Poll: Blogging

Last week Doug Natelson noted a drop-off in active physics blogs. This had not gone unnoticed hereabouts, though I couldn’t immediately think of what to say about that. Yesterday, though, former ScienceBlogs wrangler Christopher Mims provided a possible answer: Google+ has destroyed blogging completely.

I would’ve liked to find a way to tie all this together into a deep and meditative blog post about the nature of blogging and the reasons for the decline of physics blogging specifically (to the extent that this is a decline, which is somewhat debatable). I have a faculty meeting to go to this morning, though (Yes, in the summer. Shoot me now.), so all you get is this silly radio-button poll:

This is a classical poll, so please cast only one vote at a time. And if you know of (or write) new and notable physics-oriented blogs, feel free to leave a link in the comments.

Comments

  1. #1 Blaise Pascal
    July 13, 2011

    A friend noted recently (on his blog) that G+ had driven more traffic to his blog than all other sources combined, more than doubling the number of daily hits since he started posting links to his blog on G+.

    That suggests to me that G+ could be a potent force for invigorating blogs.

    On the other hand, I’ve seen one blogger say “follow me on G+, as I’ll be putting more of my shorter stuff on there, and save the blog for long essays.” so I guess it could go either way.

  2. #2 Jennifer Ouellette
    July 13, 2011

    Nooo! Not the whole “blogging is dead becase [Twitter/Facebook/Google+) killed it” meme again! I humbly suggest that yes, there IS a dearth of physics blogs, but this has more to do with the unwillingness of folks to blog about physics than the health of the blogosphere. Blogs in other subjects (science or not) are doing quite well, thanks very much.

    Would love to see more physics blogs. Interested in hearing from those in the community about why they don’t blog about it specifically.

  3. #3 Janne
    July 13, 2011

    This will end up as just another “what is the meaning of the word blog” discussions. I mean, if you put on your blogging glasses, G+ really is just another blogging platform. Other platforms (like Googles own Blogger) even also let you “follow” or track other blogs on the same platform. And people sometimes call twitter “microblogging” for good reason.

    If people move their blogs there it just means they switched platform, not that their blogs are gone.

  4. #4 Janne
    July 13, 2011

    On topic: You only follow a subset of blogs on a topic. You will note any disappearing blogs in your subset automatically, but you need to actively search out and add new blogs to your subset. So, even if the total number of blogs would be constant over time, your subset would be shrinking unless you actively keep looking for new blogs to replace the ones that are gone.

    Which means that you should have an impression that blogs are disappearing no matter what the real situation is.

  5. #5 Neil Bates
    July 13, 2011

    I’m not sure how Scienceblogs handled it, but Blogger allowed posting by email and to be serious you have to compose all the special text, illustrations etc. I don’t use G+ so I wouldn’t know, but it seems it would be harder that way. BTW what is the standard graphics program people use on blogs like this? I have been drawing in AutoCAD and converting to image file.

  6. #6 John
    July 14, 2011

    Physics teaching blogs are far from dead. I see new ones being added every day.
    Here’s a list I’m trying to build on my own blog:

    Quantum Progress: More than a Blogroll

  7. #7 Bee
    July 14, 2011

    Depends on what you write about I guess. FB, Twitter, G+ are all means of sharing information, they’re not platforms suitable to actually create new information. So if the purpose of your blog was to say: look, there’s this cool website and X has written another paper, then you can pack your bag. If on the other hand you’ve tried to explain some new paper or idea or write a book review or whatever, then I don’t think it’s going to be obsolete.

    There is also the question of introductions to physics topics. Frankly, I’ve grown very tired of this because anybody with half a brain will find something online already, so why write the n-th explanation about dark matter or what have you. But maybe that’s just me.

  8. #8 Neil Bates
    July 14, 2011

    Basically good points as I’d expect Bee, however: we don’t know what dark matter is, so an (n+1)th explanation of it might say something new. (BTW, isn’t is a major embarrassment for the idea “we basically have the nature of reality figured out” that so much of the universe is so mysterious?)

  9. #9 Herp N. Derpington
    July 14, 2011

    Honestly the main reasons I come to SB is for PZ, Dispatches, and you so… I’ll say blogging isn’t dead.