Science blogs: good or bad?
The Internet is saturated with blogs on any topic imaginable. Even within the narrower subset of science blogs the amount of information is vast, and for readers it can seem that there are too many blogs to keep track of. (…)
The casual and self-regulatory nature of blogging has benefits and pitfalls for the science world. Blogs are simple to start, and easy to publish, but in order to be successful they require much more. Blogs require that invaluable resource of time. Time to produce high quality material, time to interact with the readers, time to learn the technology and web design in order to make sure the blog is appealing. The question becomes, do the benefits outweigh the cost? (…)
The blogosphere is a large community; however, bloggers with similar interests and audience bases are often connected in multiple ways. Blogs create a space where connections can be made easily and instantly through hyperlinks. (…)
Blogs are a low-cost way for anyone to publish information and make it available to a global audience. Science blogs are an alternative way for people to explore and learn about the latest trends and research. However, the potential of science blogs is overshadowed by the numerous other blogs which disseminate false or misleading information. The reader must be able to judge on their own the reliability of the blogs they read. (…)
Blogging improves science outreach by allowing authors, from graduate students to tenured professionals, to more directly and more rapidly interact with their peers and the rest of the population. Increasing communication channels through tools such as blogs builds a knowledge base that allows world-wide collaboration and active participation by the scientists, and ensures continual, immediate criticism of science research by both readers and writers.
Laksamee Putnam. The changing role of blogs in science information dissemination. ISTL, Spring 2011.