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Category: blogging

What are we looking for when we turn to science blogs?

That question is prompted by a post from Colin Schultz, who blogs for Smart News at Smithsonian Magazine. In the post, which he titled, "...

What are we looking for when we turn to science blogs?

That question is prompted by a post from Colin Schultz, who blogs for Smart News at Smithsonian Magazine. In the post, which he titled, "Writing in an Hour: Story Ideas From a Journalistic Blogger," he makes the case for quick blog posts. "I write each of my stories in an hour or less. Sometimes I’ll take longer if I’m doing something bigger. But, in general, I have an hour to research and write each story." The post is a recap of a talk he gave in June at the Canadian Science Writers' Association's annual meeting.

Schultz calls this "journalistic blogging" and he explains it this way: "It’s a job. I don’t just write what and whenever I want. I have an editor, I have deadlines. I work...

When I was looking for my first journalism job, I did my best to scrape together a clip here and there. Every time I got a new one, I sent it with my resume to all the suburban papers around Boston, where I lived at the time. For the first couple of years, nobody replied.

Then I got a call from a fellow who...

When I was looking for my first journalism job, I did my best to scrape together a clip here and there. Every time I got a new one, I sent it with my resume to all the suburban papers around Boston, where I lived at the time. For the first couple of years, nobody replied.

Then I got a call from a fellow who identified himself as the city editor at the Lowell Sun. He invited me in for an interview. Why? "We had five copies of your resume in the file, and we decided we had to either hire you or get rid of you. We don't have any more room."

I did get hired, but not on the staff. I was given a halftime position with no benefits, at a rate of $100 per week. I was told that if I worked 40-50 hours a week in my "halftime" position, and if I did a spectacular job, they might--might--hire me as a regular staffer. It took me about a year to get hired.

It has always been tough to break in to journalism. And it's tough...

Curtis Brainard at the Columbia Journalism Review's The Observatory has talked to Discover magazine for a reaction...

Curtis Brainard at the Columbia Journalism Review's The Observatory has talked to Discover magazine for a reaction to the recent blogger exodus that Deborah Blum covered here at the Tracker.

A week ago, news broke that  Ed Yong (his blog is Not Exactly Rocket Science) and Carl Zimmer (The Loom) were leaving Discover for National Geographic's new Phenomena blogging collective to be run by National Geographic science editor Jamie ShreevePhil Plait (Bad Astronomy)...

Why do so many bloggers begin with great enthusiasm only to abandon a few heartfelt posts to the sands of time?

Neuroskeptic, the neuroscience blogger,...

Why do so many bloggers begin with great enthusiasm only to abandon a few heartfelt posts to the sands of time?

Neuroskeptic, the neuroscience blogger, explains why those first weeks and months are so difficult:

The early days of any blog are psychologically tough because almost inevitably, your first posts are not going to get the recognition they deserve...That's because people tend to really pour their hearts into early posts - these are the ones that express thoughts you've been mulling over for ages and are finally writing about - and then inevitably, hardly anyone reads them...

The emergent blogger (I've been there more than once) is so happy to finally have a chance to say things from the heart, without a meddling...

Last year, when I (@praeburn) came home from ScienceOnline2011 (#scio11), I told my wife, Elizabeth (@devitaraeburn) that it was the most exciting meeting I thought I'd ever attended. "The energy was incredible," I told her. "I got so many ideas. And I met all...

Last year, when I (@praeburn) came home from ScienceOnline2011 (#scio11), I told my wife, Elizabeth (@devitaraeburn) that it was the most exciting meeting I thought I'd ever attended. "The energy was incredible," I told her. "I got so many ideas. And I met all kinds of people whom I knew only from Twitter." I mentioned some and pointed her to their blogs. "You have to follow these people!" I said.

Many of them, I told her, were so excited about their writing that they were doing it for nothing other than the sheer joy of putting words to pixels. How they fed, clothed, and sheltered themselves was an obvious question, but few seemed to be starving, at least while the conference food was available; most were dressed, as far as I recall; and most seemed to have found a way to snag a room at the hotel. (I didn't see anything like an Occupy ScienceOnline tent city outside the hotel.) The 250 slots at last year's conference filled...

The blogger and science writer Ed Yong, who seems somehow to have new media in his DNA, continues to...

The blogger and science writer Ed Yong, who seems somehow to have new media in his DNA, continues to invent the future.

Yong had an epiphany early in the year, when he finished a science blog post he liked--a post someone had written for free--and thought to himself, "That's brilliant. I'd pay good money for that." It wasn't the first time he'd had that reaction. Then, in late February, he thought,  “Hey, why don’t I pay good money for that?”

For nearly a year now, he's been doing exactly that:

...

...

The old media are still apparently gasping their last gasps, and gasping and gasping. As Brian Switek eloquently points out on Laelaps, it's past time for all of us to ignore assertions about who is a real science journalist, and to just get on with our writing.

Switek, nervously on the eve of quitting his day job, wandered into a session on maintaining "high journalism...

Last weekend in North Carolina, I saw the future of science writing.

Some 300 bright, enthusiastic and energetic science bloggers--scientists and journalists among them--gathered in Research Triangle Park for ScienceOnline 2011. The mood was vastly...

Last weekend in North Carolina, I saw the future of science writing.

Some 300 bright, enthusiastic and energetic science bloggers--scientists and journalists among them--gathered in Research Triangle Park for ScienceOnline 2011. The mood was vastly different from what you might encounter in a traditional newsroom. The black humor, cynicism and ironic detachment of newspaper newsrooms was replaced by an eagerness to learn and a willingness to share. These folks--and I count myself among them--love what they do. Unlike me, they don't crow about discovering the future of science writing--they are creating it.

The conference, run by Bora Zivkovic, the editor of...

The teaser for Matt Ridley's...

The teaser for Matt Ridley's post in last week's Wall Street Journal sounded great:

Can Genes Explain the Sex Divide?

Matt Ridley explores the thought that some of our sex differences might be caused by our culture as well as our genes.

That's an interesting question, and Ridley seemed the ideal candidate to explore it. He's a good writer, a best-selling author, and a scientist, and he's written about...

Blogger Bora Zivkovic...

Blogger Bora Zivkovic alerted me via Facebook to an interesting post by Sheril Kirshenbaum (left) on her Discover Magazine blog, The Intersection. She asked her Facebook friends what they thought about the future of science writing, and she reprints their comments in her post, entitled "The Science Writing Renaissance."

Take a look at the discussion, and the additional comments that the post attracted.

I was happy to see the discussion, because I think we are in the midst of a science-writing...

Update: A confidential response from Seed CEO...

Update: A confidential response from Seed CEO Adam Bly was leaked and published by the Guardian. Check my update above.

If you cover such things as heart disease, obesity, food, and nutrition, you'd probably be interested in a blog called Food Frontiers that promises this, in its first post:

The focus will be on innovations in science, nutrition and health policy...We have some exciting things planned for this project, including a...