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Do Science Bloggers Exercise Free Will?

That's the question--as I stare at the census data in search of a juicy trend--that would seem the most sensational and draw the most readers.  A trend...that challenges the notion that you decide how often you post and how much time you invest in each post.  To find it, having already decided it's there, I broke my brain a couple of times combining three census data sets: (1) Years Blogging; (2) Blogging Frequency; and (3) Time Investment Per Blog Post.  Below are the fruits of my labors.  Did I find the trend I was looking for?  A trend that suggests the longer you blog, the more likely it will be that you will spend 1 to 2 hours writing about one post per week?  Judge for yourself.
My feeling is I didn't find a trend. My kung fu is not yet strong enough. Nevertheless, if you're wondering how your blogging habits compare with your peers, now you know. Maybe they know something you don't, like a substantial time investment per post does pay off in the long run--you…

Are Female Science Bloggers More Likely To Blog Anonymously Than Male Science Bloggers?

Google+'s real name policy sparked a lively debate in the science blogosphere. On the side of anonymity it was observed that women risk more than men when they use their real names.

We know that women experience 25 TIMES the amount of harassment online that men do.I light of this blanket disparity in risk you might expect to find--or even assume--that the percentage of women in science blogging anonymously is greater than that of their male counterparts. Sifting through the Census of Science Bloggers data I realized I had a sample with which to test this assumption.

But to get there I first had to answer another burning question: I wonder what the overall gender ratio is among science bloggers?  The answer, based on the census data, is approximately 2 male science bloggers for every 1 female science blogger.


Again, based on the census sample, 15% of all science bloggers post anonymously.


Now does that percentage change when you divvy the sample up into male and female? Do women, c…

Where Should Science Bloggers Look For Traffic?

The Census of Science Bloggers 2011 asked, Excluding search engines, what is your primary traffic driver? After eliminating for single instances and some standardization, the breakdown is as follows:

Twitter (70)
Facebook (59)
Links from Other Blogs (45)
Reddit (14)
ResearchBlogging (13)
Feed Subscriptions (10)
Google+ (8)
Commenting on Other Blogs (7)
Science Blog Network (7)
Return/Direct (4)
StumbleUpon (4)
Tumblr (3)
FriendFeed (2)
LinkedIn (2)
MetaFilter (2)
Gee. Twitter and Facebook top the list. What a surprise. Well yes, confirming what we already know isn't that useful (unless you're not already syndicating your content to Twitter and Facebook). But keep in mind that this is a list of primary traffic drivers, which means that each site on the list has the potential to send you more traffic than any other source. The trick is knowing how to tap that potential.


What are we really talking about then? Because there are trade-offs in time and energy, and if you're like …

The Science Blogosphere's Advice to Science Bloggers

Have faith in your audience. Kill them with kindness. Those are my golden rules for blogging, and how I answer The Census of Science Bloggers 2011 question: In a sentence, your best science blogging advice for fellow science bloggers.

Over 190 science bloggers (a majority of census participants) also answered the call for advice. Their collected response adds up to 2,492 words of wisdom.
Be social. Love it, have fun, and think about your audience. Just do it and be yourself. Science is a foreign language for some; strive to be an effective translator. Have fun. Try everything, and don't be afraid to fail often. Write on what you are passionate and ignore the rest. Just do it. Don't think too much about the pros and cons. Don't do it unless it provides value for yourself as well as for whatever audience you might acquire. Keep on keepin' on. Follow up on the things you're curious about. Have fun, but remember that having fun doesn't mean you have to sacrifice …

The Census of Science Bloggers Wants You!

The response thus far to the Census of Science Bloggers (2011) has been rather remarkable, especially when you consider it started on a Friday (never a good day to announce). But it's Monday now, which means it's time for this census worker--a hat I'll be wearing for the rest of August--to get to work.

The Challenge:How to circulate the Science Blogger Census to the whole of the science blogosphere in such a way that it doesn't become tedious?

Having thought about it, I can't say that I've come up with a perfect solution, but I do have a plan that at least tries to minimize the pain.

I would ask you, dear science blogger, to join me as a census worker and collect one census from one science blogger you personally know. You will send them a link to this very post (http://goo.gl/FzzZa) where they will find a link to the census form (http://goo.gl/2R31w) and these same instructions requesting that they do as you did--complete the census form and collect a single cen…

Census of Science Bloggers (2011)

Form: Census of Science Bloggers (2011).  Short url: http://goo.gl/2R31w

Pass it on...

Census data will be used to create a 2011 snapshot of science bloggers. The data will be parsed and distilled down into hopefully helpful and informative charts and tables to be posted throughout the month of September.

A portion of the data collected will also be added to the 2000-2010 census data flowchart.

Introducing /r/SciBlogs/

Starting (or launching if you like) a much needed subreddit for science blogs: http://www.reddit.com/r/sciblogs/

Think of it as Editor's Picks for the science blogosphere. It's also an effective way to introduce science blogs to the general public.

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I love science. I love blogging. Thus, FoS is a labor of love for me. But I don't just love and enjoy FoS. I'm a fan of all science blogs. The reason for this is an open secret among science blog readers--science blogs are the best place to get your science.

