I’ve decided to jump into the geoblogosphere!
Since I first started tweeting, I’ve discovered a significant community of geoscientists committed to using and exploring the potential applications of social media through the geoblogosphere. Their enthusiasm is palpable and contagious, and the circle of participants is continuously expanding.
While I have learned and gained so much from engaging with this community via Twitter, I want to engage in more robust ways beyond 140 characters. Through posts and discussions on geoblogs, these geoscientists engage in
- scholarly debates about the impact of social media on the attraction and retention of scientists (Internet as a resource and support network for diverse geoscientists (PDF));
- discussions on the role of geoscientists in science communication in an era of diminishing mainstream science journalism (Current Issues in the Geoblogosphere);
- sharing and teaching about basic geoscience information and natural hazards with each other and the general public (Dave’s Landslide Blog; Flooding in Pakistan; Haiti Revisited);
- community-wide engagement through regular geo-fun (Where on Google Earth), common themes (Accretionary Wedge), communal blogs (Pathological Geomorphology);
- geoscience political activism (Serpentine: A Group of Minerals);
- real-time gatherings to build connections in person at professional conferences (“geotweetups”);
- blogging about the proceedings of professional conferences (AGU 2009); and
- so much more.
How could I not want to jump in?
Expanding the geoblogosphere
When I discovered this community online, I wondered how it was possible that I had not been aware of it before. After all, developing online geoscience information for geoscientists and the public has been a large part of my career for ten years. The majority of long-term geobloggers are in academia – although by no means all (Clastic Detritus and Astronaut for Hire, for example).
Other sectors have been slower to envision or embrace the potential benefits of social media. Many of us in private consulting or the public sector can blog about geoscience, but we typically can’t blog about our daily work activities. Things are changing, though. Government agencies are jumping in (Arizona State Geologist and Utah Geological Survey) and more professional societies are blogging (GSA, AGU, and now NGWA).
I’m interested in exploring how blogging can foster collaboration and communications among the various sectors of the geoscience communities and between geoscientists and the general public.
Let the fun begin!