Life seems to be charging ahead at warp speed, so I’m just now getting around to announcing that one of my blog posts was chosen to be included in the Open Laboratory 2009. Fifty posts were chosen, out of 760 submitted, and they were announced on Neurotopia and A Blog Around the Clock on Jan. 13, 2010. (Yeah, in the blogosphere, I know that is the geologic past. But things have been really busy.)
My post, “Genital mimicry, social erections and spotted hyenas,” will be included in the science blogging anthology edited by SciCurious and Bora Z. Thank you judges, (and I have no clue how this happened). Though I was asked to participate as a judge, none of the judges received their own posts to review.
A couple of things have happened lately that made me realize I need to be a lot more careful with the material I post here. When I decided to start blogging last summer, I admit that I viewed the platform as somehow less serious than my professional writing. But I now see that the boundaries are blurry and indistinct. When I turn in an article to an editor, I check it again and again for errors — to make sure that dates, times, places, species names, people’s names and quotes are all accurate. I have to admit, I don’t take that sort of time on this blog. I typically do not publish things here that require reporting, for one thing. For another, the posts are usually just me chewing over ideas or trying to understand the results of a paper or mechanisms behind a phenomenon. But after making an error in a blog post that hundreds of people have now read (and thankfully being called out on it early), I see more clearly that anytime I publish anything, I need to take more care with the facts, even if it is “just a blog.”
My conceptions about science blogging versus journalism were further challenged at the ScienceOnline 2010 conference in Raleigh, N.C. last weekend. Granted, I only recently took up blogging last summer and I’m a complete n00b at it. But the conference gave me a wider look at the culture of science blogging, the people behind the pixels, and the fact that online interaction — as fun and stimulating as it can be — is no substitute for in-person networking. If you want to check out what people are blogging about the conference, visit Bora’s site where he’s amassed a list of all the blog posts about the blogging conference (it’s honestly not nearly as navel-gazing as it sounds, and many have some great content capturing the sessions).