The number of Internet users in India has grown from a meager 0.3% of the total population to an impressive 7% over a period of 10 years from 1999 to 2009. With this rate of growth, the Internet, in its true sense, has become a mass media in India. Over the years, the Internet and WWW have been proving us with innovative tools for better and easier communication. Web logs, or blogs stand out among such tools. A blog, simply put, is a type of website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of text, or other forms of information such as graphics or video. Blogging, for the most part, does not need any specialized computer skills, and can be accomplished using free services available online. Blogs are among the easiest ways to publish content online, involve zero or minimal cost of maintenance, and also provide readers the ability to directly interact with the writer through comments. All these features make blogs an effective medium for science communication. Further, in languages that have limited resources available in the field of science and technology, blogs offer an effective way of quickly creating and spreading content. The fact that the content so created will be freely available and also accessible through the search engines makes the usage of blogs further more attractive. This presentation analyzes an ongoing attempt in Kannada language of Karnataka State in Southern India, which uses a blog for science communication. Among the first of such attempts in the language, this blog called e-jnana (e-Knowledge) has been active for over three years now, and has clocked more than 8500 page views. It is expected that the analysis would provide insight into the role of blogging in the promotion of more interactive forms of science communication, especially in the regional languages.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Science blogs in regional languages
An analysis

Srinidhi T G   Freelance Science Communicator

The number of Internet users in India has grown from a meager 0.3% of the total population to an impressive 7% over a period of 10 years from 1999 to 2009. With this rate of growth, the Internet, in its true sense, has become a mass media in India. Over the years, the Internet and WWW have been proving us with innovative tools for better and easier communication. Web logs, or blogs stand out among such tools. A blog, simply put, is a type of website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of text, or other forms of information such as graphics or video. Blogging, for the most part, does not need any specialized computer skills, and can be accomplished using free services available online. Blogs are among the easiest ways to publish content online, involve zero or minimal cost of maintenance, and also provide readers the ability to directly interact with the writer through comments. All these features make blogs an effective medium for science communication. Further, in languages that have limited resources available in the field of science and technology, blogs offer an effective way of quickly creating and spreading content. The fact that the content so created will be freely available and also accessible through the search engines makes the usage of blogs further more attractive. This presentation analyzes an ongoing attempt in Kannada language of Karnataka State in Southern India, which uses a blog for science communication. Among the first of such attempts in the language, this blog called e-jnana (e-Knowledge) has been active for over three years now, and has clocked more than 8500 page views. It is expected that the analysis would provide insight into the role of blogging in the promotion of more interactive forms of science communication, especially in the regional languages.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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