Monday, October 8, 2007

I've been blogged!

“So who has TIME to read blogs, anyway?” As much a statement as a question, remarked by a colleague in purely genuine fashion with an impatient head toss. Not an entirely unfair assessment, I concluded. My workspaces at home and the office typically have multiple stacks of articles and books. Architectural columns of printed content, each page fascinating at first glance and earmarked for a quieter moment (when??), but dangerously resemble multiple Leaning Towers of Pisa. This is apart from the steady digital diet of TOCs, regional biotech news digests, and RSS feeds. I doubt I’ll ever be able to absorb it all, but every day brings more fabulous finds.

Among the alarming amount of content, though, I’m increasingly appreciative of blogs. And chastened by how much discipline it takes to keep one going. Of course, this is not to say that every blog post is engaging and spot-on. But the rapid-fire nature of the genre yields, by definition, an unvarnished view.

However, as I creep through the blogosphere, it seems that some of the best single-author science-related blogs are written under pseudonym. Take Young Female Scientist, for example, or PharmaGossip. Anonymous blogs are some of my favorites; bloggers are free to be biting and satirical, blunt or cheeky. Personal and/or professional blogs, though, don’t have this luxury. When the point of a blog is to attribute your name to it, there’s no hiding behind a nom de plume. No spouting diatribe in comfortable anonymity. So, let’s see, how to generate content on a regular basis that is genuine without being narcissistic….Hmmm. Yeah. It's not exactly trivial.

Ironically, though – speaking of narcissism - I stumbled upon myself recently. As subject of a blog. Well, not exactly myself, but my last published research article (in PLoS Pathogens). It was blogged at The post was more or less a re-hashing of the abstract, but still oddly gave me a start. And admittedly some satisfaction in the thought that all the hours/days/weeks spent analyzing microarray data was indeed time well spent.

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