Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Academic Blog Survey

Overview: The following survey is for bloggers who are actual or aspiring academics (thus including students). It takes the form of a go-meme to provide bloggers a strong incentive to join in: the 'Link List' means that you will receive links from all those who pick up the survey 'downstream' from you. The aim is to create open-source data about academic blogs that is publicly available for further analysis. Analysts can find the data by searching for the tracking identifier-code: "acb109m3m3". Further details, and eventual updates with results, can be found on the original posting:http://pixnaps.blogspot.com/2005/09/academic-blog-survey.html

: Simply copy and paste this post to your own blog, replacing my survey answers with your own, as appropriate, and adding your blog to the Link List.

(1) Your post must include the four sections: Overview, Instructions, Link List, and Survey. (2) Remember to link to every blog in the Link List. (3) For tracking purposes, your post must include the following code: acb109m3m3

Link List (or 'extended hat-tip')
1. Philosophy, et cetera
2. Science And Politics and Circadiana
3. Add a link to your blog here



Age - 39
Gender - Male
Location – Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
Religion – Nada, Zero, Zilch
Began blogging - August 2004
Academic field – Biology (chronobiology)
Academic position [tenured?] – PhD candidate - ABD

Approximate blog stats

Rate of posting –
daily or more

Average no. hits –
Science And Politics: slowly and steadily rising to the current 280/day
Circadiana: varies wildly – as little as 80/day on lazy summer weekends and as many a few thousand/day when it gets hit by a big blogger (e.g., Boing Boing, Daily Dish, Instapundit, Pharyngula) or someone places a link to a post on stumbleupon, deli.cio.us, or Blogger Dashboard “Blogs of Note”.

Average no. comments –

Blog content –
Science And Politics: a very varied mix: mostly political, but also science, bashing pseudoscience and religion, meta-blogging (blog carnivals), reviewing books and movies, humor, and even a little bit of personal stuff (not too personal – some childhood recollections and being proud of my kids’ accomplishments). While I word my opinions strongly and with aggressive confidence, I mostly remain within the realm of polite language and decent grammar.
Circadiana: this blog is designed to cover ONLY science – the posts include coverage of recent research in chronobiology as well as media coverage of the field. However, the most important aspect of the blog is a series of instructional essays that I intend to use as a teaching tool one day, once I get hired to teach about biological rhythms.

Other Questions

1) Do you blog under your real name? Why / why not?
- Yes. I started out anonymously and placed my name about 6 months later (once I started Circadiana). While ranting about politics may better be done anonymously, I felt that running Circadiana required me to place my name (and thus credentials) so that the readers can trust my credentials to write about a narrowly specialized topic. I am still not sure if I did the right thing.

2) Do colleagues or others in your department know that you blog? If so, has anyone reacted positively or negatively?
- Yes. A couple of my colleagues know but do not appear to understand what it is and I doubt they read it at all. My advisor discovered Circadiana by googling a topic I covered in a post. I think he liked it in general, though he thinks that blogging is taking too much time away from Dissertation-writing (which is correct). I do not think he knows about Science And Politics.

3) Are you on the job market?
- Not right now but will be soon

4) Do you mention your blog on your CV or other job application material?
- I am considering placing Circadiana on my CV as it is most directly relevant to my research and teaching. Anyone blog-savvy can easily discover, while browsing Circadiana, my other blog (as well as group blogs I participate on).

5) Has your blog been mentioned at all in interviews, tenure reviews, etc.? If so, provide details.
- Not applicable yet. Does Circadiana being mentioned in Make Magazine count?

6) Why do you blog?
- I think I was waiting all my life for the technology that would let me write my thoughts for everyone to read. I always think as if I am constructing an essay (or a speech) and felt that it is a pity most of that never got written down and shared. I never bothered keeping a hand-written diary because I crave the audience. On the other hand, Circadiana is designed as a primarily teaching tool and my personality rarely shines through.

Tag: I hope that De Rerum Natura, She Flies With Her Own Wings and Sleepdoctor respond to this survey.

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