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Posts Tagged ‘blog’

THIS BLOG IS MOVING!!!

September 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Well, that’s it everybody. While WordPress.com has been good to me, I’ve decided to move to a self-hosted site.

This will be the FINAL post for this site. If you wish to keep receiving updates (or want to become a brand-spankin’ new subscriber!)…

Update your RSS Feed!!!

 

The new feed is: http://feeds.feedburner.com/AQuantumOfKnowledge

If you are an email subscriber, you can go to the new website and enter in your email. Of course the new site is:

http://www.aquantumofknowledge.com

A heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been reading over the past year! Hopefully you will all follow me to my new home.

Happy Reading!

(Note: All previous posts will get linked to the new site, so if you have linked to my site previously there should be no need to update anything.)

5 Things I’ve Learned From One Year of Blogging

May 30, 2011 3 comments

Happy Anniversary! A Quantum of Knowledge went online one year ago today!

It seems like the older you get, the shorter the years get. Because it certainly doesn’t seem like a year since I started blogging.

But it has been. 312 posts. 63,000 hits. Not to shabby :)

From what I’ve read, the majority of blogs die out in the first few months after creation. So how do you keep it going?

There are a few tidbits I’ve picked up over the past year that have not only kept me blogging, but kept me loving blogging.

1. Write about what YOU find interesting.

Too often I find myself trolling the news trying to find stories that I think others might be interested in. But this inevitably causes problems.

First, if I don’t find the subject interesting, I’m not going to do a good job writing about it.

Second, you never know what people will find interesting. If you try to pick topics based on what you think people will like, you are just playing a guessing game.

Stick with what you know. Because if you write about things you like and you find fascinating, you will write great posts that people will want to read and share with their friends.

2. Post OFTEN!

It doesn’t have to be a long post. If you are busy, treat your blog like a Twitter feed. Or just post a video you thought was funny. Just post SOMETHING!

Regular posts not only keep your readers coming back, but they keep you in the habit. Just like an exercise routine, you need to keep it up regularly in order to make it a habit.

After you keep a regular schedule for a few weeks, it will be a cinch to continue posting all the time!

3. Talk about yourself

Even if you write your blog anonymously, you should still talk about yourself.

What are your personal feelings on an issue? Have you been happy or sad lately? Did you just go on vacation? If so, where to?

In my case, even though I blog about science, I’ve found that some of my most popular posts were actually about me and not science news.

Whether it be where I spent my weekend, or my Top 10 Sci-Fi Movies, people seem to like hearing about my life. And I’m happy to oblige them.

Not only that, but I’ve found that personal anecdotes do wonders when trying to explain a complicated subject. Inserting a funny personal story into a technical post makes it much more readable.

4. Don’t be afraid to take a break now and then

If you haven’t blogged in a while, it can feel like a weight on your shoulders. You start to think,

“I haven’t posted in a while. I really should…but Dancing with the Stars is on…”

And the more days you miss, you more you feel like you should blog. But when you start feeling like you should, you really don’t want to.

So my advice? It’s ok to miss a few days of blogging. It’s even ok to miss a week or two. In fact, you should probably put the blog aside on purpose every now and then so you don’t get burned out!

And if you’ve intentionally taken a break from blogging, you will soon find that you miss it. You will want to blog again.

5. Do it because you love it

“Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.”
— Richard P. Feynman

The same goes for blogging. In my case, spreading the word about good science or disparaging pseudoscience may be in the best interest of the public; but that’s not why I do it.

I do it because I love writing. I love writing about other things that I love. Science, video games and other geekery, it’s all good.

And if you enjoy the fact that you are blogging, it will show through in your posts. People will be drawn to come back and keep reading your stuff.

So that’s it. That’s what I’ve learned. I hope you all have enjoyed the blog so far, and I hope you continue to enjoy it!

Road Trip!

April 20, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s been awhile since I’ve taken a real vacation. I mean, I love going home for Christmas but those trips always end up being more tiring than work; what with trying to see as many people as you can in the few short days you are home, etc, etc, etc.

But I’m doing something different this time around. Me and the GF are headed on a road trip! From Calgary to Vancouver, with a few stops along they way, checking out the awesome Canadian wilderness.

So if you know of any hotspots to check out in Victoria/Vancouver/Kelowna, let me know!

I’ll also be tweeting the entire time, so be sure to start following me on Twitter to hear how things are going!

Also, my ability to write science-related posts will be quite limited for the next 10-11 days. But fear not!

