Science for Life.365, a case study (aka blogging can make you a better writer)

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Published on March 5, 2014

Author: sarahkeenihan


The value of blogging for a developing science writer: a case study Sarah Keenihan PhD B Med Sci Grad Dip Sci Comms @sciencesarah

early August 2012

My answer = blog • Why? • Where? • What to write about? • Who for? • How to market? • How often? • How much?

My answer = blog • Why? • Where? • Public portfolio, conversations, accountable • Wordpress + Facebook • What to write about? • Science for life! • Who for? • How often? • Scientists, colleagues, friends, family, networks • National Science Week, twitter, Facebook sharing • Daily commitment • How much? • Varied lengths + great image • How to market?

Day 16 of scienceforlife365: Twisties Even children can be informed consumers. I made my kids laugh on the weekend by reading out at great speed the list of ingredients for ’Twisties Cheese Flavoured Snacks’: corn, vegetable oil, whey powder, cheese powder, salt, flavour enhancer (621), hydrolysed vegetable protein, flavour, yeast extract, cream powder, milk powder, natural colour 160A, natural colour 160C, food acid 270. Then I languidly described the components used to make ’Smiths Original Crinkle Cut Chips’: potatoes, vegetable oils, salt. They got the message.

Blogging to create a writing habit • • • • Make a calendar, plan some posts Seek and stick to a routine that works for you Find a way to ‘lose your inner smart-arse’ Sit on personal stuff for a few days

Science is in my life 12 days of christmas adelaide art australia baby bacteria beach beachcombing birthday blogging book bridge8 cancer childhood children christmas communication conference event family fish food fruit garden guest post health illness journalism life paris phase 2 reading realscientists robinson running school science science communication scienceonline social media south australia tedx the conversation twitter university of adelaide work writing yorke peninsula yorkes

Build it, and they might come

Some people liked it 4000 Facebook users 3000 Wordpress views 2000 1000 0 Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov 12 12 12 12 12 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13

A tale of two audiences • Facebook readers liked: - animals, science humour, new ways of thinking about science, personalised aspects of science and learning • Wordpress readers liked: art, food, fashion, literature, writing, discussion s around journalism /communication

Refining use of twitter for marketing Day 32 of Science for Life.365: Waste. Best school excursion ever "I saw 8 seagulls get killed" #science365 #adelaide Day 38 of Science for Life.365. Spitfire. Or is it 'oil vomiter'? #science365 #adelaide @reemarattan @Mozziebites Scientist? Had a baby? This may strike a chord. A post by @annahuddo for #SciMs & #science365 #onsci

Blogging can forge connections • Find ‘friends in low places’, experience ‘horizontal loyalty’ (Robert Krulwich) • Aussie connections: National Science Week, Australian Science Communicators, #onsci, #ozscied, Uni of SA, Uni of Adelaide, scientific societies, TEDxAdelaide, COSMOS, community groups, Science Book a Day • International connections: ScienceOnline, @realscientists, Do You Believe in Dog? • New friends! Yes, I made friends on the internet • Feature guest posts for new connections

It’s been a grouse journey ‘It's been a grouse journey. I've enjoyed your posts and your application of science to your family and your family life. Congratulations.’ Tara via Facebook ‘Heartfelt congratulations Sarah! This is an achievement of epic proportions that non-bloggers will struggle to fully understand. I salute you and send very best wishes for a well-earned week's break!’ Mia via Facebook ‘Well done Sarah on completing a full year and sticking to it. I’ve enjoyed reading most of your posts. A great job.’ Gary via Wordpress

scienceforlife.365 celebratory ‘Brain Break’ morning tea National Science Week 2013

Blogging is not a dirty word  Completed year-long project  Greater feel for strengths/weaknesses as a writer  Better understanding of how to connect with online audiences  Appreciation of and connection with supportive online communities  Improved capacity in using social media for marketing  ‘Chick who blogged every day about science, for a year’

Becoming a diverse science writer PhD blog post views = 13 articles views = 20K views = ?

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