OK Maybe an Open Blog can Work

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I just saw that my ETS colleague Brad Kozlek wrote about open blogging in a science lab and I honestly have to agree that this is a good model.

In a recent round table with instructors using Blogs at Penn State, one of them mentioned that he specifically wanted his students to blog in the open (i.e. anyone can see the posts)...because he felt that students would pay more attention to what they wrote if they knew anyone could stumble across it.

I do maintain both an open and a private blog, and again I would agree that the writing on my open blog is much more coherent. I'm glad that I do have some open blog venues out there and I am getting a chance to use them to try out some ideas in public. Similarly, if a scientist is training to keep an usable lab journal, a public blog is a good way to sharpen the focus.

I think one caveat for this discussion is that I would say that a research journal may be semi-public genre. A lot of the entries from the Redfield Lab Postdoc Blogs were noting investigations and results from that day and are a bit technical in nature. On the other hand, more than a few are referring to Meatloaf (the musician) and Queens of the Stone Age (also musicians). There's no doubt that a blog is a little funkier than a formal research paper.

Still... I maintain that we need to carefully to define what constitutes "public" and "private" in the blogosphere and when each is appropriate.

I know, I'm stubborn.

1 Comments

Cole said:

You may be stubborn, but very open minded.

I agree we need to be very up front with people about public v private and use the opportunity to share concerns, ideas, thoughts, etc on what it all means to identity. I think it is one of the most overlooked issues with all this blogging stuff -- that everything someone puts into the public domain helps craft their overall identity. It is so much more than blogs -- del.icio.us, Flickr, FasceBook, and everything else plays a huge role in it ... but the blog seems to have the potential to be the glue that puts the pieces together.

It is great to see the wheels turning on these issues.

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