For example, we are expecting, and a few weeks back my wife came home with The Vaccine Book given to her by one of her coworkers. She asked me what I thought about it. Naturally I was skeptical. I first turned to google and quickly found myself sifting through anonymous opinions in a forum. Then it occurred to me that there was probably a reason the name "Dr. Sears" sounded familiar. I'd probably read about him on a science blog. So I went to The White …

Science Blogging and Reddit

Dear Science Bloggers Everywhere:

We spend a lot of time composing our blog posts. This is good because content is king. But unless you are wildly popular, you are doing yourself a disservice if you don't spend a little more time smartly, efficiently and tastefully promoting your content after you post it. There are a lot of useful ways to market your latest posts, but here I want to talk about how best to submit your content to reddit.com.

Reddit is a collection of topical forums known as subreddits. There are subreddits for all sorts of topics, including many of the sciences:
/r/Anthropology/, /r/Astronomy/, /r/biology/, /r/chemistry/, /r/geology/, /r/mycology/, /r/Ornithology/, /r/linguistics/, /r/PhilosophyofScience, etc.Chances are good there is a subreddit devoted to your field of study and/or the specific topic of your post. When you submit your content to reddit, don't just submit it to the main page--/r/reddit.com/--but instead take a minute or two to identify the appr…

Are we doomed?

#SciDoom: One of the quite little corners of the internet that I subscribe to is science writer/author Philip Ball's blog homunculus. Back in June Philip posted his answer to The New Statesman's question: Are we doomed? I immediately thought to myself, Cool question...I'd love to see science bloggers tackle it...en mass...how do I get this meme going...perhaps a Field of Science network theme week to lead the way.

Thus the genesis of this, Field of Science's first theme week where I asked the most interesting people I know--science bloggers--if they'd be interested in tackling this most intriguing question: Are we doomed? A bunch of them took me up on it, and we'll be posting their answers all week. So Yay! our first theme week at FoS, and such a cheerful theme too.

But what about the meme--the part where Are we doomed? goes viral throughout the science blogosphere and I get to read uncounted brilliant posts answering the question? Well, I can cross my fingers,…

3 More Science Bloggers Join Field of Science

Please welcome 3 new science bloggers to FoS. Read, subscribe, you know the rest...
ChinleanaRRResearchThe Culture of Chemistry

How to tell the difference between a Science Blog Network, a Fanny Pack and a Backpack

This is a network: http://scienceblogs.com
This is a fanny pack: http://blogs.nature.com
This is a backpack: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/science-blogs/

This is a network: http://www.fieldofscience.com/
This is a fanny pack: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/
This is a backpack: http://gu.com/scienceblogs

This is a network: http://sciblogs.co.nz/
This is a fanny pack: http://blogs.plos.org
This is a backpack: http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/

This is a network: http://scientopia.org/
This is a fanny pack: http://gam.southernfriedscience.com/
This is a backpack: http://www.labspaces.net/blogs

Field of Science Welcomes 7 New Science Blogs

But before I get to the good stuff--new science bloggers--humor me while I digress and scratch the itch (read: kernel of truth) in the above joke.

About this time a year ago Bora left ScienceBlogs. In a post we're all familiar with, Bora speculated about the nature of science blog networks and their future. In that post, he mentions the other science blog networks including Field of Science. Networks he does not mention in that post dated July 19, 2010 include: Wired, Scientopia, Guardian, PLoS, SciAm[1]. Why did Bora omit these science blog networks? Because, at that time, they didn't exist.

In the year since PepsiGate the aformentioned nonexistent science blog networks were born. In response to each "birth" the science blogosphere has found a reason or two to navel gaze and congradulate oneanother... Inevitably, these meta science blogging posts inspire comparisons and/or lists: of science blog networks. But if you were to use those posts to generate your own list…

Just Another Day at Field of Science

Simply add "/view" to the end of any FoS blog URL (i.e. http://lpb.fieldofscience.com/view) for a fresh look at your favorite FoS blog.

Ultimate Space Widget

Grab the script and drop it in your sidebar for a constant feed of the latest hand picked space news and images. While I'm not one to self-promote, I really must confess to being stupid good at what it is that this widget does.

<script src="http://l.yimg.com/a/i/us/pps/imagebadge_1.3.js">
{
"pipe_id":"137778abf0cc259378c22ff19f34d263",
"hideHeader":true,
"img_params" : {maxitems:15, autoscroll:true, autoscrolldelay:10}
}
</script>

Changelog

I'll be experimenting with using The Greenhouse to reblog select science blog posts from across the science blogosphere. Format-wise, it's likely going to be a bit rough around the edges at first, so my apologies in advance.

TelescopeFeed

For 2011 I'll be developing a sister science blog network to Field of Science called TelescopeFeed. While TelescopeFeed is little more than an address at this time, I expect my small but elite readership might enjoy watching the site as it is developed from the ground up. For you, I'll try to be good about posting updates at this feed and that feed.

As the name suggests, TelescopeFeed will aspire to be a space sciences science blog network (Astronomy, Astrophysics, Astrobiology, Exoplanetology, etc). If you know of any such scientists, engineers, journalists or amateurs who might be interested blogging their passions, I would appreciate your informing them of this new project.

Recall last year I made a few noises about building a network of science blog networks. The offer at the time was to collaborate/teach science bloggers how to set up their own low cost, low maintenance science blog networks using the Field of Science model. While I didn't have any takers at the time…