I guess the reason that kept me away for so long was the question “what do I write about”? Looking around, it seems that people on the web are divided into 2 groups: the ones that are really passionate about something and write -well or not so well- about it, and the ones who chatter inanely and eternally about everything and nothing. I don’t know if I am expert enough in anything to belong to the first group, and I REALLY don’t want to belong to the second!
So. I have apparently joined the blogosphere. As Duncan Hull pointed out, “what took me so long”? Writing has always been something I enjoy – just take a look at my excruciatingly long emails- and I consider myself a technologically savvy guy, so “blogging” should have fitted like the proverbial glove.
I think what convinced me to make the leap, is that I can increasingly see the contribution that Web 2.0 technologies and social networking tools are making to science and the way it is performed. Networking has always been a big part of science. What better way to network then for a bunch of scientists who a) probably already possess the expertise required to use all the exciting new “toys” and, b) often do not possess the social skills to do it in person!
So where do I start? My inspiration comes from friends and colleagues who are already very effectively using their blogs, tweets, and so on, to promote their scientific output. Some examples can be seen in the links I have included on the right (look under “Friends”); there are of course others. In trying to emulate their success, I have signed up to a number of services, from which I had been keeping myself away for a long time. I started tweeting. I joined LinkedIn. I signed up for FriendFeed. This was fun, but it also had the opposite effect of what I thought it would: instead of an exhilarating take-off into the free skies of social networking, I am stuck knee-deep in a swamp of technical problems and incompatibilities!
Game on then. I think I am getting there, only a lot slower than I was expecting. At least I have shifted my bottleneck from “what do I write about?” to “how do I make this work?”. That is progress. I will keep telling myself that. Now, if I could only link my tweets with my Facebook status…
PS: How is everyone else getting on with their networking? Is your Web 2.0 experience filled with frustration or satisfaction? Post a comment.