Liveblogging the 2008 NC Science Blogging conference - Adventures in Science Blogging w/Jennifer Ouelette

Speaker: Jennifer Ouelette (I'm a little tired, so my notes will be brief.  Check out Jennifer's blog, Cocktail Party Physics, for more details.)

Bloggers, especially science bloggers, are quite diverse and don't fit the geeky stereotype.  For Jennifer, a blog is the communication line she's long been looking for. We can encounter many people in blogs that we otherwise wouldn't; note that Jennifer met her husband through her blog!  Community building, woo!  Similar to the last talk, Jennifer believes that science bloggers can form a bridge between the public and the scientific community.  

Now that blogs are extremely popular, personally adaptable, and flexibile, she see them as being a long-term media form.  (Don't forget about the downsides, though; trolls, misuse of expertise in science blogs, and so on).  As a journalist, she isn't too happy with the tendency for people to seek blogs that reinforce their beliefs (yes, I'm guilty of this too), just as consumers of other forms of media have long done.  

Some things that we should improve upon in the blogosphere: science bloggers should be paid for their efforts!  Most people, including the speaker, write a blog on the side; occasionally, something from her "writing lab" becomes an article for which she does receive pay.  Also, we shouldn't undertake excessive vetting and fact-checking and editing, because it can overwhelm the creative spirit that leads to science blogging in the first place.  As the ranks of bloggers increase, we have endless opportunities to reinvent the blogosphere, and that's what she wants the audience to talk about!  I'll update what the audience members had to say soon.