Brain bloggers

I’m currently doing some research on brain bloggers. The first stage is a rather basic survey (below). This is open from today until Monday the 10th of January.

By ‘brain bloggers’ I mean bloggers who write about the stuff that goes in people’s heads, whatever we think this stuff is. Such bloggers might focus on neurology or psychology, or another field entirely. It might be the history, anthropology or commercial applications of these fields. It might come under ‘research blogging’, journalism, ‘public engagement’ or some form of political activism (or several of these at once, or something else entirely). This focus might be exclusively brain-y, or brain-ish issues might be topics they occasionally blog about in the course of other work.

I’m being deliberately vague here, hence words like ‘stuff’, so I can, as much as possible, get definitions from the results rather than my own initial prejudices. At this early exploratory stage, I’m also employing a ‘snowball’ method for finding people. I’ve emailed this survey to a few people, but have asked them to pass it on too, and thought it’d be worth pasting it up publicly too.

So, brainy bloggers, can you help a researcher out? Fill in the survey and/ or pass it on.

EDIT (30th Dec, 2010): I should provide a bit more context to the research. I should have done this earlier, and will email it out with other notes to all respondents I have address for after the cut off date of the 10th. I research science writing and science writers, and am interested in blogging as part of this. I think the brain and mind blogosphere(s) are potentially a really interesting case study (as much as blogosphere works as a meaningful term…). The idea of this survey is to get a better feel for the area than I can on my own. I eventually want to do a small number of more detailed interviews with bloggers (probably over Skype). The survey will frame this, but any research papers emerging from the project may mention some details from the survey itself, especially as I have been getting such a great response. Please do ask if you have any other questions: brainblogging@gmail.com.

EDIT (13th May, 2011): update here.

——-

Please email responses to brainblogging@gmail.com. You are welcome to post your response openly to your blog if you want, though please send me the link.

Please feel free to leave any blank if you feel the question is intrusive or you simply don’t have anything to say on the subject. This will not invalidate the response.

If you want to answer a particular question anonymously, please note that next to the answer (otherwise it may be quoted next to your blog’s name).

Your answers can be as long or as short as you like and may contain URLs if you feel you have answered a similar question elsewhere.

Blog URL:

What do you blog about?

Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre if science blogging? (e.g. neuroscience, bad science, ex-sbling)

If so, what does that community give you?

Are you paid to blog?

What do you do professionally (other than blog)?

How long have you been blogging at this site?

Have/ do you blogged elsewhere? When? Where?

Would you describe yourself as a scientist, or as a member of the scientific community? Do you have any formal/ informal training in science? (if so, what area?)

Do you have any formal training in journalism, science communication, or similar?

Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?)

Can you remember why you started blogging?

What keeps you blogging?

Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How?

What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog?

What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations?

Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss)

Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked?

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28 thoughts on “Brain bloggers

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  3. jeisea

    Blog URL: http;//www.crps-rsd-a-better-life.blogspot.com

    What do you blog about?
    What works for me to ease or stop pain and symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Interested in the part the brain plays in pain.

    Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre if science blogging? (e.g. neuroscience, bad science, ex-sbling)
    neuroscience?

    If so, what does that community give you?
    Information. research and links and most of all ideas

    Are you paid to blog?
    Only adsense and very little from that

    What do you do professionally (other than blog)? Retired. I was a teacher

    How long have you been blogging at this site?
    since 2006

    Have/ do you blogged elsewhere? When? Where?
    Not on this topic

    Would you describe yourself as a scientist, or as a member of the scientific community? Do you have any formal/ informal training in science? (if so, what area?)
    no. I have no scientific training other than school.

    Do you have any formal training in journalism, science communication, or similar?
    no

    Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?)
    no

    Can you remember why you started blogging?
    to help myself find answers

    What keeps you blogging?
    Interest in new brain science developments. I’m in remission now.

    Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How?
    I’ve had 37 000 visitors. Some stay for over an hour and some visit repeatedly. Many subscribe to email posts.

