When does one call oneself a blogger?

A more personal and ramble-y post from me today…I have umm’ed and ahh’ed about publishing this post but I have decided that it is worth putting out there.

Nature chemistry has recently done a wonderful editorial about Twitter (a twitorial) and I was very giddy and honoured when I noticed that my twitter handle got a mention. What I found particularly remarkable about this was that I was mentioned as a “blogger” and not just an overly obsessive chemistry tweep. My point here is that I have never considered myself a blogger, just a person that occasionally writes blog posts on random science. This has led me to ask myself the question: when will I call myself a blogger?

I don’t blog that regularly because “real life” gets in the way and because I occasionally lack inspiration. I started my blog because I was interested in finding out how every day products worked but it has morphed in to a blog about all aspects of chemistry. Lately, I have surprised myself by blogging more and more about my own experiences from my outreach projects to my life as a postdoc. If I posted more often, would I feel more like a blogger or would I feel like I was filling the internet with even more indiscriminate drivel? I am not sure.

A question I often ask is: does the success of the blog or the blogger depend on the number of visitors a day? I guess it does. There are blogs I visit regularly, regardless of whether they advertise their new posts on twitter, and I believe that this is one of the sure signs that you are a successful blogger.

My blog is nearly a year old. It may be that when it turns one, I will decide that I have been around long enough to officially join the club. I don’t believe, however, that the age of the blog has an effect on the impact of the blog and, therefore, the blogger(s). Look at the relatively new blog, Behind NMR Lines. Although it has only been around for a few months, it has already gained a huge following and its own very popular twitter hashtag, #chemclub.

Some might ask me if I am just ashamed of being a called blogger, which I am not, but it may be somewhat true that I am not yet ready for the potential sneers and sniggers from colleagues. It is sad to say that announcing to the world that you are a blogger can often have a negative connotation with people, especially those who aren’t au fait with the internet and, in particular, twitter. I hope that one day soon this is not the case and that everyone gives bloggers the respect they deserve.

On a final note, I think the main reason that I am yet to call myself a blogger is that I have a form of impostor syndrome, in other words, what right do I have to share my limited experience and knowledge with the world? I believe that this is something that I will get over as I learn more about how and what (and what not) to blog about.

So, the main point of this post is to ask the science bloggers out there…when did you start calling yourself a blogger?


6 thoughts on “When does one call oneself a blogger?

  1. Two metrics:

    1) You get to call yourself a blogger after either 6 months or a full year of regular blogging. (or some other time period that is longer than 2 weeks.)

    2) You can call yourself a blogger after you think of your interactions with the internet primarily via the lens of “ooh, I could blog about this!” (That’s probably when I knew I had a problem, anyway. 😉

  2. Oh, you. Such flattery.

    Funnily enough, the reason I started blogging (which is still too infrequent for my liking… I’ve not yet fallen into Chemjobber’s Second Trap) is precisely to overcome my own imposter syndrome. Forcing myself to organise thoughts and expose them to criticism is presumably a good way to get better at, er, having thoughts.

    Have you found this to be the case in the last year or so?

    • I would say that I am becoming more like the person described in CJ’s second point. If I have an opinion or a feeling about something, I do think that I should blog about it. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. 6 months ago this would not have been the case.

      I am going to try harder to do more detailed, chemistry based posts and generally write better.

  3. I’ve just been watching a talk by Anil Dash. A quote: ‘being introduced as a blogger is a little bit, these days, like being introduced as an emailer.’

    Now, the imposter syndrome – that’s more interesting.

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