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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDIT (13th May, 2011): update here.
Please email responses to email@example.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.
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?