I’ve always thought that having a blog (or a wiki) for one’s research group is a superb idea. Probably even more useful, than the group’s webpage, which in my case hardly gets updated. The somewhat informal nature of a blog puts less pressure on how polished the material has to be, but since it is to be shared with others it does have to be presentable, and one can easily check it in the future. One of the main advantages lies in the archival feature, one can keep track of discussions, ideas, code, and a lot of the things important for doing collaborative work. This post by Patrick Mineault gives a nice account on “why to have a lab blog”.
I’ve been trying to convince Chris to set up a blog for the lab. A lab blog can take many forms: it can be public or private, formal or informal, edited by a single person or several people and so on. There’s quite a few potential benefits to getting a lab blog, for instance:
- Publicity. Public blogs can generate a significant amount of traffic, which may be helpful in recruiting subjects, grad students and postdocs. For an investigator that is starting out, the publicity could be helpful in getting his name out there. It can also be very good for disseminating new papers.
- Writing practice. In the case of a collaborative blog, in which grad students and postdocs write posts, it gives them a nice opportunity to practice their writing skills. Chris commented that “students who come in have NO experience writing”. He was talking especially about people with backgrounds…
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