I’ve prepared a special treat for you all. A pre-written post will go active every day at Noon MDT for the next 10 days.

You guessed it…another Top 10 list! What is the topic this time? You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out.

Happy Trails!

Editor’s Selection!

January 24, 2011 Leave a comment

From xkcd.com

And I don’t mean to toot MY own horn, but my post “Redefining the Kilogram” was chosen as an “Editor’s Selection” at ResearchBlogging.org!

Maybe I’m not too bad at this blogging thing after all. :)

 

Moving!

October 26, 2010 Leave a comment

I hate moving. I’ve moved 6 times in as many years, and it seems to get more annoying each time.

And here I am preparing to move again. The apartment I have now has grown to small, and I need to go out and find some more space.

That being said, I will be pretty busy the next few weeks. Gotta find the apartment, pack up all our stuff, move it. Guuuuuhhhhh.

Anyone have a pick up truck I can borrow?

So you may notice I’m only posting a couple of times a week for the next little while. Hopefully by mid-November I will be back to full form. I won’t be going away completely, but posts will be limited.

So don’t go deleting your Google Reader subscriptions just yet :)

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A Young Earth Creationist Called Me a “Dim Wheel”…

October 1, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m not even sure what that means, but I don’t imagine it is complimentary. It’s also the first openly hostile comment I’ve gotten on my blog, so I figured I’d share my thoughts on it.

The comment appeared on my post called: “Sorry Creationists, Radiometric Dating Still Works”. The post had to do with the recent stories in the news about neutrinos possibly affecting the decay rates of isotopes used in radiometric dating. The results are in still question, and even if true, would not drastically affect the dating of geological samples which have already been performed.

One person, who chose to remain anonymous, commented on the post. They said (all grammatical errors reproduced exactly): 

Guess what Dim Wheel, diamonds have measurable amounts of C-14. You Kind of sound like a scientist, but lets face it, your not.

Now, I don’t have a problem with comments that disagree with me, but name-calling is just childish. Am I a scientist? Well I have an M.Sc. in Physics, and I work in the technology sector analyzing data, writing code and working my way into the R&D department. But I think the commenter is saying that I don’t wear a lab coat or work at a University, so I suppose I am not a “scientist” by that definition. But ad hominem fallacies aside, lets deal with the diamond argument.

I had actually never heard this argument before, so I looked it up. Diamonds are old. Very, very old. So old in fact, that Carbon-14 should not be present at all in diamonds, it should have all decayed away millions of years ago. So Young Earthers use this argument as evidence that the earth is younger than scientists thought.

Here was my response to the comment:

Diamonds do actually contain Carbon-14. This has been in known for about 30 years now, and is easily explained.

Uranium decay in geological samples can actually trigger the generation of a Carbon-14 isotope in a sample of diamond. This phenomenon has been thoroughly studied and confirmed. Here are a couple references:

Excess carbon-14 abundances in uranium ores: Possible evidence for emission from uranium-series isotopes.
D. Barker, A. J. T. Jull, and D. J. Donahue. Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 12, Issue 10, p. 737-740 (1985)

14C in uranium and thorium minerals: a signature of cluster radioactivity? R. Bonetti et. al.
European Physical Journal A, Vol. 5, No. 2, 235-238 (1999)

If you have any other questions regarding this matter please don’t hesitate to ask. I’d be happy to answer them for you.

So the argument doesn’t hold water, but what gets me more is the hostility. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, and we skeptics have a reputation of being “dicks” sometimes as well. But it is totally counter-productive from either side of the argument to act like a jerk or commit the ad hominem fallacy.

So you can read the comment yourself, and let me know if you think my response was well-handled. I love scientific discussion, but I don’t like confrontation. Discussion makes you learn and question your own beliefs, whereas confrontation just causes you to dig in your heels and become more close-minded.

Can’t we all just get along?

Who Do I Blog Like?

September 12, 2010 Leave a comment

I read about this website which analyzes the text of your blog on Blag Hag and decided it would be fun to do my blog. Here are my results:

Text Analysis:

aquantumofknowledge.wordpress.com is probably written by a male somewhere between 66-100 years old. The writing style is personal and upset most of the time.

Hmm…apparently I’m an old man at heart (being only 25).

Am I really upset most of the time? Yeah ok.

I am happy with the balance between personal and academic content. But 66-100 years old? Really?

If you have a blog you should give this a try. What are your results?

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