    What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog?
    I help them if I can by passing on links etc. I don’t give advice. I say what works for me but that others need to check with professionals.

    What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations?
    Advantages – helps me when things aren’t going well. Great reminder. I learn from comments.
    Met some interesting and many helpful people.
    It’s a platform for sharing information.
    Disadvantage – takes time

    Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss)
    Not usually.

    Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked?

  4. sashi chadha

    Your research shall advance and add to our ” stock of knowledge at hand ”
    Wishing you all success for the “wonderful area of research”

  5. Dorothy Bishop

    Blog URL: http://deevybee.blogspot.com/

    What do you blog about? various aspects of academic life, plus specific issues in my field of neurodevelopmental disorders

    Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre if science blogging? (e.g. neuroscience, bad science, ex-sbling) not neatly; bit of overlap with bad science/neuroscience

    If so, what does that community give you? make me read/think about wider range of issues than I otherwise would

    Are you paid to blog? Not on my regular site: have been offered payment for guest blogs elsewhere, but it’s not a factor for me.

    What do you do professionally (other than blog)? full time researcher

    How long have you been blogging at this site? 10 months

    Have/ do you blogged elsewhere? When? Where? guest blogs at Guardian Science and Science 3.0 past few months

    Would you describe yourself as a scientist, or as a member of the scientific community? Do you have any formal/ informal training in science? (if so, what area?) Scientist; training in experimental/clinical/neuro psychology

    Do you have any formal training in journalism, science communication, or similar? no

    Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?) academic publications/books -bulk of my day-to-day job involves writing or data analysis

    Can you remember why you started blogging? Got onto Twitter almost by accident, found it surprisingly useful as well as enjoyable, but then felt i wanted to say something longer than a tweet

    What keeps you blogging? It’s a very nice contrast to publishing academic papers. a) it’s great fun; b) I can say what I damn well like without worrying about reviewers; c) I can get useful feedback on developing ideas; d) I reach a much broader audience including some ‘users’ of research (eg practitioners/parents of children with disorders); e) it’s a form of psychotherapy for me to ventilate about topics that I am exercised about. Husband says I do much less ranting at home now as I can vent my spleen on the blog.

    Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How? No idea.Around half of my blog followers are fellow academics known to me, but I don’t know about the rest.

    What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog? Depends on the comments, but on the whole I am pleased that people can be bothered to comment and I do look at what they say and take it on board, and try to reply if appropriate. Occasionally it’s a nice way of finding someone to follow on Twitter. (such as @alicbell!)

    What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations? Advantages: the factors noted above re what keeps you blogging.
    Disadvantages: lack of peer review can mean that people (including me) may say daft/inaccurate things, but the self-correcting nature of the web means you’ll get put right quickly. I dislike the way in which anonymous commentators can be incredibly rude/insulting/hurtful, though I have not suffered from that myself (yet) – blogging certainly reveals the nasty side of human nature. I’m old enough to find bad language offensive, though interestingly, I find so much of it on Twitter that I’m gradually getting habituated.

    Overall, compared to academic publishing feedback is much much faster, much more explicit, and also more extreme – either positive or negative. You have to be aware that if you put your head above the parapet, you may attract snipers. Commenters will say what they really think. I think this latter point may be something that puts many women off blogging.

    But overall, disadvantages are few. I see it as complementary rather than alternative to my normal academic activities.

    Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss) Yes – and I get two reactions. a) “I wouldn’t have thought of you as a blogger” (I think cos I am older than most) and b) “How on earth do you find the time?”

    Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked?
    Nope . Greatly enjoy finding out about science communication stuff – keep up the good work!

  6. David Winter

    Blog URL:

    http://careersintheory.wordpress.com

    What do you blog about?
    Theory, research and other ideas related to the practice of careers advising/coaching. Some of this covers psychology (even a bit of neuroscience), but also sociology, economics, politics – whatever seems interesting.

    Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre if science blogging? (e.g. neuroscience, bad science, ex-sbling)
    Primarily, the careers or coaching community, but also the education community, as I don’t just focus on one-to-one work.

    If so, what does that community give you?
    Ideas, feedback

    Are you paid to blog?
    It is a recognised (small) part of my job, but it is also a hobby.

    What do you do professionally (other than blog)?
    Higher education career adviser/coach, trainer

    How long have you been blogging at this site?
    About 18 months

    Have/ do you blogged elsewhere? When? Where?
    No

    Would you describe yourself as a scientist, or as a member of the scientific community? Do you have any formal/ informal training in science? (if so, what area?)
    Physics degree a long time ago

    Do you have any formal training in journalism, science communication, or similar?
    Experience in the editorial side of academic science publishing

    Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?)
    Occasionally

    Can you remember why you started blogging?
    Wanted to keep track of the ideas and have a place to explore and reflect. Also keen to create an interface between academic research and practice.

    What keeps you blogging?
    It helps me learn

    Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How?
    Visits to site: 3000-4000 per month
    Mostly careers people – they interact anyway

    What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog?
    I love it when people comment

    What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations?
    It is a quick and easy way to get ideas out there to a wider audience than academic journals. There’s no peer review, but there is feedback.

    Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss)
    Yes

    Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked?

  7. Giuliano Lombardo

    Blog URL: http://giulianolombardo.blogspot.com/

    What do you blog about?
    About my work, which has to do with creativity, society, perception and art. Particularly with automatic creativity, interactive devices and such.

    Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre if science blogging? (e.g. neuroscience, bad science, ex-sbling)
    I’d like to know myself.

    If so, what does that community give you?

    Are you paid to blog?
    No.

    What do you do professionally (other than blog)?
    The work that the blog is about and teaching.

    How long have you been blogging at this site?
    A few months.

    Have/ do you blogged elsewhere? When? Where?
    No.

    Would you describe yourself as a scientist, or as a member of the scientific community? Do you have any formal/ informal training in science? (if so, what area?)
    Psychology of Art

    Do you have any formal training in journalism, science communication, or similar?
    Yes (maybe not official, but you could say formal).

    Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?)
    Rivista di Psicologia dell’Arte

    http://www.sergiolombardo.it/rivista-psicologia-dellarte.html

    Can you remember why you started blogging?
    Somehow I find it faster then updating my website.

    What keeps you blogging?
    Curiosity about how it works (blogs and blogging).

    Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How?
    Very small for now, but I will try and figure out a way to make it bigger…

    What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog?
    I don’t allow direct comments on the blog, but I do supply an email address for feedback.

    What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations?
    I don’t know yet. I hope to reach a public I wouldn’t reach otherwise and keep people posted about what I’m doing.

    Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss)
    No, …not yet at least.

    Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked?

  8. Sarah Cavanagh

    What do you blog about?
    Recent results from psychological science that can be applied to people’s daily lives. Mostly from the areas of positive psychology and motivation research.

    Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre if science blogging? (e.g. neuroscience, bad science, ex-sbling)
    Unfortunately I have little time to read other people’s blogs!

    If so, what does that community give you?
    See above.

    Are you paid to blog?
    Yes.

    What do you do professionally (other than blog)?
    Teach and research in a psychology department of a small liberal arts college.

    How long have you been blogging at this site?
    7 months.

    Have/ do you blogged elsewhere? When? Where?
    No.

    Would you describe yourself as a scientist, or as a member of the scientific community? Do you have any formal/ informal training in science? (if so, what area?)
    Yes, a Ph.D. in experimental psychology.

    Do you have any formal training in journalism, science communication, or similar?
    No.

    Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?)
    Peer-reviewed journal articles.

    Can you remember why you started blogging?
    Money, fun, extending psychological research outside of the classroom.

    What keeps you blogging?
    All of the above.

    Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How?
    I don’t really know the size! The character = people interested in whole living – life balance, productivity, spirituality, etc.

