January 16, 2007

A Reminder of Our Responsibility

 Open Laboratory Cover Bora (Coturnix) Zivkovic has announced the publication of The Open Laboratory, a collection of fifty of the best science blog posts ever. While a few of my efforts were nominated, none made the cut. And this is as it should be. I do want to thank those who nominated a couple of my posts. But, I am not a science blogger. In fact, it's not clear what kind of a blogger I am other than a blogger with abnormal interests. The posts Bora included are great, certainly among the best science ever posted. I remember reading many of them at the time.

An anthology like The Open Laboratory reminds me of the importance of doing what we do well. Like most blogs, Abnormal Interests has two kinds of visitors: those who visit frequently, via an RSS feed or by coming directly to the site (Thank you!) and those that come via a search engine. It is to that second group, those who are looking for information on some subject, to whom we have a special responsibility. That responsibility includes accuracy and clarity. I also think that we should always provide references through links or bibliography to our sources. The best bloggers always do this. That responsibility also includes an indication of our own personal strengths and weakness. Few of us are truly experts on everything we post. By one definition, I am not an expert on any of my usual abnormal interests. When someone comes unwittingly to our sites, we should either send them away with accurate information, clearly delineated commentary and directions for further inquiry or send them away fast. All the posts published in The Open Laboratory are the former.

Posted by DuaneSmith at January 16, 2007 09:31 PM | Read more on Odds and Ends |

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Duane, I agree with you. We have to be honest with the "second group". I sometimes write just for them, as was the case with my post that got selected for the anthology.

Posted by: Aydin at January 18, 2007 09:34 AM

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