Scientific blogging as a model for professional networking online

by Alexey Bersenev on August 5, 2010 · 1 comment

in open science, web tools

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This is re-blog from Stem Cell Assays

I wrote an article about blogging and some online tools that I use. I’m sharing my experience and presenting a model of how scientific blogging can be used for professional networking online. I’d like to welcome everyone to read and comment. Article in open access. Some excerpts below.

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I have been blogging for 7 years and stayed tightly in my area of expertise (niche). When I started blogging in English (my first language is Russian), I set up a few goals:

    * Practice tight and productive networking with scientists and medical professionals in the same niche of interest from around the world.
    * Transform professional connections online into real connections and collaborations.
    * Get a sense of what is science online, and what web tools I can use to increase my scientific productivity.
    * Summarize all of my notes, bookmarks and thoughts in the area of my interest and put them in one place online (database), where I can easily find them at any time.
    * Improve my language (English) and writing skills.
    * Monetize and possibly earn some money from blogging.
    * Acquire professional value, peer recognition and my “authority” for advancement in career.

It turns out that the networking part has worked especially wonderfully for me. I’ll share my experience in this essay.

Blogging analytical content
Because now there are a lot of tools available for information management, I decide to fill my blog with analytical content. I pick and summarize the most exciting and controversial work in my field — adult stem cell research. I’m writing about current trends in the field with a translational focus. My content is based not only on publications, but also on information from conferences that I attend and personal communication. It makes the content quite distinctive in my niche. Each of my posts contains links to a few papers, all connected by a particular topic. I put some of my thoughts into it and try to provoke reader discussion. I also try to incorporate some online tools in the blog that could be very useful for scientists.

I think with the variety of tools available right now, there is no need to have a blog just for quick sharing of some links or news or videos or fresh papers with your peers.

Finally, I came up with the idea that nothing can replace a blog post if it’s made in the format of a unique analytical thoughtful mini-article. You can even consider scientific blog posts as a small online publication judged by your peers from networking. I think blogging will be widely accepted in the scientific mainstream only if it can bring some professional value, i.e., unique trusted information with the possibility of real time discussion in informal settings.

The blog as a professional networking tool
So I’m using a blog as a hub for gathering information picked from my bookmarks, and its analysis. In this case, high quality analytical information is an input, but what is the output? I consider a blog as a part of an online project, which connects the shared information with professionals working in the same field. In order to get the output I share links to my blog posts in professional networking web-services, such as LinkedIn.

So, discussion about my blog posts can occur anywhere: comments under the post itself, comments in LinkedIn groups, replies on Twitter, comments on FriendFeed, and personal communication via email. I think that using a few tools together makes your networking online more productive and valuable.

read full text
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How to cite: Bersenev A. Scientific blogging as a model for professional networking online. Cellular Therapy and Transplantation. 2010;2(7). 10.3205/ctt-2010-en-000084.01

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jim H August 5, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Nice review Alex. Slow day at work, so i had time to follow links. Really enjoyed re-reading martin Fennerer’s “Why We Blog” link. Brought back a lot of memories from SciFoo 2008 and the Nature Publishing gang.

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