    What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog?
    Positive. I don’t get all that many comments.

    What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations?
    Keeps me in touch with the literature, is good practice for distilling complicated studies into understandable sound bites, which helps with my teaching.

    Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss)
    Yes.

    Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked?
    Nope!

    :) Sarah

  9. Debbie Hampton

    The email address did not work for me…got an error message

    What do you blog about?

    The brain…emotions, thought reframing, controlling your mind, depression, happiness psychology, meditation, brain diet, brain health – exercise, supplements , brain training …I would say the one common theme is always is neuroplasticity.

    Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre if science blogging? (e.g. neuroscience, bad science, ex-sbling) No

    If so, what does that community give you?

    Are you paid to blog? No

    What do you do professionally (other than blog)? No profession

    How long have you been blogging at this site? One year and one month

    Have/ do you blogged elsewhere? When? Where? No

    Would you describe yourself as a scientist, or as a member of the scientific community? Do you have any formal/ informal training in science? (if so, what area?) No

    Do you have any formal training in journalism, science communication, or similar?
    Business degree and background in marketing and PR, but not science

    Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?) No

    Can you remember why you started blogging?
    I started blogging to share what I have learned in recovering from a serious acquired brain injury and in overcoming depression and changing my life for the better on my own without a dependence on drugs or western medicine…through leveraging and directing the amazing power of neuroplasticity.

    What keeps you blogging? I am really helping people!
    I just got an email from a person I have never met, but have communicated with online saying that I pulled her through a really tough time and gave her hope. I have gotten other similar feedback and comments. This is powerful motivation and incentive to continue. I have been a bad example previously with my life and behavior. I want to be a good one now and share the information to empower others.

    Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How?
    No, not really other than the Weber stats

    What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog?
    Friendly, casual

    What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations? Blogging has put me in touch with a whole online community of persons who are supportive and encouraging. In recovering from my brain injury, I was and continue to be somewhat socially isolated. Once I started blogging, I never felt alone. I have made friends all over the US and feel a kinship with them and communicate on a regular basis. It truly has been a crucial part of my life and recovery. Some days, the only person I may have interacted with was online. Limitations – time and expense.

    Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss) Yes

    Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked?
    Blogging has also been therapeutic for me mentally and emotionally. It has been integral to my recovery from a brain injury.

  10. Kane Augustus

    Blog URL: http://saintcynic.blogspot.com

    What do you blog about? Religio-philosophical issues, social commentary, criticism, fitness and health

    Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre if science blogging? (e.g. neuroscience, bad science, ex-sbling): Not a matter of feeling for me. I blog on the topics I’ve listed because those are the topics I’ve gained a certain level of expertise in, and because I’m unyieldingly interested in them. I think there are a great many blogs covering similar topics to me but, so far, I have really attracted their attention or gained an kind of generalised acceptance into their blogrolls.

    If so, what does that community give you? If by “that community” you mean the aggragate group of blogs I visit and participate on that are similar in nature to mine, then I would say that those blogs give me information, resources, unintentional feedback, and more topics.

    Are you paid to blog? I wish. Perhaps one day.

    What do you do professionally (other than blog)? Raise my kids, take care of wards, and I’m beginning to make contacts into freelance writing.

    How long have you been blogging at this site? 2 years.

    Have/ do you blogged elsewhere? When? Where? I have. Roughly 4 years ago, when I was making the egregious consideration of becoming Catholic, I blogged at a site my friend and I set up called “Barque of Peter“. When I decided that I simply could not believe the claims of Catholicism, my friend and I agreed to remove me from the roster of contributors.

    Would you describe yourself as a scientist, or as a member of the scientific community? Do you have any formal/ informal training in science? (if so, what area?): I would consider myself a scientist in the classical latin sense of the word scientia(knowledge); that is, I am one who gains knowledge. By modern standards, however, I am not a scientist so much as I am an armchair philosopher and critic.

