Blog Post

Liveblogging the 2008 NC Science Blogging conference - Blogging in the Humanities and Social Sciences panel

Moderator: Martin Rundkvist.  Blog = aardvarchaeology, because it starts with two As: http://www.scienceblogs.com/aardvarchaeology

We started by talking about classification issues: In much of Europe and elsewhere outside the U.S., humanists and social scientists are called scientists just as natural scientists are (I hope a German speaker can pipe up and tell us how they would build those words in German).  As an archaeologist, Martin is classified as a humanist in Sweden (though he might be a social scientist, and specifically an anthropologist in the American academy).  "So we're basically all the same guys."  He also covered philosophy and law blog carnivals.

A review of blog carnivals was next.  As we're in search of more hits, this can bring new readers to you that are interested in what you're writing.  Dave of Cognitive Daily (I'll get his full name and a URL later) pointed out that organizing a carnival is a ton of work, from reading all submitted posts to choosing what will be included and how to organize them.  It is a good activity for a newbie, though, in order to learn about the blogs out there and get some traffic to your blog.

Ideas for finding SS and Hum blogs: EurekAlert!, Google (plain ol' web searching), blogrolls of blogs you like, Technorati, blog carnivals, RSS feeds using keywords (could be in Google Reader or another aggregator) ...

We then went looking for blogs in particular disciplines: philosophy, performing arts, classics, relgiion (www.beliefnet.com), visual arts, history (New American Presidents Blog), languages and literature (Metaxu Cafe), law (Durham in Wonderland; Groklaw.net/ which is run by a paralegal; Lawyers, Guns and Money; Is That Legal?, which is by UNC professor Eric Muller; SCOTUS blogs; Scholarly Communications @ Duke, written by a law/library joint degree holder, and talks about copyright; also, Mark Urban pointed out that many law student bloggers have little to do with the science of law, and tend toward gossip), anthropology (blogs covering roads, like Route 66 and www.embargo.ca/Highway11/ a blog of every highway exit on Hwy. 11 in Canada, with contributed stories from anyone who has stories), geography (the rise of GPS, Google Earth, and geocaching may increase the numbers of these; confluence.org, which is personal reports of events at specific latitudes and longitudes; site with photos of all California's coast, being used by lawyers in property disputes, etc.; ), political science (most are about politics, and not the science, but there are certainly some out there), psychology (many are neuroscience focused; Cognitive Daily), and sociology (some researchers are using Facebook to track students' information, because so many of them are members; Tom pointed out that his sociological research would be much easier had Facebook always been around).

If you have more to contribute to this list, please do leave a comment. :)

One interesting question, posed by Dan Burkin, was whether people are reading blogs on a specific discipline instead of the scholarly journals that they used to.  It depends on the person, certainly, and I'm sure that there are some people doing so, but Mark pointed out that for non-specialists, using the blogosphere is essential for identifying needed information, whether for journalists, policymakers, or others.  Someone else (will get name later) pointed out that many people read blogs because they don't have access to many scientific journals, so blogs are a nice supplement in that case.  With internet access becoming close to ubiquitous, that is a good resource for those not within universities or libraries that can provide access to journals.  

Now I need to charge my laptop ... if I find an electrical outlet, I'll be back after lunch!

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2 comments

Nice to talk with you before the dicussion started.

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Same here!

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