Potentially over the next few weeks I will be discussing the International Geological Congress. The International Union of Geological Science encourages the study of geological problems, especially those of world-wide significance, and supports and facilitates international and interdisciplinary cooperation in the earth sciences. The union currently consists of geologists from 120 countries and 46 Affiliated Organisations.
In August 2012 this congress will be held in my home town – Brisbane, Queensland, Australia – and is expected to promote significant amount of tourism, not to mention the benefits of so many scientists coming together for the benefit of humanity (and non-mankind). The whole event is essentially about networking and sharing information. This Union has approached my university for assistance in finding ways to promote the Congress internationally, particularly targeting young geoscientists. Furthermore, without adding dramatically to the cost, they wish to find a way to allow their union members to network.
Today I am going to suggest that the International Union of Geological Science creates a social blogging network (which can also be known as a Blogosphere) to meet and fulfil the union’s desire to network and promote. But how will a blogging network help? Many companies have actually dwelled into this idea – think SmashingMagazine and the Envato Network. Each network has amalgamated a number of smaller, content related, blogs that add to the network’s value. As the content would be created primarily by external bloggers (the actual geoscientists themselves) the cost to the union would be minimal.
A blogosphere will help create a somewhat centralised resource of valuable data that’s freely accessible to both the public and geoscientists. This would be highly beneficial to the union, considering their primary purpose of such congress meetings is to facilitate the transfer of data and information.
Furthermore, the community would be encouraged to communicate and socialize through the use of commenting, and so forth. Individual members may also promote their presence on external media sources, such as Twitter and other social networking sites. The blogosphere would essentially become an important tool for receiving up to date, reliable information as well as sourcing social media outlets.
There are many benefits of accessing external bloggers – for example advertising of the conference could be promoted to potentially unlimited number of people at no cost (of time or effort) to the IGC. International Blog day is an excellent example of the way advertising can be done; on August 31st each year bloggers are encouraged to promote five of their favourite blogs/website on their own site. As the International Geological Congress event nears its beginning, blogging geoscientists can be encouraged to advertise their attendance (and by doing so introduces the event to the public).
There is no doubt already some geoscientists already out-there blogging – or at least have a web presence. It would be great if the IGC could encourage them to operate under a “banner”, essentially identifying themselves as certified respectable practicing professionals. The more people – or groups – who act under the banner would help promote the IGC.