Blogging

AGU_Blogosphere

When to blog:

  • Your time investment: one hour several times a week.
  • Your desire: to tell science stories in an engaging, popular-science format.

Checklist—Blogging:

Don’t jump into it. Blogs require a lot of planning and maintenance. Get a feel for the medium—browse other blogs, or write a guest post for an existing blog—before starting your own.

Plan it out. You’ll need to plan not just your specific message per post but, more importantly, the overall theme of your blog, and you’ll want to choose an interesting title that reflects that theme.

Post regularly. Not every post has to—or should be—long, but you should post something new at least once a week.

Watch your comments. Make sure that no comment thread gets out of hand, and respond regularly to the comments you receive. Social media is interactive; readers will visit more if they know you’re responsive to them.

Catch the eye. Make post titles interesting, and make use of striking images of your own or those in the public domain (but be sure to follow all copyright and attribution requirements).

Draw them in. You can tell the stories behind your research or the stories of your research, but make sure you create a narrative that will capture readers’ interest.

Draw them out. Ask questions of your readers: Have they experienced a natural disaster? What was their favorite science class and why? Do they have a memory of stargazing to share?

More information, resources, and examples—Blogging

Blogging provides you with a regular and longer-format means of telling stories about your research and others’ science. The best bloggers are excellent storytellers and know how to incorporate photos, illustrations, and other graphics into their posts. They also post regularly and respond quickly to comments made by readers. While blogs can be very rewarding, and can even provide you with the framework from which to write popular science more broadly, starting up and maintaining your own blog requires a considerable time investment.

Examples:

AGU Blogosphere: Blogs by AGU members and AGU staff on Earth and space science.

Scientific American Blog Network: A collection of science blogs from Scientific American staff and others.

ScienceBlogs: A network that collects many blogs about a wide array of science (and other opinions).

Being Involved:

Guest blog for AGU. Don’t want to devote your time to creating your own blog? Consider writing a guest post for AGU’s GeoSpace blog (contact the AGU Public Information Office at news@agu.org).