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)
- 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.