The growing importance of blogging
I asked some friends a while back what I should say to a group of magazine editors about blogging. Is it just a passing phase?
A young scientist relied, noting the following:
I, a biotechnology lab researcher, have not read a printed newspaper or a hard-copy magazine cover-to-cover for about 10 years. I would (informally) break down my media exposure (per visual/audio word) in the last 5 years as follows:
35%: blogs about science, international, and national news (delivered to me via RSS/XML)
35%: email updates from Google News, Nature, Science, NCBI(PubMed)
10%: websites covering news
8%: podcasts about scientific issues
8%: conversational/word of mouth
2%: radio news (like NPR, local talk radio, news blurbs on music stations)
1%: printed news in any form
1%: TV news
His media consumption habits - I find - are becoming more common, with both good and bad effects, but all of them unavoidable ones.
I started this blog about two and a half years ago now, with the idea of cumulating the events of the intelligent design controversy that happened after the publication of my book By Design or by Chance?. That would certainly make the book easier to update.
Somehow or other, along the way, this blog took on a life of its own. (A new origin of life theory, anyone?)
But I had learned something too. As soon as I recovered from writing my share of The Spiritual Brain, I started the Mindful Hack (a riff on "mind hacks" - materialist neuroscientists and neuroscience writers). I didn't wait for the Spiritual Brain book to be published.
For my next book, I think I will blog while the book is in progress. There is definitely some synergy between books and blogging, though I am not certain how to describe it ...