Prompted by a series of conversational musings and twitterings the concept of a ‘blogging ecosystem‘ became apparent. With the ‘blogging host‘ as the primary producer and ‘blog posts’ as distribution seeds – I went in search of the other energy sources necessary to create a fit, healthy and viable blog.
Additional correlates within the blog life cycle include sunlight (readership), water (news sources) and nutrients (disambiguated, decomposed information mulch). So, how do these processes combine? How can we rationalize the individual relationships between the energy sources, information resources and the organic content decompilers? How do we define the ‘blogging ecosystem‘
The blogging organism requires a few essential elements to survive, develop and grow. As with any living plant the essential elements for growth include sunlight, water, nutrients and a stable environment.
- Sunlight: A diffuse and radiant energy – your readership. Every blog requires some semblance of light to grow. Increased growth will spread the blogs branches tall and create a canopy. However this canopy (being essentially phototropic) can sway towards the readership desires – beware the angry venter!
- Water: Environmental news sources, news feeds, information aggregators, RSS feeds
- Information Mulch: The combination of organic material [life experience] with water [environmental news resources] in shaded conditions [thinking time] – creates the ‘information mulch’
- Decomposers: The natural decomposers on the forrest floor are the Twitts, the Tweeple and the ‘Dipity Swurlers’ – these are not your normal readership – these are friends in feed. They are natural decomposers of information able to rationalize good content, break down longer posts or hefty journal articles and provide shortened, pre-digested pearls of information…’nutrients and humus’
- Nutrients: [Macronutrients and micronutrients] Essentially the tweeple [consumers and decomposers] are able to disaggregate and disambiguate to ‘enrich the soil’ and ‘stabilize the mulch’- they are the ‘catalysts of the blogging ecosystem and produce ‘tweets’ and ‘twitterings’ – the essential aggregated macronutrient for a blossoming blog.
As with all ecosystems ‘optimal’ conditions for growth must be maintained for the blogging organism to grow to its full potential. The combination of sunlight and water is a constant flux which the hardiest of organisms is capable of coping with – but environmental stressors may be overwhelming
- Too much light: Over-exposure can lead to intense pressure on the blogger, a perpetual desire to produce immaculate and well researched postings, a fear of failure. This can result in a ‘fanfare blog’ being ‘scorched’ with an overwhelming inquisitive readership
- Too much water: It is possible to drown with a deluge of environmental input. When the information mulch becomes flooded – it can become impossible to define the high quality news from the trees!
- Optimal exposure: Just the right mix of sunlight (readership exposure) and water (environmental stimulus) leads to optimal growth –
Nutrients: A careful balance of nutrients is also essential for optimal blog development within the blogging ecosystem.
- Too much time spent twittering will reduce blog nurturing time and result in low quality blog development
- However too little time with social networks and micro-blogging can result in blogs losing phototropism, and becoming shaded within the climax community
As with all ecosystems – the surrounding environment must be stable and to develop from a pioneer community to a climax community it is important to comment, contribute, develop and nurture the social network flower; to provide cross pollination [feeds and links] and to work empathetically and synergistically with your fellow blogging organisms.
Within all communities are the stella performers such as the White Spruce, or the Balsam Fir in the Tech Geek Ecosystem…but they seed information (blogburst), shade from the harsh summer sun and engender warmth in the winter…remember we are all essential elements in the blogging ecosystem and from little things – big things grow!
Finally beware the flower that takes it all – the tall poppy syndrome not all members of the blogging community are set on maintaining the ecosystems status quo!
- Cadogan M, Thoma B, Chan TM, Lin M. Free Open Access Meducation (FOAM): the rise of emergency medicine and critical care blogs and podcasts (2002-2013) Emerg Med J. 2014 Oct;31(e1):e76-7
- FOAM EMCC Blogs 2012
- FOAM EMCC Blogs 2014
- FOAM EMCC Blogs 2016
- FOAM EMCC Blogs 2018
- Kovic I. Twitterverse of Emergency Physicians [Infographic]
- Emergency Medicine and Critical Care (EMCC) resources
Associate Professor Curtin Medical School, Curtin University. Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |