My blog, your microphone

I’m going to be part of two workshops in the space of a couple weeks that will deal with the intersection of blogging and science writing. The first will be this Saturday at the annual meeting of the National Association of Science Writers in Pittsburgh, and the second will be hosted Tuesday November 1 by the Science Writers of New York at the New York Academy of Sciences. (There’s no link yet to the New York event, but Link here.) The panel will include Sarah Tomlin from Nature and Sreenath Sreenivasan, Columbia’s resident tech journalism guru.

I’m glad that more science writers are starting to take blogs seriously (or at least seriously enough to talk about them). I’m sure that many of you have been reading blogs for quite a long time, but among science writers they are only now starting to hit with full force. I think many of my colleagues are curious about blogging, but they’re also not sure how it can fit in with their regular job, if at all. "On the one hand, blogs can provide a fun and informal look at the science; on the other hand, they present major issues of credibility," is how the NASW workshop description reads. "How can science reporters use blogs wisely to improve their coverage and what are the pitfalls to avoid?"

I have some thought on the question, but I suspect you do as well. And since a vocal readership is one of the things that makes blogs different from other sorts of media, I would like to invite you to post your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. At both of the upcoming meetings we’ll have Internet access, so I’ll be able to pull up this post and talk about some of your responses. I’ll also give people the address of this post so they can read more of the comments on their own.

What do you say?