    Do you have any formal training in journalism, science communication, or similar? No. It is tempting, however, to gain some training in journalism.

    Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?) Not yet. Working on it.

    Can you remember why you started blogging? Yes. Because I needed a place to air my thoughts and opinions without being a drain on other not-so-like-minded people around me.

    What keeps you blogging? A genuine interest in conversation about the topics I enjoy. A desire to enjoy global communication in an interest-specific way.

    Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How? There are 9 people listed as “followers” of my blog (creepy as that sounds). Other than that, I really don’t know. I tried a couple of tracking devices for a while but they really only reflected the proxy servers people bounced through when visiting my site. Hardly an accurate representation.

    What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog? I’ve had a few hostiles, but I delete their comments. I’m not interested in pointless aggression. Other than that, I generally have pleasant interactions with people, even if we disagree.

    What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations? It seems to me that the advantage of blogging is that it is a readily accessible vehicle for expression on a global scale. And while internet neutrality still exists more than not, it is a wonderful way to allow the freedom of expression germane to human nature. The disadvantage, at least that I can see, is that my site is not at the top of the reading list amongst the millions of blogs out there. By implication then, the disadvantage is that there are too many blogs for anyone to get noticed who is really serious about their blogging endeavours.

    Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss) I’m selective. My family knows, yes. However, I don’t trust most of the people that I work with, so I’m remorselessly selective about who I tell at work.

    Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked? I think this question is far to broad and vague for me to answer beyond this point.

  11. Kane Augustus

    ERRATA

    Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre if science blogging? (e.g. neuroscience, bad science, ex-sbling): Not a matter of feeling for me. I blog on the topics I’ve listed because those are the topics I’ve gained a certain level of expertise in, and because I’m unyieldingly interested in them. I think there are a great many blogs covering similar topics to me but, so far, I haven’t really attracted their attention or gained an kind of generalised acceptance into their blogrolls.

  12. Sophie Scott

    What do you blog about?
    General stuff concerning science, feminist issues, through to really specific stuff about particular papers or meetings, or press about our work.
    Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre if science blogging? (e.g. neuroscience, bad science, ex-sbling)
    Neuroscience, I guess.
    If so, what does that community give you?
    A set of kind people who read the blog.
    Are you paid to blog?
    No!
    What do you do professionally (other than blog)?
    Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow, Prof. of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL.
    How long have you been blogging at this site?
    About 9 months?
    Have/ do you blogged elsewhere? When? Where?
    No.
    Would you describe yourself as a scientist, or as a member of the scientific community? Do you have any formal/ informal training in science? (if so, what area?)
    Yes, I’m a scientist, I’ve followed a research career sin ce getting my PhD (i.e. I’ve never been tenured at a University)
    Do you have any formal training in journalism, science communication, or similar?
    I’ve done a couple of training courses, nothing format.
    Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?)
    I’ve done some writing (e.g. for THES).
    Can you remember why you started blogging?
    My post-docs thought the lab should have a web page and a blog as a way of getting a public face for our work.
    What keeps you blogging?
    I enjoy it, and I enjoy the ways the blogs get discussed and transmitted on Twitter.
    Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience?
    None!
    How?
    What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog?
    Grateful they have taken the time!
    What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations?
    I think the advantages are a space to write personal opinions on a range of topics. Have not yet found any disadvantages, though I can imagine they exist.
    Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss)
    Yes, sometimes.
    Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked?

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  15. Mungo

    Blog URL: http://MungosADHD.com

    What do you blog about? Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD

    Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre if science blogging? (e.g. neuroscience, bad science, ex-sbling) Neuropsychological disorders

    If so, what does that community give you? Broader information

    Are you paid to blog? No

    What do you do professionally (other than blog)? IT Project Manager

    How long have you been blogging at this site? 9 months

    Have/ do you blogged elsewhere? When? Where? Yes – for 7 years at http://MungoSaysBah.com

    Would you describe yourself as a scientist, or as a member of the scientific community? Do you have any formal/ informal training in science? (if so, what area?) Took a degree in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Troonto

    Do you have any formal training in journalism, science communication, or similar? No

    Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?) I am going to be published this month in ADDitude’s print magazine based on a post the editor found on http://MungosADHD.com !

