Sunday, February 24, 2008

Promiscous Blogs Contribute To Science!

When you think about it, this blog, and blogging in general, represents something totally revolutionary in the history of information. I can sit here in front of my computer, post some occasionally-good ideas, and publish them to the world. Literally! I have had hits from all over the globe, from Russia, China, Vietnam, Israel, Dubai, and many others. (For some reason, the plurality of overseas hits seem to come from Belgium and Canada.) The power of the individual to reach anyone else in the world has never been so great.

But a blog is not a static, isolated thing. It changes (when the blogger gets around to it), other people leave comments, and perhaps most importantly, other blogs or websites can be linked to mine. This is a property unique to the internet, allowing instant access to the thoughts of others within the body of your own writings.

Allison McCook, writing on the blog portion of the magazine The Scientist, quotes writer Clive Thompson as calling blogging "highly promiscuous" for this reason.
It's a basic concept. Thompson -- a surprisingly dapper (for a writer), well-coiffed, quick-talking presenter -- explained that he constantly feeds his blog, collisiondetection.net, because blogging is "highly promiscuous" -- meaning, you blog and link to another blog, then that person links to you in a future post, and so on. You find out who's linked to you (technorati.com ), check them out, and see other blogs by like-minded people, who might think about something you'd never considered before.
This leads to the concept of "crowdsourcing", "The idea is to use the internet to get large numbers of people to help with a task. They may do it for money — usually not much — or out of interest or simply because it's fun."

So, let's put this into practice. I get something upwards of 200 hits on this site per day. Not a lot, but still an amazing number to me. But only rarely, perhaps three or four times per week, will someone comment back, either by e-mail or through the comment field on the blog itself. So, I ask you to do your part for science. Post comments. Link to my blog. Ask questions. Help my blog become more promiscuous. Bet that got your attention!

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Technically Canada isn't " Over a sea" therefore cannot be referred to as "Overseas"

Stuart Hall said...

Of course you as a member of radRounds get the benefit of 'crowdsourcing' too, and a way to promote your blog;-)