Monday, November 29, 2010

10 benefits (for my career) of blogging/tweeting/etc #fb

I was recently interviewed for a story in the Scientist by Bob Grant about blogging and related activities (see his story "You Aren't Blogging Yet here). As preparation for this interview I made a top 10 list of ways that blogging had been beneficial to me. And I thought I would post my list here. I note, I made this list in about 10 minutes so I am sure there are other things I could add, but it was REALLY easy to make the list so I think w/o a doubt there have been many many benefits ....

10 ways blogging/microblogging has been beneficial to my career:
  • Collaboration. Many of my current projects have collaborators that have come about in part via interaction on blog/Twitter. 
  • Concentration. I concentrate more at meetings since I am either planning on writing something about it, or am actually live blogging the meeting. 
  • Personnel. Some of the recent recruits to my lab have come about via connections online. 
  • Crowdsourcing. Asking questions on twitter and my blog has been a great way to rapidly find out information about a particular area. 
  • Reduced travel. I have two little kids and do not like to travel much right now for this and other reasons. Blogging and Twitter and other social networking activities help peole find out about my work without me having to travel. 
  • Outreach. Blogging and related activities are a good way to interact with public and scientists in other fields. 
  • Keeping up with cutting edge (mostly via twitter). Following the right people is a great way of finding out about the latest in various fields 
  • Great practice for explaining/teaching. In my head, I could explain anything. But when I actually try to explain in writing, I realize how many assumptions we make and how much jargon there is. Trying to explain to a broad audience is great practice. 
  • Record of my thoughts/ideas. I forget a lot of things. I am sure others do too. But twitter and my blog provide a good record of some thoughts I had on various topics. 
  • New $$. I have recent gotten a new grant mostly due to my activities in the Science 2.0 world and I think my activities like blogging, etc also could in principle help get other grants where "outreach" is important. 
Anyway - just a little post about ways that blogging and tweeting have been helpful for my career. Other examples/areas that blogging and tweeting have helped people's careers in science would be welcome here ...


  1. From the point of view of a (recently graduated) undergrad blogging was great practise for exams. It encouraged me to read (and think about) papers, and also kept me concentrating during talks and seminars ("I might blog about that!"). Great practise at analysing figures for the written data analysis exam as well.

  2. Having my personal science blog helped me get a job as a blogger.

    I've also been able to meet so many more people and listen to so many new and interesting opinions. Science is so much more than what we do in the lab.

    I've even received invites for various events through people I've met on Twitter - opportunities that never would have been open to me had I not reached out online. :)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. For me, we are dealing with another situation far from the west,it is the ME.Blogging/tweeting/ff helped me to see what happens abroad and could get touch with scientists, what is new in science and fields that i can select to work, u have positions i have never heard about!and get many skills through direct dealing or follow links!! So great benefits,I'm in the stage of selecting what career should i go on_as fresh graduate_ and follow scientists in the field that i want to choose more than great!
    Lenah Hatem

  5. Although I am rather new to Blogging (still no twittering :), your #s 8 and 9 are right on for me, Jon!

  6. Live blogging the meeting makes you concentrate more?

    You must have been one of those people who couldn't remember a lecture unless you took notes. I was the opposite way.

  7. Chris - it is more that if I don't live blog I check email ..

  8. You mention that following the right people on twitter is a great way of finding out the latest news in various who would you say are consistently the most inspiring and influential people you follow on twitter?

  9. I am intrigued by this "New $$. I have recent gotten a new grant mostly due to my activities in the Science 2.0 world and I think my activities like blogging, etc also could in principle help get other grants where "outreach" is important. "

    Could you speak more to that? For me, I've found out about newer NSF programs via twitter that I hadn't heard of before but nothing better than that.

    I also fully agree about new collaborations. Since Feb I've spawned two new ones just via twitter alone.

  10. K ram - see


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