Before starting this blog for the T2 Committee I did some research and thinking about blogs in general and blogs for technology transfer in particular. Yes, blogs have come a long way since people started Web logs to tell the world about their inner thoughts, interests and what they had for breakfast or how long their daily run was. Blogs are now used by reputable organizations, such as Law Professors Blog, which I’ve used for their valuable information on various law topics. They even have corporate sponsors.
What I like about blogs
Blogs can provide valuable information. Bloggers often spend time researching and keeping up with news on their particular topic. If you want to hear anything and everything about the TV show Project Runway go to Blogging Project Runway. This blog counts no information too trivial to report. But, if you want to know what’s going on with the show and/or contestants go there.
Blogs are personal. One thing I love about blogs is that most people write them about their personal or professional passion. They also give me their unique insights, which can be more valuable than just the facts. They have they own unique perspective and speak with their own voice. Blogs can also be about the narrowest of topics and offer in depth commentary. Someone somewhere is interested and blogs about any topic.
What I don’t like about blogs
I hate the corporate/government blogs which read like press releases. These blogs often spend a lot of time saying nothing and offer nothing of interest. Either that, or the blogger gushes about his/her experiences doing their job every day. Boring!
And, yes, I don’t like the blogs that go into infinitesimal detail on the blogger’s day/run/pets/meals/opinions, etc.
How can we use blogs for technology transfer?
Blogs could be used to report on research projects as well as a research program. This can be done either behind a firewall to internal audiences or to the general public in a public site. Using a blog, rather than a report, can be more personal and allow the researcher to show his/her enthusiasm more than in a formal report. Blogs would also allow researchers to show through photos research in progress. But, the blog should be interesting, updated regularly and encourage comments.
Speaking of encouraging comments, what blogs have you found useful? Have you used a blog to transfer technology? Or, do you think blogs are only good for pictures of pets and rants? Comment away!