Sunday, April 23, 2006

About Blogging

So when I first started blogging on this site, it was merely to give my family and friends some insight to my thoughts. I also decided to have other blogs to put opinions and work related stuff, but that didn't work. So now this blog is a catch all for everything in my life, no matter how silly, boring, opinionated, or interesting it might be. But recently Lance Fortnow, a blogger who I greatly respect, has an entry pointing out the negatives of student blogging (although I think his entry could be more widely applied to any blogger). I also came across this entry by a blog that I think is well done arguing the other side of things. And finally another link that was left in the comments of the Lance's blog, just talking about blogging from a psychological perspective.

So since my blog has been getting more traffic, probably since I had that flaming post the other day about scientist being jerks, I think it is time for me to re-evaluate what blogging is to me.

  1. First I see my blog as a medium of expression. Now this is a personal blog so it should reflect me as a person, meaning not only my work but my opinions and insights in the world as well.

  2. This form of expression is written down so I should probably be as nice as possible here (something that I usually fail at doing), but not out of fear of losing a job but rather fear of hurting someone. Basically hold to my goal of offending by true content not argumentation style.

  3. I should not shy away from the fact that I do have an opinion and my work is only one part of my life. If somebody can't see past my opinion (and it could certainly be false) and see that I am human being underneath, then I probably don't want to impress that person anyways.

  4. Finally, as David Amulet pointed out to me, I blog for myself. Whether it be for my personal fear of being transparent in the world or just a way to relax, I'm not going to worry if people read it or not. I want a blog not to make me popular but to make me a better person.

Of course, Lance points out a very important fact: "The internet never forgets." It also makes people more accountable for their actions off of their blog, such as a professor in my department that made a racist remark about Indians, or the high school teacher that had his epitaph of Bush bashing recorded. My response to this is more about how much weight we should give to blogs, basically not much. While it is publicly available media, it is not peer reviewed and usually not official in any respect. And to any readers who have a problem with a blog (mine especially) I encourage them to send a private message and let them know. Bloggers are amateurs, we don't know when we really offend someone so be brave and let us know, politely.


Anonymous said...


crestfallendespairacy said...

great post!
david was right you do blog for yourself-if I took offense to my what my commenters has to say Id go nuts

Teutsch said...


This post really pissed me off

Andy R. Terrel said...

heh. Somehow I knew it would!

David Amulet said...

Good post. If you like the venue for expressing yourself, and don't mind the downsides of having your stuff out there for all to see, then go for it.

And if it's a good way for friends and family to keep up on your thoughts, all the better.

-- david