presentation itself was the absolutely wonderful web service Storify. Basically Storify allows you to aggregate web objects into linear stories. And you can turn those stories into slideshows, which is what I did.

You can see my Storify story here and as a slide show here. It's a bit odd, but to make the slide show work, you have to click the slide and then use the left and right arrows.

I have a ton of praise for Storify. It was great to use and for a few of the more intricate details I had to work out, their Twitter tech support was fantastic. Overall, I would recommend it for similar projects. The only downside was that in my very particular application, it was a bit difficult to stitch together a presentation narrative from other people's tweets so I'm not sure what I did would work so well for a full length presentation.

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Why bother having a resume?

I'm not usually a big fan of Seth Godin's guruish pronouncements, but I thought this one was a pretty good encapsulation of what it means to be a public professional or a public academic in the 21st century.

In other words, Why bother having a resume?

If you don't have a resume, what do you have?

How about three extraordinary letters of recommendation from people the employer knows or respects?

Or a sophisticated project they can see or touch?

Or a reputation that precedes you?

Or a blog that is so compelling and insightful that they have no choice but to follow
up?

And we shouldn't kid ourselves that we aren't all public professionals these days. Even if the public we're focusing on isn't the whole world but rather the public of our communities or our institutions.

Sure, you still really do have to have a resume of some sort, but online reputation and presence more important than ever -- and that includes things like project portfolios, blogs, Twitter feeds and all the rest.

And no, this isn't a call to "watch what you say."

It's a call to authenticity.

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A year of blog stats: 2010

Feb 25 2011 Published by under admin, blogging, personal

In the spirit of openness and transparency and "does anybody really care except me" I've included some blog hit statistics below for 2010. These stats are from the Google Analytics application that ScienceBlogs has installed.

For 2010, this blog got 77,630 visits and 91,022 pageviews. To put it all into perspective, to say that this is a fairly insignificant portion of the total traffic for ScienceBlogs is a bit of an understatement. There are defunct blogs that still generate more traffic.

Here are the numbers in graphical format (click to see full year):
i-e31b60dbd47faf2966325c2ecd804f2b-stats2-thumb-757x119-61722.jpg

And by month (click to see full year):i-5db0b05a79f042227a5415c1baca3b3f-statsmonth-thumb-751x127-61723.jpg

It's nice to see the numbers growing over the course of the year. I think it's fair to say that it took me a full year after my May 2009 move from my old Blogger site to ScienceBlogs to recapture the traffic I had at the old site, largely due to the lost googlejuice from relocating.

For some context, my last complete year at the old site was 2008 and the numbers for that year were 56,593 visits and 73,212 pageviews. For 2010, even though it hasn't been updated in nearly 2 years, the old site still got over 16,000 pageviews.

So far in 2011, as of February 23rd, I have 18,421 visits and 21,870 pageviews. It's nice to see that this year is trending quite a bit higher than last year at the same point. I may end up surpassing several defunct blogs.

As for 2009, since that was the transition year with traffic at both blog sites, the numbers are hard to judge in relation to 2008 and 2010 so I won't even bother trying.

Here are some pageview stats for some individual pages.

Top 15 Posts (non-Friday Fun)

  1. Best Science Books 2009: Library Journal Best of 2009 Sci-Tech Books (3758)
  2. Best Science Books 2009: The top books of the year! (1824)
  3. Librarians vs. Nature (1337)
  4. A teachable moment (1129)
  5. Best Science Books 2009: The Globe 100 (996)
  6. #ArsenicLife #Fail: A teachable moment (973)
  7. What do students want from their libraries? (887)
  8. Is computer science baseless? (723)
  9. The inherent insularity of library culture? (644)
  10. Best Science Books 2010: New York Times Notable Books (617)
  11. Scientists vs. Engineers (592)
  12. Scholarly Societies: Why Bother?
  13. My Job in 10 Years: Social Media and the 21st Century Classroom (585)
  14. Best Science Books 2009: Scientific American (563)
  15. Best Science Books 2010: The Economist (554)

Some Honourable Mentions include the "index" post at 13,877 and the tag post for Best Science Books 2010 at 1902.

Comments: Overall, a very good year. I'm quite pleased by the posts that have made it to the list, they all seem like good examples of the kind of topics I cover and the kind of writing I do. It's also very obvious that the end-of-year coverage I do of the best science books lists is very popular and that it's something I should continue. For perspective, the Best Science Books 2010: The top books of the year!!!! has some 1877 pageviews as of this moment. The very recent and quite popular A stealth librarianship manifesto already has 1087.

