What I have learnad as a geoblogger

Jessica Ball wrote about her experience at AGU where she talked about the Geoblogosphere. She also pointed to an article written by Callan Bentley et al. which I found very interesting. My blog was not included in this study because I wasn’t an active blogger then but I thought that maybe some of my readers find it interesting what I have learned during the past few months of active geoblogging.

For some reason I like to express myself in a written format. I have written more than 1,000 articles to Estonian Wikipedia. These articles are mostly about geology. Now I really don’t know why didn’t I start a blog instead. Wikipedia has strict guidelines, you do not work for yourself, you get almost no feedback, and there are often conflicts with other contributors and trolls. Maybe I just couldn’t believe that someone would ever follow my blog. That probably is still true because then I wrote in Estonian and just didn’t realize that I could possibly do it in English. There are only one million people in the world understanding Estonian. You won’t find too many among them who would like to read a geoblog.

I was concerned that I can’t find followers with my poor English skills but it seems now that it is not a problem. Maybe because native English speakers are so used to read faulty or awkward English written by non-native speakers that they do not even notice anymore.

But on the other hand I feel that my writing skills have improved considerably during that short timeframe. It is somewhat astonishing because all I did for that was writing this blog. So it is the first benefit that I have received from it. I am used to read texts in English. Now I also have a way of practicing writing. There is no doubt that it could be very beneficial in the future.

Another benefit is that it is a great motivator. There are many things in my to-do list but I am sometimes lazy. I would not do some of it because there is no urgent need. But writing a blog and trying to keep updating regularly with more or less meaningful posts is a challenge. You always run the risk that you have nothing to write about anymore. So I need to keep working with new material and ideas. It is rewarding because I learn new things all the time.

I do keep a general record of how many people visit my blog but I do not feel comfortable posting a statistical overview here. Maybe because the numbers are still very modest. However, the trend in encouraging and greatly exceeds my expectations. That too is motivating to see the number of visitors grow almost every week. I will try to do my best to see the numbers going up in the future as well.

There are many more potential benefits. I hope that I am not even aware of some of them yet. Is there anything bad also? It simply can not be that blogging is entirely positive experience. Yes, there is one annoying aspect. It is time that always seems to be in short supply but I shouldn’t complain about that. Everyone seems to have the same problem. Time actually is not the problem – we all have 24 hours a day. The problem is that there is too much that we would like to do. Blogging is just one thing that takes large chunks out of our days. But I do not see it as a big problem until it helps me to improve in many ways and until it is a fun thing to do.

As a conclusion I would definitely encourage you to start blogging if you are not doing it yet. It has been rewarding for me and would most likely not hurt you as well.

7 comments to What I have learnad as a geoblogger

  • John Stireman


    I find your writing in English to be excellent, much better than that of far too many fellow Americans. And I find your blogs to be wonderfully entertaining and informative. Thank you for sharing your experiences and knowledge with the rest of the world.

    I live in Utah, USA, where geology is everywhere exposed and I garden in fine alluvial sand.

  • I sooooo agree with your post … and also John’s comments. cheers

  • Howard

    I agree with John: your written English is excellent and you have nothing to worry about in that regard. I edit a newsletter and I wish some of my contributors (all native English speakers) could write English as well as you do. Your topics and photos are always interesting, making your blog one of my favourites. Keep up the good work!

  • parclair

    Your english is excellent. Until your post around the solstice, I thought you were from somewhere in North America. To learn you were Estonian made me laugh at myself. I read your posts from California.

  • I really admire your ability to post so often in such a good quality. That was one of the reasons I became your regular reader.
    I am also a non-native English speaker and I had a geology blog in Latvian for a year before starting to blog in English. It actually took me a move abroad to do that and I still keep returning to my old posts to correct the spelling and grammar once again.
    But I also believe a blog is kind of a private property of the person. Of course it is a public media and it should be kept in mind that it is freely available to anyone who has an Internet connection. But because of the time and effort I spend on mine without asking anything from the readers I believe I can do pretty much whatever I like and write however I am able to. Because it is mine! 🙂

  • John, I’d love to live in Utah where geology is everywhere exposed. If not Utah, then California or Arizona or New Mexico or Oregon or Montana… 🙂 I often think about it and find it quite incredible how much extremeley versatile and interesting geology the western part of US has where many of you live.

    I thank you for the compliments. You almost made me believe it.

  • Ann

    I just recently discovered your blog through En Tequila Es Verdad. So far I’ve liked what I’ve seen. It’s not about the numbers but the message you bring across – sharing geology with others. I look forward to seeing more from you.