Science blogging = new email?

 51 188520673 18F6208421 by cadmanof50s
Science blogging is the new email:
[Via Gobbledygook]

The just finished conference Science Blogging 2008: London was a wonderful chance for real-life socialising networking. I started to upload some fotos to Flickr (e.g. Scott Keir explaining sign language, see all fotos tagged sciblog here), some of them are too embarrassing and I will keep them for bribes reference later on.

The meeting was also a great opportunity to think about where we are today with scienceblogging. Having a conference is a good sign that the field is evolving1, and you can see several subdisciplines evolving:

  • conference blogging (also includes event blogging)
  • edublogging
  • metablogging (blogging about blogging, by far the largest discipline)
  • research blogging (blogging about scientific experiments, the smallest discipline)
  • investigational blogging (the keynote lecture by Ben Goldacre described this very well)
  • evolution blogging (a large subdiscipline)
  • news blogging (blogging about science news)
  • watercooler blogging (small pieces of interesting or funny thoughts/pictures)
  • summary blogging (summarizing other blog posts and linking to them)
  • diary blogging (blogging as a personal diary of self-expression)
  • hoax blogging (see this example by Jonathan Eisen)


This is a pretty interesting framing of the use of blogs for research. A lot of useful scientific inquiry is informal in nature, occurring around a coffee machine or at a pub. Blogs just allow people who do not share the same time or place to participate. And in a more useful fashion than email.

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Loving FriendFeed

friends by freeparking
London Science Blogging Conference on Friendfeed:
[Via Confessions of a Science Librarian]

Boy, do I ever love Friendfeed.

You can follow what’s going on at today’s London Science Blogging Conference in its very own Friendfeed room. Each session has it’s own thread with multiple people commenting on the proceedings. It actually gives a very good and surprisingly understandable impression of what’s going on in the sessions. Most of the sessions have dozens of comments. Check it out.

You can also check me out on Friendfeed (join, you won’t regret it). Michael Nielsen has also created a room for the upcoming Science in the 21st Century conference.

As a sort of aggregator of one’s life, FriendFeed can be especially useful for all sorts of ad hoc social meetings, such as conferences. I wonder what the ‘room’ looks like for a really large conference, the 10,000 attending ones? I’ll be sure and check out the Science in the 21st Century room.

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The story of a teacher

Workflow- Social Media School Teacher:

classroom Dharmesh wakes up a little late. After a quick shower, he skips checking email, but goes right to his RSS reader to see updates of where the students worked within the social network. Luckily, Ning (and lots of services) send new activities out via RSS, so they’re easy to track.

It looks like Margarite has added more YouTube videos to the video section, and Franklin has written a blog post about the town’s historic water cooler. Jeremy has already commented that Franklin forgot to cite a source, saving Dharmesh the effort. He eats a breakfast bar, and hops in his car for the commute to work.

On his iPod, Dharmesh listens to last week’s book reports read out by the students. The quality of their work has improved a great deal since switching to the audio requirement. The second report, by Kelly, is a little loud and the audio clips a bit. Dharmesh makes a mental note to show Kelly how to level the audio in Audacity.


Photo credit, LizMarie

These are pretty interesting representations of what the day might be like in a Web 2.0 world. Chris has a couple others – a minister and a marketer. They are nice ways to visualize the possibilities.

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