During some random Web surfing (something I don’t get nearly enough time to do these days), I ran into the Science blogging Challenge (aka “get a senior scientist blogging”) and it got me thinking about how I got blogging, and more recently how I got twittering (which seems to fit my insane life style better). I sent the following entry to the competition, nominating a few people who were instrumental in getting me blogging and more recently getting me to tweet.
Here’s what I said:
My motivation to start blogging actually came because of a different senior scientist starting his blog — In Jan 06, one of my colleagues started a blog – and it got some big notice — since the blogger was Tim Berners-Lee that made some sense, My first real blog (I had contributed blog comments and done an occasional “guest shot” on other peoples blogs) was called “Time to get a blog” and mentions the influence of Tim’s bloggin. I cannot tell you who convinced Tim to blog, but I know that Danny Weitzner, whose blog is at http://people.w3.org/~djweitzner/blog/, was one of the influences.
However, Tim’s starting to blog is the thing that got me to finally do it, but the person who really got me blogging is Jennifer Golbeck, (who blogs in a bunch of different places) who is the one who convinced me to get my act together and walk the walk if I was going to claim to be a Professor of All Things Web, as I now try to be – she’s also the one who got me signed up on orkut, facebook (beta) and a bunch of other social networking sites long before it became popular – and if I’m not mistaken she’s probably the person who got me my gmail invitation way back when – so Jen should definitely be someone considered in the “I got a senior scientist to blog” category.
Meanwhile, the propagation continues – Peter Fox, who attended this past Sci Foo, and is an occasional blogger has joined my lab, and he and I are trying to convince several of our colleagues, esp. Deborah McGuinness, to get blogging.
I’d also like to point out that while blogging continues to be interesting to look at as a mechanism for propagating science, I’m finding these days that microblogging (i’m jahendler on twitter) has been gaining popularity, especially among the Social Scientists – and it may be an even better way for some of the busy senior scientists you’re trying to reach out to (if they can just learn to use the messaging on their cell phones). I credit “eingang” (Michelle Hoyle – http://einiverse.eingang.org/) for getting me twittering, and I notice that a quick message from my phone during a lecture or seminar is a good way to share a thought or a pointer (although I find it also is fun to add personal observations and such – so it humanizes the scientists who use it)
So anyway – there are three entries for the contest
Danny Weitzner for helping to get Tim Berners-Lee blogging
Jen Golbeck for getting me blogging
Michele Hoyle for getting me micro-blogging