Top 5 Various Fun Posts

  1. Friday Fun: Historians Admit To Inventing Ancient Greeks (1515)
  2. Friday Fun: Epic failures: 11 infamous software bugs (1012)
  3. Thursday Zombie Fun: Braaaiiiinnnnsssss! (865)
  4. Friday Fun: 5 Terms Social Media Douchebags Need To Stop Using (652)
  5. Friday Fun: 5 Signs You're Talking To A Social Media Douchebag (618)

Top 5 Book Review Posts

  1. Reading Diary: The Walking Dead, volumes 1-12 by Robert Kirkman (763)
  2. Reading Diary: Your hate mail will be graded: A decade of Whatever, 1998-2008 by John Scalzi (397)
  3. Jenkins, Mark Collins. Vampire forensics: Uncovering the origins of an enduring legend. Washington: National Geographic, 2010. 303pp. (395)
  4. Christensen, Clayton M. The innovator's dilemma. New York: Collins Business Essentials, 2006. 286pp. (288)
  5. Review of: Makers by Cory Doctorow (286)

What's left to say? Thank you all very much for your time and attention. I truly appreciate all the wonderful connections, ideas and opportunities you and this blog have brought to me over the years.

See you around the Internets!

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Interview with the gang at EngineerBlogs.org

Welcome to the long-awaited latest instalment in my occasional series of interviews with people in the library, publishing and scitech worlds. This time around the subjects of my first group interview are the gang at EngineerBlogs.org.

From my welcome-to-the-blogosphere post, here's a condensed bit about them:

  • Cherish The Scientist (EB)

    I am an electrical engineer with an interest in various areas of electromagnetics, including antennas and numerical simulation techniques, as well as IC packaging. I have completed a master's degree in electrical engineering and am currently pursuing a doctorate in geophysics.

  • Chris Gammell's Analog Life

    My name is Chris Gammell and I am an analog electrical engineer from Cleveland, OH. Though I grew up in Buffalo, NY, I first came to Cleveland in late 2001; I earned my bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Case Western Reserve...This site is dedicated to teaching those who are new to the industry and continuing the conversation with those who work alongside me industry.

  • Flying Flux (EB)

    Who is Fluxor? I'm a worker bee located in the nation's capital, the nation in question being Canada, and employed at FluxCorp for the purposes of building a Flying Flux. And what is a Flying Flux? It's a mixture of analog and digital integrated circuitry designed for mass consumption, although I focus mainly on the analog side.

    So that's what I am -- an analog IC circuit designer ...

  • Design. Build. Play. (EB)

    Just another engineer, formerly of the humanities discipline, writing about cars, aerospace, economics, coffee, design, school and exciting workplace adventures at MegaCorp.

Enjoy!

===============

Q0. First of all, tell me a little about yourself/yourselves -- who you are and how you ended up where you all are, career & blogging-wise.

Cherish. I did my undergrad in physics and masters in electrical engineering, both at NDSU. Currently, I am a PhD candidate in geophysics at University of Minnesota. However, after I finished my coursework, I chose to go back to NDSU and work part-time as a research engineer while working on my dissertation. I started blogging while doing my MS, primarily as a means to keep in touch with friends and family. A couple years later, I found the science blogging community (primarily Science Blogs) and realized there was a lot more to it. I like to write up posts about science, technology, and education, but it's still primarily a place to talk about whatever is on my mind.

FrauTech. This is a second career for me. I went into Mechanical Design because CAD is something I really enjoy and my experience in industry led me to believe this was a discipline I wanted to pursue. So I went back to school for Mechanical Engineering and that was that. I started blogging because I had all these grand plans of things I wanted to build and showcase on a blog. I ended up being too busy between work and school to dig into these as much as I wanted and the blogging instead became a really great outlet for my frustrations, other school related projects, and a way for me to have a conversation about research and industry developments in my field.

Chris Gammell. I still feel like a student on many days of the week. I've only been in industry for 5 years, 3 of those in my current field (which was completely different from the previous field). But once I got into the field and began realizing the potential for analog (and EEs in general) in the blogging space, I jumped in to try and educate people.

Fluxor.. I'm Fluxor, the builder of the Flying Flux at FluxCorp. Someday, I'll get myself some superhero tights to match my superhero monicker. Until then, I'm just an EE that's been working close to a decade and half in analog chip design, having specialized in that area in my master's. My first blog post on flyingflux.com tells why I started blogging.

