As you know, we (Robert, Callan and I) launched an online survey about the geoblogosphere last year (October to November). The following results are only a (very) short summary of the comprehensive data which will be published in a few months in a professional journal. Due to a chronic lack of time, I mainly show the graphs without much of interpretation. However, I think (or hope) the data are also interesting without an extensive discussion.
Abbreviations: n = number of participants; a = number of responses
Number participants: 78
Geoblogs and Community
Average post rate in the geoblogosphere: 0.37 posts per day
Max. post rate: 2.4 posts per day
There is a slight positive correlation between the age of the bloggers and the number of posts per day.
Geoblogging and Career
In this context it is interesting that 47 % of the female but only 15 % of the male geobloggers write their posts anonymously. The results suggest that women geoscientists are more afraid of possible negative impacts on their career by blogging under their own name. On the other hand, blogging anonymously may offer more possibilities to improve soft skills and find scientific orientation, especially as student.
At the end of this short summary I present some statements why 50 % of the geobloggers believe that geoblogging influences their career positively:
Blogging has increased my profile within the paleontology community, and introduced me to many individuals whom I never would have met otherwise. It has led to research collaborations, as well as collaborations on general issues of scientific importance (e.g., open access publication). I believe that I also have been able to maintain a positive influence on my career by generally avoiding controversial or divisive topics.
I’ve already received positive feedback from colleagues saying how impressed they are with the quality of content and intent to educate.
Communication and the dissemination of information is what we do. Blogging just shows that you have taken the initiative to go beyond the expected.
My job includes public education about paleontology as a component. My blog has been my most successful single effort to that end.
The whole goal of being a research scientist is to get your research out as quickly as possible to the widest possible audience.Â A well-known blog lets you do that very effectively.Â Our ideas reach people that they would never reach if they were only in our formal publications, and also act as a “gateway drug” to get people onto those publications where the ideas are worked out with full rigour.
The purpose of the blog is to show what I and my employees are doing. It shows experience and publicizes us.
Institutions are increasingly supportive for this kind of activities, which are essential for dissemination of the research that is done within their labs.