Back to the Blog

Well, it’s been awhile since my last post, since I’ve been busy with the move to my new city to begin grad school.  I’ve spent the past week getting settled and acclimated, and today I began orientation run by the physics department.

As I was looking at my Google Reader feed at my lunch break, I saw that Sean at Cosmic Variance has updated his blog roll.  Scrolling down, I was surprised to find the name of my blog linked on CV!  Of course, this link caused a huge spike in the number of visits to my blog today.  So welcome to the new visitors!

With grad school starting now, and with a few posts under my belt, my blog should really start rounding into shape now.  This blog is intended to show a peek into the mind of a physics grad student as I journey through the “first excited state” of being a physicist: grad school.

However, there is one question that I have not answered for myself during this feeling-out stage, so I turn the question to my blog readers.

I have not decided what level of anonymity to maintain on this blog.  So far, I have shared very few personal details about myself.  I am thinking about sharing the name of the school that I am attending and my research focus, which of course will reduce my anonymity, and anyone that knows me personally will certainly be able to identify me.

Of course, this means that I won’t be able to bad-mouth anyone on my blog, which I wasn’t planning on doing anyway, but there may be other drawbacks to giving up some of my anonymity.  If my adviser or other professors in the department connect me to my blog, they may see it as a waste of time and question my commitment to my research.

But I can see some advantages as well.  I will be able to make specific comments about my institution and my city, which would be interesting.  Also, I find that specific details are usually more compelling reading than vague generalities.

John Hawks has some comments on academic blogging here, with more to come, but I turn it to my readers for advice.  What do you think?


3 Responses to “Back to the Blog”

  1. 1 wellcaffeinated August 20, 2008 at 10:35 PM

    I’ve had similar worries with my physics blog. Careful sleuthing could reveal my identity, but if I blatantly revealed my identity on my blog, what would my local scientific community think of me?

    However, reading Sean’s post on CV provides some comfort. And besides, should one really fear being recognized as a specialist in their field who is trying to reach out to the general public? Of course not. The type of blogging you seem to be doing looks nothing less than constructive.

    I say: go nuts.

  2. 2 excitedstate August 22, 2008 at 12:01 AM

    Thanks for your feedback. I think I will be revealing my identity (at least my institution) at some point soon. I checked out your blog, looks pretty cool, so I’ve added it to my blog roll.

    I have a post in mind that is more along the lines of the type of stuff you’ve posted, so hopefully I’ll get that up soon.

  3. 3 wellcaffeinated August 24, 2008 at 10:03 AM

    Cool. Thanks!

    I’m looking forward to reading your new post. 🙂

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