    Can you remember why you started blogging? I was slack-jawed and awed to discover I was diagnosed with Adult ADHD – it explained, as a theory, most of the difficulties I’ve ever experienced.

    What keeps you blogging? Passion for the topic, wanting to help with treatment.

    Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How? They say 4% of the adult population can be diagnosed with current DSM IV criteria – so a whole bunch!

    What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog? Love hearing from them, finding out people with such similar, redemptive journeys like mine.

    What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations? Advantage: Sharing with a world-wide audience. Disadvantages: Mild concerns about anonymity – all but gone now! Limitations – wish I could write more often.

    Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss): Yes, compulsively!

    Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked? Thank you.

  16. Kevin Mitchell

    What do you blog about?

    How the brain is wired, how it gets wired during development, how that process is affected by genetic variation and how that can lead to psychiatric or neurological disorders or to more benign differences in personality, temperament, perception, cognitive styles, etc.

    Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre if science blogging? (e.g. neuroscience, bad science, ex-sbling)

    Neuroscience, Genetics

    If so, what does that community give you?

    Cross-fertilisation of ideas, occasional links to my blogs

    Are you paid to blog?

    No

    What do you do professionally (other than blog)?

    I am a senior lecturer in genetics and neuroscience and a researcher at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

    How long have you been blogging at this site?

    Since June 2009

    Have/ do you blogged elsewhere? When? Where?

    Yes, regularly on Gene Expression (www.gnxp.com). Also on the Nature website (Journal Club blog: http://blogs.nature.com/nature/journalclub/2010/04/kevin_mitchell.html). Upcoming on Scientific American blog Mind Matters.

    Would you describe yourself as a scientist, or as a member of the scientific community?

    Yes

    Do you have any formal/ informal training in science? (if so, what area?)

    Genetics, Neuroscience, Developmental Biology, Molecular and Cell Biology, Bioinformatics, lately developing some expertise in Cognitive Science and Psychology

    Do you have any formal training in journalism, science communication, or similar?

    No

    Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?)

    No

    Can you remember why you started blogging?

    Yes

    What keeps you blogging?

    I enjoy writing in a more personal style, exploring ideas outside formal publications, trying to link ideas across different levels of analysis or traditional disciplines. Writing for the blog, I have to assume a minimum of background knowledge among my readers – this forces me to try to understand things well enough myself to be able to explain them in a general and hopefully accessible way. I also think communication of scientific findings to the general public should be a core mission of any scientist.

    Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How?

    I do track traffic to the Wiring the Brain blogsite. The audience seems to vary from researchers across various areas to interested non-scientists.

    What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog?

    I very much enjoy getting comments and having a dialogue – in many cases I learn a lot. It is also very revealing as to whether I have been clear or not and in some cases of the mindset and starting position of the reader, which can be quite unexpected.

    What do you think are the advantages of blogging?

    The ability to reach anyone who might be interested enough in a topic to find the blog. The opportunity to write about whatever I find interesting. The freedom to express an opinion and to write in a more personal tone.

    What are its disadvantages/ limitations?

    The effort of doing it is not formally recognised in the way that scientific publications are. Blogs can’t be too long – sometimes means a complicated topic can’t be dealt with in the amount of detail required.

    Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss)

    yes

    Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked? no

  17. Nina

    Blog URL: brainfrontiers.com

    What do you blog about? neuroscience news with a paranormal twist.

    Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre if science blogging? (e.g. neuroscience, bad science, ex-sbling) neuroscience, psychology, bad science

    If so, what does that community give you? links to my blog, info

    Are you paid to blog? not yet, I do use adsense

    What do you do professionally (other than blog)? I am a neuroscientist

    How long have you been blogging at this site? 1 year

    Have/ do you blogged elsewhere? When? Where? No.

