Restarting posts

I am reinvigorated to start posting again, and there will be another post shortly.
I stopped posting last year for a number of reasons, some of which may seem strange and some of which may make sense to other bloggers.
Firstly I hit a number of small technical barriers. These included changing machine and losing password and the volume of spam. Nothing insuperable in themselves but in the internet era activity is limited by a large number of small barriers. Yes, I could use FriendFeed, FaceBook, Twitter, Delicious, etc. etc. but they all have a energy quantum of entry fee and adding them all up just means it doesn’t happen. My mail is in a mess, etc.
Then I found the blog was driving me – feeling I had to post once a day, twice a day, etc. and so on. It takes time – a post can take 30-60 minutes and I increasingly didn’t have that.
Then I went to the Nature Blogfest in August. I felt a bit of a fraud. Worse, there was a session on roughly “why one gives up blogging” or “should you feel guilty for not blogging”. I’d not blogged for 2-3 weeks and being a speaker/panellist I felt I’d let people down. The session gave me the perspective that there was actually no guilt in not blogging. So I stopped.
I’d not mean to stop for very long, but found there was an impetus to getting restated. And I had a great deal going on here that I had to concentrate on. So, when I woke in the morning, I would do other things than blogging. It’s as simple as that.
However people IRL apparently like some of the blog and I’ve had a few hints to resume. So here we go.
There’s an awful lot to talk about:

  • Open Data and Open Knowledge.
  • Our Chem4Word project with Microsoft
  • Semantic chemistry – ontologies and Chemical Markup Language
  • Software

I’ve been on trips and missed adding this perspective, so I’ll revisit some of the highlights.
(And this mail will test whether the system works)

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3 Responses to Restarting posts

  1. Rich Apodaca says:

    Welcome back, Peter. The important things to consider are what the blog costs you to keep it going and what it returns. If the net is not positive enough to make it worthwhile, stopping is the only sane option.

  2. pm286 says:

    1. Many thanks Rich. (And this gives me a useful touchstone that previous readers pick up the restart). Yes, it’s worth it. And, although I would hesitate to compare my efforts with “writers” there is sometimes an inner pressure that cannot be ignored. And I have missed blogging.

  3. Tobias Kind says:

    Hi Peter,
    as you mentioned Chem4Word, what happens to such a (semantically enriched) word document as seen at when journals will convert it to a “flat” 2D bitmap “dumb” PDF. Basically information is lost. Most of the chemistry journals only accept PDF and Word but finally convert it to 2D PDF for DTP (desktop publishing) purposes. From the supplement sections of many chemistry journals which still provide structures or spectra or data tables as bitmap PDF (shudder/shiver) I don’t see any good coming (I agree that’s not a PDF problem and a simple ZIP file would solve the problem). Actually the process is more complex, as figures (containing structure and spectra) are processed independently from the text and tables are mostly included in the text.
    PDF itself can hold XML or CML data, so PDF is not dumb by design, but nobody at the (put your preferred chemistry journal in here) seems to be aware of, or at least ignores that DOC or PDF can hold embedded XML data. Are you aware of any efforts from ADOBE or publishers to push semantics and chemistry into the PDF world? So how will Chem4Word stand against flat PDF or OpenOffice Write? What would happen if every reaction drawing, every spectrum would be required as embedded or attached raw/xml format? I guess there are too many different formats 🙂
    Kind regards

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