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May 06, 2010

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Michael ... you wrote a great article and it's one that I will undoubtedly forward on to my more skeptical colleagues.

I think the very beginning of your article gets to the heart of it -- sometimes I wonder if the term 'blog' just has too much negative baggage. We (i.e., bloggers) all know that it is simply a generic term for a website with posts organized in reverse-chronological order. But those unaware of the diversity of blogs associate them with certain kinds of blogs, as you point out.

I don't have any good ideas about how to remedy this though -- like your own experience, people just need to start exploring, reading, and interacting for themselves.

That's the thing about blogs. The very first thing I remember hearing about blogs, almost 10 years ago now, is that "weblog" means both "web log" and "we blog" -- in other words, recursive self-indulgence is in the DNA of blogs. But we'll live it down eventually.

I've had very little success in India trying to get my professional geologist friends to follow blogs. Many don't have internet reading habits and many just look down on blogs are something trivial.. even younger undergrads and graduate students didn't seem too interested. That could be because the syllabus and teaching methods are all geared towards passing exams. Students feel their time is best utilized reading from textbooks and class notes. Faculty don't encourage them to explore the geoblogosphere. Most of them are not even aware something like this exists.

like Michael most of my readership is from the U.S with a sprinkling from Europe, India and other countries.

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