    Would you describe yourself as a scientist, or as a member of the scientific community? Do you have any formal/ informal training in science? (if so, what area?) Yes, I have a PhD in neuroscience.

    Do you have any formal training in journalism, science communication, or similar? No.

    Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?) I publish research in peer reviewed journals.

    Can you remember why you started blogging? For fun.

    What keeps you blogging? It’s fun.

    Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How? Nope.

    What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog? Friendly, open minded.

    What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations? I can express my self and inform others about topics that interest me. But, I also have to be careful about what I say because if my colleagues read my posts, which tend to be about paranormal phenomena or entheogenic drugs, it may affect how they perceive me and my work.

    Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss) Only friends and family. I avoid mentioning it at work.

    Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked? thx.

  18. sathish annira

    Blog URL: http://www.mindarkitect.blogspot.com

    What do you blog about?
    About my experiences on spirituality in managing mental disorders .

    Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre if science blogging? (e.g. neuroscience, bad science, ex-sbling)
    If so, what does that community give you?
    I severely suffered with General anxiety disorder , I am managing it through prescription drugs, Yoga,meditation and Physical activities.

    Are you paid to blog?
    NO

    What do you do professionally (other than blog)?
    I am a Coffee planter.

    How long have you been blogging at this site?
    I just started blogging from this month ie December 2010

    Have/ do you blogged elsewhere? When? Where?
    Nowhere

    Would you describe yourself as a scientist, or as a member of the scientific community? Do you have any formal/ informal training in science? (if so, what area?)
    No

    Do you have any formal training in journalism, science communication, or similar?
    No

    Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?)
    No

    Can you remember why you started blogging?
    To create awareness amongst people about various anxiety disorders, to eradicate myths about psychiatrist and most importantly to present the entire mental disorders in a spiritual perspective.

    Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How?
    No

    What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog?
    nothing

    What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations?
    Blogging gives me immense satisfaction ,especially when i press the publish button after hours of editing the words and sentences i write.

    Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss)
    Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked?
    I don’t feel like telling i am a blogger ,but whatever i write it is from my own experience in life. I suffered a lot by this disorder. And i feel extremely sorry for people not realizing the immense potentiality the mind holds for them.

  19. Sandeep Gautam

    Blog URL:

    http://the-mouse-trap.com

    What do you blog about?
    About diverse topics in psychology and neuroscience including focal areas as personality, autism/schizophrenia as on a continuum, evolutionary and developmental psychology; started with cognitive psychology; have indulged in speculations related to consciousness too.
    Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre if science blogging? (e.g. neuroscience, bad science, ex-sbling)
    the open access advocates as not being from academic background, I have access to only such research. I lso have a blog titled ‘free as in science’ at science3point0.com
    If so, what does that community give you?
    Free access to papers behind paywallls via references wanted FF/Scinece3point0 room :-) more seriously the brain blog netwrok gives me intersting news to feed on and stuff to think about from various perspectives.
    Are you paid to blog?
    no, I pay to blog by paying my hosting service provider for hosting my blog…I tried with ad based revenues but have given up on that.
    What do you do professionally (other than blog)?
    I am a software engineer at Cisco. My day job has been is software telecommunication industry for the past 12 years.
    How long have you been blogging at this site?
    more than 4 years. I guess I started in may 2006.
    Have/ do you blogged elsewhere? When? Where?
    ya I have a poetry blog, a tech blog ; mostly nondescript blogs o blogger/wrodpress.com
    Would you describe yourself as a scientist, or as a member of the scientific community? Do you have any formal/ informal training in science? (if so, what area?)
    I would describe my self as an armchair/theoretical scientists, though I have no formal /informal training in psychology/neuroscience/science. If using internet and reading textbooks is considered as informal training I have loads of that!
    Do you have any formal training in journalism, science communication, or similar?
    Nopes.
    Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?)
    Nopes…I dont have the credentials (no PhD/MS etc …so got rejected by Sci Am mind etc and never tried again)
    Can you remember why you started blogging?

