Blog Identity

Today I took people pleasing to a whole new level.

I actually wrote a long post basically apologizing to my readers for the topics I’ve been writing about lately. I wanted to apologize to the science readers for not posting about science-y stuff, and I wanted to apologize to the TTC/pregnant/family readers for not being consistent with the topics I write about. That I feel torn between the two communities, and thus feel like I’m losing my blog identity.

Hello, Alyssa!!! It’s YOUR blog! You can write about whatever the heck you want to write about!!

Admittedly, this blog is in transition. I rarely blog about science-y stuff anymore because I’m leaving academia and don’t have much to say about the subject. Many of my posts recently have been centered on the house and Baby G. But, since those are basically the focus of my life right now, and this blog is really about my life, why do I feel like I need to apologize for that?

I guess it’s because I feel guilty.

I feel guilty because, when I started blogging, I became part of the science blogging community. I received tons of support from graduate students, post-docs, and professors that were going (or went) through the same things. I feel as though I’m letting down my science-based readership when I write about such things as home ownership and motherhood.

Also, since I’m a super organizer/planner, it kind of bothers me having my blog seemingly all over the place. It would be nice to have a theme or direction.

In any case, I honestly don’t know where this blog will end up right now. I know that Baby G will be the subject of many upcoming posts as we anticipate his arrival. After that? Who knows? Whatever happens though, I hope you will continue to read about my journey – wherever that may take me!

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Comments on: "Blog Identity" (21)

  1. Anonymous said:

    Since I first started reading your blog over a year ago, I've never seen you have an identity crisis. You shouldn't have to apologise for your blog taking on a life of it's own and transitioning from time to time.

    You shouldn't feel bad for your readership. There are those of us who are truly interested in academia, family, and day-to-day highs and lows. Doesn't matter what you write about – consistent or inconsistent, you will always lose readers and gain new ones as your blog evolves. 🙂

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  2. Hey Alyssa,

    I stop by your blog multiple times in a week now and I've enjoyed seeing it in transition – though that's probably because my life has kinda been following along in parallel (no baby yet – but more likely to have a baby than go back to academia in the next 5 years :). I'm also launching my own blog about educational technology after stalling forever..mostly personal, but definitely job inspired – I've got it all ready to go, but just haven't made it live yet…mostly because I'd hate to launch it, then not have enough time to keeping updating it…but I keep making 'backup posts', go figure 🙂

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  3. I went months commenting on blogs without linking to my own for this very reason. I was finishing a degree in “non-applicable” science field when I started blogging, but I don't write on a daily basis about science. Not even close. BUT, I know enough about life in academia to relate when Tideliar bitches about conference accommodations or PLS moans about grants or (unfortunately) FSP details accounts of discrimination in the workplace. We don't all have to fit in a mold, blog about what you want. I'll still read.

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  4. I'll keep reading too!! Transitions are natural in life, and I think our blogs suffer when we don't honor those transitions. I personally feel like I get the best blog for my money when I write about what I actually care about…sometimes that's the growing baby in my belly, sometimes it's the condo we're trying to sell, sometimes it's grants, and, sometimes, even science. [Most of] us science readers/bloggers out there have lives too, and it's nice to relate to another scientist on that level. 🙂

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  5. you know, scientists are people too… with lives*…. 😉

    *hence, blogging about it makes perfect sense

    [sorry, I had to. I've been feeling the same lately, with my own blog. Lots of “emotions” and sort of non-sciency things. Then I reread my firsts blog posts and sort of realised that I never ever did only post sciency stuff. just things that affected me doing my science stuff, if that makes sense?]

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  6. Thanks everyone! It's nice to know that my readers are still enjoying the blog, even though the tone of it has changed. I agree that it's nice to read about the lives of scientists, rather than science itself (at least on a blog, anyway).

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  7. The percentage of my (total) posts (over both blogs) that are directly related to science has been decreasing since around my 2nd month of blogging, but most of my readers are still science bloggers. I think many scientists have a lot in common outside of our working lives.

    So, y'know, blog about whatever you want to and people will still read! Maybe not every post, but there are very, very few blogs where I read every single post, and I would never expect my own readers to read every posts of mine, either.

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  8. 🙂 Hey write about what ever the **** you want! It's your ******* blog and don't let no ********** tell you what to do!

