Blogorrhoea. A free-flowing blog is unlikely to directly increase a scientists productivity (as approximated by the infamous h-index), and might even decrease it. Now, we all know that powerpoint can be PowerPointless, so is blogging also a pointless activity? Or to put it another way: Nodalpoint or Nodalpointless?Sometimes I wonder what what the point of blogging is and just how much time people (myself included) waste reading and writing them. Let’s face it, most leading scientists are too damn busy to pay much attention to the blogosphere, especially when it descends (as it frequently does) into “uncontrollable verbal discharge”. This unfortunate medical condition is also known as
If you’ve ever wondered what the point of scientific blogging is, you should read the following, (if you haven’t already):
- Scientists enter the blogosphere by Laura Bonetta. Cell. 2007 May;129(3):443-445. DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2007.04.032.
- Why we blog by Bonnie Nardi, Diane Schiano, Michelle Gumbrecht and Luke Swartz. Communications of the ACM. 2004 December;47(12):41-46. DOI:10.1145/1035134.1035163
- Replace your CV / Resume with a blog? Hmmmm, maybe NatureJobs, 343 (2007). News DOI:10.1038/nj7133-343a
- Top Five Science Blogs by Declan Butler. Nature, Vol. 442, No. 7098. (6 July 2006), pp. 9-9, DOI:10.1038/442009a nodalpoint makes it into the top 50.
- Bora Zivkovic demonstrates how blogging can save your career in science by Corie Lok, Nature News. 2007 January. DOI:10.1038/news070122-2
- Last, but not least, there is also Ten Reasons Why Blogging is Good for your career by some bloke called Tim Bray and a corresponding rejoinder: Ten Reasons Blogging doesn’t matter by Rui Carmo
So what the heck, if blogging is fun and helps you communicate ideas with people, why get all uptight about questionable metrics for measuring scientific productivity? Wherever you blog, blog hard, blog fast and enjoy it. At the very least, it will fill the gaping void left on the Web by traditional scientific publishing. Who knows what the other benefits might be?
- Jorge Hirsch An index to quantify an individual’s scientific research output Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2005 November;102(46):16569-16572 DOI:10.1073/pnas.0507655102
- this post originally on nodalpoint with comments