    I was reading a lot but not having an outlet for sharing my knowledge, that is when blogging happened.
    What keeps you blogging?
    The thoughts that some of the radical ideas I had championed via my blog(like autism/psychosis dichotomy) did get public recognition and acceptance later (i was ahead of my time?) ……The hope that I will make some exciting new theoretical breakthrough and share it with the world using my blog.
    Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How?
    ya, I know the count of daily visitors via sitemeter.com (200-300 daily new visitors on the site) I have the RSS subscriber count courtesy Google Feedburner (~ 1270 subscribers) and I know the fans on Facebook (192 till last speaking) .
    What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog?
    I try to reply back if the comment requires attentions; if it is trivial I probably ignore it.
    What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations?
    a democratic outlet for sharing and developing expertise ; cant think of any disadvantages except that it cannot be made as a full time job…at least by me.
    Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss)
    yes.
    Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked?

  20. Jon Brock

    Blog URL: http://crackingtheenigma.blogspot.com

    What do you blog about? Autism and related disorders. Mainly focusing on cognitive and neuroscience research, with occasional forays into genetics, clinical aspects.

    Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre if science blogging? (e.g. neuroscience, bad science, ex-sbling). Probably neuroscience. Fairly new to blogging so haven’t really figured out the other ‘communities’ that might also fit into.

    If so, what does that community give you?
    Lots of fascinating stuff to read, ideas that I would never have come across otherwise. Links and blogrolls (usually because I ask to be blogrolled!)

    Are you paid to blog?
    No.

    What do you do professionally (other than blog)?
    Full time researcher

    How long have you been blogging at this site?
    First post was August last year, but only started posting regularly about 6 months ago

    Have/ do you blogged elsewhere? When? Where?
    No

    Would you describe yourself as a scientist, or as a member of the scientific community? Do you have any formal/ informal training in science? (if so, what area?)
    Yes. PhD in Psychology

    Do you have any formal training in journalism, science communication, or similar?
    No

    Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?)
    Just journal articles (and the occasional academic book chapter)

    Can you remember why you started blogging?
    Talking to parents, teachers of kids with autism, I realised there’s a huge disconnect between the research I do and the people who have a vested interest in it. I had vague idea of writing a pop-science book but thought a blog might be a good starting point.

    What keeps you blogging?
    I keep finding interesting papers to blog about!

    Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How?
    I recently discovered the Stats page on blogspot. Last month I got 2600 page views, although lots of them would have been me! Seems like a huge number (especially compared to the number of people likely to read an academic paper) but I realise it’s titchy compared to more established blogs.

    What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog?
    I love it when people comment. I wish they would comment more even just to say “yep that made sense” (or not). It’s nice to know that someone’s reading it – and, more’s the point, has got to the end!. I’ve started leaving randomish comments on other people’s blogs for that reason. Comments I get tend to be either general acknowledgements of having read/understood, requests for clarifications or further details (usually from non-academics who don’t have access to the paper) or further critiques (more often from other academics). I also now email the authors of any paper I write about, out of courtesy but also because I want to get an online discussion going. Sadly only one has actually left a comment (although some others have responded by email).

    What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations?
    I tend to agree with what other people have said. The opportunity to write about stuff you find interesting, in your own style. The immediacy of it – before I blogged I would forever be reading papers and wanting to make a comment / criticism, but there isn’t really an outlet for comments in most journals – and if there is it’s very formal.

    Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss)
    It’s not something I go out of my way to tell people. I’ve mentioned it to friends who have autistic kids and if I’m talking to a colleague about a paper that I’ve blogged about I’ll send them a link to the post. And I’ve got links to my blog on my work homepage and my email signature. No idea if anyone’s clicked through though.

    Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked?
    Nope, apart from Merry Christmas!!

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