A recent episode of typical concern trolling of a science blog blipped up over at White Coat Underground, where PalMD has been rocking the daddy blogging of late.
Commenter Bill Williams expressed the following thoughts:
... I read science blogs to enhance my understanding of nature and scientific methods. ...Obviously this is your blog and you can do whatever you like. I'm sure I speak for others when I say that too much fluff with lower your readership, i.e., I am likely to unsubscribe. Thanks for the great work (when it really is work).
Pretty standard nonsense around ScienceBlogs, wherein the commenter kindly notifies one of us that our blogging content is not what s/he would like to see. To which the response is usually a jawdropping disbelief that anyone thinks that we blog to satisfy their personal view of what the blog "should be about". Don't let the door hit ya where the good FSM split ya, is the preferred response.
Nevertheless, I see something a bit more interesting in the specific reason for this person's objection to PalMD's blogging.
The full comment over at WCU was objecting to the parent-blogging .
As a parent I can relate to the pride and joy you must feel. As a consumer of science blogs, I am annoyed by personal posts like this. I don't mean to be rude, but I don't know you and I have no interest in your personal life. ... Pictures of your children and posts about parenting are noise and clutter.
Perhaps you would like to receive emails from me on an ongoing basis with photos and stories about my daughter? Probably not. Hence, my point.
The reasons why we bloggers who are scientists and doctors (and other professionals) should be more overt about our parent-hood and the life of balancing obligations has been eloquently expressed by many bloggers before. I don't want to re-tread that ground. What I am struck by in this situation is that someone like Bill is precisely the audience that should be smacked in the face with parent blogging.
He doesn't want to see that stuff in this particular venue. Well, he should. As should others of his ilk. It's great to preach to the choir and all, but change also requires a little bit of unexpected fronting of those who are not in the choir. A bit of discussion of the delight of a parent in his child -- in a venue where it is not expected -- is highly salient. This salience represents an opportunity for growth and a teaching moment for those who think that the blog shouldn't feature such content.
Because it is overwhelmingly likely that those who think science blogs should be free of parental sentiment also think that the professional life should be similarly sanitized.
It should not. Part of the process of improving professional job sectors to be more inclusive of women and of dual-career couples is the recognition that dealing with family is part of the deal. The more we can normalize this, the better.
I should acknowledge at this point that I have been very remiss in my parent-blogging and commit myself to finding ways to do it that get across the essential messages without further erosion of the pseud. I'll try.