Finding my niche in the blogosphere

16 03 2007

PZ made this interesting comment the other day over at Evolving Thoughts;

But when you don’t want to avoid conflict, like if you have a new blog to flog and you want to stir up some controversy and get people to look at you, then throwing out civility and singling out someone for an attack is a smart move. Mild-mannered monkeys are neglected monkeys.

This isn’t to say that I’m about to become a rabid little blog monkey, growling and biting at whomever I perceive to be a threat, but I do need to find my a niche in the blogosphere. When I first started blogging I was a freshman in college and all my posts revolved around music, my girlfriend, some light pseudo-philosophy, etc.; nothing terribly different. Once I got serious about science in the past year, however, I was heartened to see that such a large community of people has sprung up to discuss science, both new and old. The only problem is I’m having a hard time finding my place in it. Of course, I’m a ScienceBlogs wannabe, but I’m not nearly as insightful as Wilkins, as thorough or smart as Naish, or as good a communicator as PZ. This isn’t to say I’m throwing in the towel, but whatever I write here there is someone else who can do the job 100% better elsewhere. Think of it in terms of evolution; currently this blog is the evolutionary equivalent of a small Cretaceous mammal, occupying the niche of a nocturnal generalist. There isn’t anything I specifically do well, but I’m not at a major disadvantage either. I can only hope that with more education and time my writings will get better and start plenty of conversation, but until then I am certainly thankful to everyone who stops by here and finds something enjoyable in my ramblings.


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8 responses

16 03 2007
Dan

For finding your “place in the blogosphere,” my advice is simply to blog on (and intellectually explore) topics that you’re interested, and not focus on the popularity or the audience. It is, afterall, just a log of what you want to share with the world, and as such, your blog isn’t about your readers, it’s about you.

Also, talking about niches and audiences is something you do after you have them, retrospectively. First you have to establish what content you’re interested in, and what you can discover about that material. If you’re interested in debunking creationism and cryptozoology, then explore that, with your own personal style. Similarly with ecology, evolution, or any other topic.

You won’t find an empty niche if that’s what you’re looking for – you have to make your own.

16 03 2007
laelaps

Thanks for the suggestions Dan. I agree that a blog is more about the writer than the readership; if I really wanted to be “popular” there are plenty of cheap ways to do it, but I’d rather almost have this as a log of my evolving thought-processes and ideas with everyone else along for the ride.

I don’t expect to find an empty niche, and I suppose that’s what this entry was about; making one of my own. There are already so many excellent blogs out there (including yours) that definitely beat mine hands down, but like I said towards the end I’m hoping that as I continue my education and learn more I’ll be able to improve and make my own way.

I suppose another part of my problem is that I’m just too interested in too many things; there’s so much I want to know, discuss, explore, and figure out that it can be difficult to have a running theme. Even so, I’m hoping to use this to my advantage by integrating ecology, evolution, and other sciences rather than focusing on just one field.

Anyway, thanks again for the great suggestions and support, and please keep up the good writing on your own blog!

16 03 2007
Chris Harrison

Hi Brian. Be happy to know that your blog here has been incorporated into the 25 or so science webpages that I cycle through more than once a day.
Maybe you don’t have full blown posts about the Mesozoic giants(T. Zoology) or the developmental layout of hox genes(PZ), but I think Laelaps is cool nonetheless. I like that you’re an undergrad that has the same interests as me, yet more background. I look forward to many more discussions with you here, so you better not stop posting any time soon damnit.
And plus, no one else has such nice pictures from the zoo!

16 03 2007
laelaps

Hi there Chris, and thanks for the compliments! I wasn’t suggesting I was going to stop posting, just that I hope I can find my own may to make this blog unique, fun, and accurate. Your work isn’t too shabby either, you know, and I was definitely impressed by your DB’s post. Thanks again for all your support!

16 03 2007
Sarda Sahney

As someone else who is looking for a niche, I understand where you are coming from. I have been blogging about the things that interest me. But I realize to draw a crowd you have to tackle controversial topics on a regular basis. Like you, I just enjoy getting my thoughts out there. You have a great blog and I have just added you to my blog roll.

24 05 2011
Crissy Hesson

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3 07 2011
offshore voluntary disclosure program

Whoa! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a completely different subject but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

20 08 2014
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