The impetus was a fairly major layoff at FluxCorp in Jan 2009 which made me go through a quick period of introspection, during which I started blogging and haven't stopped since.

Q1. How did you decide to start up EngineerBlogs.org? Were you inspired by the turmoils in the science blogging world over the last year or so, starting with Pepsigate and continuing with the mushroom-like sprouting of a whole bunch of new independent and commercial networks?

Cherish. I suggested the idea to Chris, who had tried starting an EE blogging community a couple years ago. The four of us who started EB were already actively reading and discussing each other's blogs, so I thought it would be fun to do something as a group. I was particularly hoping that it would make it easier to find blogs related to engineering.

I think that while many of us knew about Pepsi-gate, that didn't really play into our decision to start the group. Aside from the fact that it's hard to find engineering bloggers, it's also easy to get lost as a blogger with the millions of blogs that are already out there. As a
reader, it's difficult to avoid information overload. People may not find or visit our individual blogs, but I think we're making an effort to do some of our best, most relevant writing for EB, which is providing us with a good reader base. I think we all would like for our writing to be useful and interesting to people, and EB seems to be helping make some of our writing on engineering and engineering culture more visible.

Chris Gammell. I have absolutely no idea what Pepsigate is...so no, I wasn't inspired by it. I jumped at the chance as Cherish says because I HATE when people sit around talking about starting a website. It's so easy these days and it's better to start a site first and ask questions later. I like ScienceBlogs but I prefer reading about engineering type issues. And most of all, I have had a hard time finding other engineering blogs...so when I found a group, I latched on!

Fluxor. What Cherish said. Plus, I love being elitist. And I love Americans. So when they asked me to become part of this exclusive club, how can I refuse?

Q2. You have kind of a unique model, both aggregating existing blogs and getting
your bloggers to add content directly to the site. Could you explain what that's all about and what the rationale was for doing it that way?

Cherish. We talked this over a bit. All of us are pretty happy with our individual blogs and feel we've invested a lot of time and effort into them. Most of us write very regularly (and Chris has his radio show, The Amp Hour, along with other projects), so we were reluctant to try to fit all of our writing into some sort of formal engineering group context. We considered making EB a blog aggregator but felt it would be of more interest to offer some original content instead. The decision was that each of us would commit to providing a certain amount of content or support to EB. This allows us to contribute without a bunch of pressure to produce content and allows us to use our own blogs for whatever we want. Personally, I don't think I'd enjoy writing about engineering all the time. If I were to move my blog to EB, I would feel a lot of pressure to do that, and I think that would take a lot of the fun out of blogging.

FrauTech. I agree with Cherish, I enjoy blogging about engineering but I like having a blog where I can talk about my cat or whatever else. So I think our personal blogs are pictures of us as whole people and engineer blogs just filters that down to who we are as engineers for readers who are looking for that key ingredient.

Chris Gammell. I listened to the others.

Fluxor. We don't really aggregate posts in real time. We do repost our favourite posts from the past once-in-a-while. But there's a limited supply of those posts.

Q3. Blogging has really taken off in the science world but somehow not so much among engineers. What do you think the reason is for that?

Cherish
. Personally, I think scientists want to talk about their interests, and for many of them, their chosen outlet is blogging. It allows them to discuss their interests in depth, sometimes getting into the subtleties and nuances of their field, talking about what they've learned. Engineers who are really interested in their field tend to do things like participate in HAM radio or similar groups. There are a lot of very active discussion boards where people are swapping ideas, but I think engineers would rather be building things rather than talking about building them.

FrauTech. I think also most science bloggers work in academia or in science journalism and so have free reign to discuss their work specifically and either a secure academic or government funded job to where they don't have to worry about what they say online putting them out of a job. If an engineer is working in private industry he or she doesn't have the same flexibility and might be able to talk about hobbies but anything remotely like what they work on at the job could be seen as harmful or violating proprietary regulations. I think this kind of business atmosphere extends even to engineers working in academia with just a general tendency to be more secretive, careful and private.

Chris Gammell. I think the academic environment that most scientists work in really has a beneficial effect on the blogging community. Engineers obviously battle stigma and stereotypical lack of writing skills. More recently the spectrum of engineering disciplines has popped out a few engineers who enjoy writing and we're hoping to meet them all!

Fluxor. *shrug*

Q4. Related to that I guess, why do you blog?