    See, I'm self editing for when baby G comes and reads in the future!

    **** yeah!

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  9. It's always refreshing to read about scientists with real lives. I went through the same debate too between science blogging and food blogging. I ultimately put up a poll and asked my readers to decide: would they rather me separate into two blogs? And the answer was a resounding no; the food crowd loved hearing about what it is like to be a scientist, and the science crowd wouldn't ordinarily read a food blog, but liked seeing what I whipped up in the kitchen. Variety is the spice of life!

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  10. You're not only a mom, only a scientist, only a house owner. You're a complex mix of different interests, thoughts and hobbies. Its your blog and blog about whatever you want. :))

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  11. I agree with everyone else, Alyssa. You COULD start a new (personal) blog if you wanted to keep this one as a science blog (but it sounds like a lot of your science friends would read it anyway, hehe).

    Otherwise, write about what you want!! I now follow a TON of blogs, and I admittedly do skip some entries that are less interesting to me, but it doesn't mean I hold it against the blogger. I think the best blogs do reflect the variety that makes us all human. Write on, sister.

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  12. I'm so glad everyone is supportive of what I write about. It definitely makes me feel better about things. And, as a couple people have said about their own blog, I really didn't blog about science before – more about my PhD experience. So, now I'm just blogging about different life experiences 🙂

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  13. Anonymous said:

    I really enjoy your blog for this very reason: that it connects with so many parts of my own life – I'm a grad student, teacher, homeowner/renovator, soon-to-be-wife/someday-to-be-mother, woman… Don't change a thing unless you want to!

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  14. To be honest, when I started reading (science)blogs, I loved to read those of people like you and me, writing a thesis and all the related science issues. But I tired of it real soon. Everybody has the same problems and at some point you read the same things over again.(I just realised my recent monster-post has been written before my many of those who read it) I still like small doses of science-posts, after all I am still a scientist, but sometimes it is too much to read science even in your free time…

    Now I really enjoy blogs like yours where it is about every day life, about your decisions, whether about your career, children or paint colours or cars 😉 It shows how people deal with scientific life, or how the decision to leave science is formed. Plus your life is different from mine and I like reading about that too. At this point in life it is fascinating how other people of similar age deal with things.
    Just what I missed recently: what are you knitting??? 🙂

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  15. “Hello, Alyssa!!! It's YOUR blog! You can write about whatever the heck you want to write about!!”

    Hell, yeah!

    I'll continue to read throughout your transitions, Alyssa, whether you blog about science or not. As multiple people here have noted, we all have lives outside of our professions; personally, I find those glimpses into other lives fascinating.

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  16. Thanks Nina & bean-mom!

    Nina – I'm still working on this bag! I hope to finish it by the end of the summer.

    Oh – and Nicole – once you get your blog up, let me know! I'd love to read it and will put it on my blog roll 🙂

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  17. You must be glad you didn't post an apology now – there is nothing to apologize for! I still love reading what's been going on with you – even if I don't comment as often as I used to (blame the thesis for that. Also blame the thesis for my piss-poor attempts at updating my own blog).

    Keep writing what you want to write! Us readers aren't fussy!

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  18. I like reading LIFE blogs and yours is a great mix! I went through the same identity crisis when I graduated and no longer had my dissertation to complain about, but you are still (and always will be) a scientist and that will color your impressions on all sorts of things. Keep up the great writing and I'll keep reading!

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  19. Alyssa, the bag is cute! And it doesn't look too difficult … It is still one of my goals this year to actually knit anything at all, I might try this one. And you are totally to blame for my new interest in knitting so how is that for life-altering-blogging!

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  20. x-ine – thanks, and nice to “see” you around! I hope the thesis is going well.

    Becca – “…no longer had my dissertation to complain about…” LOL! That's EXACTLY it. I feel lost without a stable thing to complain about!

    Nina – YAY! Yes, you should make the bag too and then we can both post the results. I am using different colors (brown and blue).

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  21. Alyssa, your blog is one of my absolute favourites. Although I stumbled on it from the science blog community, I love the variety of stuff that you discuss. Hearing about your transition through “non-traditional” sciencey jobs is very refreshing and the TTC/baby and house posts I find very relevant to my own life.

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