This blog post is part of an overall social media assessment – the main post (Social media: relational experimentation) is here. This section discusses audience my blog targets and why.
To be honest, I didn’t need to ponder the question of who I wanted to connect with and why for very long, but finding the answer has helped me come back to why I did science and what I’m passionate about. While I don’t believe science holds all the answers, its pretty good at finding some of them (topic for a future blog that one!), but the public enthusiasm for science is waning.
I think there are two reasons for this. The first one is communication and so with this blog I’m attempting to bridge that gap between cutting edge science and the interested public. (Something, according to wikipedia, the journal Nature was originally set up to do!) Frontline science has to be communicated with other scientists – that part of the process – and this requires ‘jargon’, but the very language excludes those (both scientist and non-scientist) who don’t understand the ‘lingo’. The challenge for this blog is to communicate and enthuse, or diffuse, science from a technical ‘specialised’ environment into a interested, but non-specialised, audience.
The second reason is exploration. As I hinted at above, I tend to stand apart from the scientific community in one key aspect – in my opinion science does not have all the answers. My concern is that science portrays itself as if it does, or will very soon get there. This kills science in the minds of the public: the adults are sceptical, and know that this claim is wrong, the children loose interest because there’s nothing left to explore.
Thats the ‘why’, but connection is also an important part of the ‘how’ (and it’s in the Ford/Newton blogravity equation)! The key to connection is reducing the ‘distance’ between the audience and the blogger, and for me that’s best done through a face-to-face interaction. ‘Tell me directly who are you, and why should I look at your blog?’ As part of my normal ‘job’ I have the opportunity to get involved in some ‘networking’ activities, whether it be schools engagement, or conference presentations, and it’s in these areas that I hope to promote the blog and build connections.