Cherish. Personally, I blog to talk about things that I find interesting and to meet other people who share those interests. It's both an outlet and way of socializing.

FrauTech. I enjoy reading STEM related blogs and feel like having my own blog is like being a part of a larger community of like minded people who care about a lot of the same things I care about. It's also a way for me to keep working on my writing as well as force myself to keep learning new things. A blog writer to be effective I think has to be able to change and grow with time and writing about engineering helps me realize what topics I'd like to learn more about or where I can grow and improve as an engineer in a way my job is too narrow to make obvious. I think in the end it will make me a better engineer.

Chris Gammell. I blog for personal development, not monetary. Pushing myself into situations such as writing, especially about topics that I'm not completely familiar with, really forces me to learn about subjects enough to not sound like an idiot. I like the connection, especially given my former statement about feeling like a student...whereas
engineering in school is very social, engineering in the workplace is less so. I think writing and interacting with others online really helps keep connected and meet new people.

Fluxor. It's an outlet. And getting to know other bloggers online has made it more rewarding. Plus, I once entered a writing contest on a whim and won. Even got to read it on CBC radio 1. That was a surprise because I really hated English in high school and barely passed the English proficiency essay requirement in undergrad. My perception of my own writing abilities took a turn for the better after that event.

Q5. Is there a difference between science and engineering blogs?

Cherish. There can be. I think that those of us blogging at EB tend to be more like science blogs: we have a lot of interests and cover different ground. A lot of other engineering blogs I've come across, however, tend to be sponsored by magazines and focus on things like tech trends and offering information on specific technologies or advice for certain fields.

Fluxor. Don't read enough science blogs to know.

Q6. You have a good balance of bloggers so far, men vs. women, Canadians vs. Americans, different career stages. Was that planned or did it just happen?

Cherish. We're even somewhat diverse racially. The diversity just happened, but probably this is due to the fact that we started reading each others blogs because we like getting perspectives that are different than our own. We've discussed how we'd like to preserve this aspect of the group, although we've acknowledged that it's already hard to find engineering bloggers, so we're not sure how feasible that will be.

Fluxor. Serendipity. And I would drop the plural on "Canadians".

Q7. What are your plans for the future?

Cherish. We would really like to add a few more bloggers. Primarily, we feel like we're too heavy on electrical engineering and would like to find established bloggers who might be in other fields like mechanical, chemical, civil, or industrial engineering. We're playing around with ideas like themes and wondering what we can do as a community that we might not be able to do as individual bloggers.

Fluxor. Cherish said it all.

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Yes, the interviews are back

Way back when, I used to post fairly frequent interviews with publishers, bloggers, librarians and scientists who I thought were interesting people to hear from. Mostly I wanted to hear about what they thought about changes in the scholarly publishing environment.

I've got links to a bunch of them below, mostly to the old blog. (I'll start moving the rest over here when I'm done with the book reviews.)

The last significant interview I did was with Dorothea Salo, way back in October 2008.

What happened?

Well, I decided I wanted my next interview to be with someone involved with publishing at a scholarly society. I actually identified a couple of candidates who looked like they might have some really interesting things to say. For whatever reason, I just ended up getting radio silence when I tried to contact them or get their agreement to be interviewed.

In the end, it was such a frustrating experience that I just gave up. Probably unwisely, but I guess there's never a shortage of things to blog about, only a shortage of time to actually devote to blogging. Especially once I moved here to ScienceBlogs, I guess lower-hanging blogging fruit became more of a priority.

The only interviews I've posted since October 2008 were a couple of relatively short ones with CISTI and a sort-of interview with Kevin Marvel of the American Astronomical Society. While those were good, solid interviews, they weren't quite what I was hoping for.

In any case, two things.

One: Coming a few minutes after this post is a group interview with the gang at EngineerBlogs.org.

Two: I'm going to try and start doing these more regularly, perhaps back to around two per school term. Here's where I need your help. I'd like to make my next interview subject someone in the scholarly society world again, to answer similar question to the ones Kevin Marvel did. Please volunteer at jdupuis at yorku dot ca if you're that person. Or if you know of someone who might be willing, please let me know.

I'll update here when the interview post is actually published.

As promised, some of the older set of interviews:

One response so far

If you don't have a blog you don't have a resume...

Feb 08 2011 Published by under blogging, social media

Many thanks to Peter Janiszewski and Travis Saunders of Science of Blogging for reposting my old chestnut, If you don't have a blog you don't have a resume.

I've closed the comments here so you can argue with me over at the other site.

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