12 November 2010

Time to start blogging again

Just registered for #scio11 — ScienceOnline2011 and am thinking about where I am in terms of my own blog. I don't think I've ever really decided if this is a completely personal blog, or part science & part personal, or something else. I started with an explanation of the title: Dragonfly Wars. My most detailed post came on 27 March, discussing a New Scientist article: "Food, not flab, is the real killer," by Andy Coghlan. This post combined science and personal experience. Another post I am particularly proud of is my 4 April entry, "Branding Bhutan — or the story of a 'Trek through Time'." This post again combined science (in particular, an article in the 19 Feb. 2010 Science magazine, "Improbable partners aim to bring biotechnology to Himalayan Kingdom") and personal experience — that of my grandmother's trek in Bhutan with Tenzing Norgay back in 1975.

After that, the blog has become a little more personal, while still touching on topics of interest to a wider audience. "Sugar: I've cut it out" (28 April) is my take on how to cut sugar out of a person's diet. I have yet to go into greater detail as to how that has helped me in several arenas to become a more balanced person. An 8 August post, "Cleaning up," reacted to the book Nickled and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich, going off on tangents about my life as a maid, a housekeeper, and a group-home counselor. I'm also proud of this entry, but don't know if anyone has read it — maybe the picture of a dirty mop at the top of the story puts people off.

The "myth" that only your mother reads your blog is really a myth — I'm pretty sure my mother has never looked at it. But I know my father has. His favorite entry is from 26 May: "Thankful, Part I." I guess dads like to know their kids are happy. I haven't gotten to "Thankful, Part II" yet, but it'll come.

My saddest and most personal entry is "Memorial to Buddy, a good dog." This post got the most "reads" and comments. Buddy was a golden retriever whom I had the pleasure of calling my "best friend" for almost 10 years. He died suddenly (of a burst hemagiosarcoma I didn't even know he had [stoic to the last]) on 11 June 2009. Conversely, another of my favorite entries is about our other dog, Blue Aroo, whom we adopted from the MaxFund Shelter in Denver in 10 June 2009.

I tried doing the "What I linked to on Twitter this Week" thing I saw other blogs doing (particularly "Highly Allochthonous") but have found that that takes up a lot of time I don't have — and those who read my tweets (@Colo_kea) are far greater in number than who might actually look at my blog anyway.

My most recent post was for Blog Action Day 2010. I kinda took the lazy way out (or maybe not lazy exactly — I showed off what I do best with water, and that's as a photographer, not as a scientist). The post is called "Water shots." I announced once on Twitter a while back that water was my favorite thing in the whole world, and I meant it. Of course, the best of the best is a golden retriever and water at the same time.

So now — this is a nice summary of the blog so far. What's next? Do I dive into the more personal, or do I stay above that fine line? My professional expertise is as a journalist, editor, social media manager, former community college instructor, and former 9-year sheriff's department employee. I'm no scientist; I just work for a science organization and read a lot of science blogs. My skill set includes amateur Web design (see my current Web site, which will transition soon to become keagiles.com to be consistent with my chosen married name; see also the Web site I built for my brother's bookstore, Applegarth Books) — no bells and whistles on these, but I do like the images and design elements. That leads to my other amateur calling  — that of a digital photographer. I've sold a couple of photos but haven't put much effort into getting them "out there." Another artifact of the "not enough time" syndrome.

I think that's enough of summarizing myself. You can always get more from LinkedIn for Twitter or even from my profile on this blog. That's not what this post is about. This post is asking you, the reader, what you'd like to see here. It's also helping me to get my thoughts together regarding what I want to write here and what I'm bringing to the table at ScienceOnline 2011. Comments? Appreciated.