The Book for Science Bloggers (or Anyone Thinking About Starting a Blog)

A new book hit shelves on March 1. The book, Science Blogging: The Essential Guide, is specifically aimed at helping two groups of people: those who have already launched science blogs, and those who are thinking about launching science blogs. That said, the book would be useful for anyone interested in blogging – regardless of what the blog is about.

Sci Blog sidebarI’m mentioning this for a couple of reasons.

First, it’s an incredibly useful guidebook for anyone who’s interested in using a blogging platform for science communication – and practical science communication is what Communication Breakdown is all about.

Second, and in the interest of full disclosure, I wrote one of the chapters in the book. More on that in a moment, but first I’d like to offer some background on the book.

Science Blogging was edited by Bethany Brookshire (aka Sci Curious), Jason Goldman, and Christie Wilcox. All three have extensive experience as science bloggers. All three have worked as freelance or staff science reporters. All three have Ph.D.’s in the sciences. In short, they know their stuff.

And they brought in 25(!) established bloggers to offer insight into just about any facet of science blogging you’d care to mention: Ed Yong writes on how to build an audience, Rose Eveleth writes about using multimedia, Ben Lillie writes about storytelling, etc.

The editors also teamed up with science journalism site The Open Notebook to create an online space where the Science Blogging team can share resources related to the book and – eventually – Q&As with chapter authors.

So, what is my chapter about? Well, I got the sexiest topic of all: metrics. I’ve given a lot of talks about metrics over the years, so anyone who’s attended one of those will have a fair idea of what I had to say. While the tools have evolved over time (I miss you, Topsy!), the core ideas are the same: be thoughtful; be creative. Those are the fundamental concepts I talked about in my book, and that I discuss in my post on unconventional metrics.

So, fellow bloggers (and potential bloggers), check the book out. Metrics, storytelling, audience-building and multimedia are all subjects that are relevant to bloggers of all stripes.

And if you do read the book, let us know what you think. New ideas and critical feedback are the only way for any of us to get better at this.

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