What is your reaction to terms like "Web 2.0" or "social networking?"
Are all those invitations to be friends on Facebook or MySpace, network on LinkedIn or Plaxo – the list goes on and on – stacked at the bottom of your e-mail inbox, awaiting some indeterminate future action?
Do you use blogs as a means to gather or communicate information?
To parody a widely played U.S. television ad, have you “found the Internet?”
Odds are, in an association as large as AAPG, our members range the spectrum:
- ♦ At one end are early technology adopters sporting the latest cell phone gizmo with a copy of Wired magazine next to their copy of the EXPLORER (actually, they prefer to read both online, ideally on their phones).
- ♦ At the other end are those members still carrying a penknife to sharpen their favorite writing quill and awed by the IBM Selectric typewriter.
Most of us, however, are probably bunched somewhere in the middle – not quite ready to get rid of our colored pencils, but nevertheless deft users of smart phones, high-powered workstations and the Internet.
In 2006 Wired editor Chris Anderson authored a book titled The Long Tail, which explains how the Internet is transforming the customer experience and thereby business in general. By removing barriers to entry for information providers, and by providing tools to enable customers to sift through all this information, niches emerge representing groups of people interested in a particular topic.
A web log, or blog for short, is one tool folks use to find content that interests them.
To that end GEO-DC has launched a blog, with the assistance of our Communications Department in Tulsa, to communicate with AAPG members and the general public.
The niche that we occupy is the intersection of geoscience and policy. We also look at its impact on business and global energy issues.
This is a pretty broad range of topics, and a guiding editorial principle is whether it is something that AAPG members would find interesting. Since we began "beta-testing" the blog back in June, we've covered issues ranging from outer continental shelf access, to Google's investment in geothermal energy research and development, and Scott Tinker's letter to Senate appropriators on the importance of federal oil and gas research.
As always, our goal is to highlight the relevance of the geosciences to society at large.
This blog is just one more information channel to communicate this message. It resides in the GEO-DC area from the front page of the AAPG site, alongside the monthly Washington Watch column, periodic column in the DPA Correlator and the Government Affairs Committee Action Alert system.
However, the blog medium – by enabling quick dissemination of information and the opportunity for interaction and feedback using the "comment" feature – does open up new possibilities. These comments are moderated to encourage spirited, but civil, discussion.
Surf on over to the GEO-DC blog for a look around. You can sign up to receive e-mail updates of new posts, and register to leave comments.
I encourage you to join in the conversation, and help us build a community of engaged and informed citizen scientists focused on science and policy issues related to energy and the environment. Feel free to suggest improvements, subjects you’d like to read more about and how this can be a more effective tool for you.
Skeptics abound, particularly when it comes to new technologies. In fact, just yesterday I stumbled on an unattributed quote related to blogging: "Never before have so many people, with so little to say, said so much to so few."
With your cooperation, we plan to break this mold with the GEO-DC blog.
Incidentally, that quote was posted as a comment on my Facebook page, and yes, now I am writing a blog. But don’t ask me to give up my colored pencils!
Welcome to GEO-DC 2.0.