Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Value of Re-Posts

Prior to 2009 all of the posts here were written for my own pleasure. I didn't consider writing for a wider audience to be worthwhile, because there were already a surplus of mediocre bloggers and z-list blogs. If there was something I could think of to say, it was probably already said in much more eloquent words by a more accomplished person. Would I be adding any value by just saying the same things in different words?

Then in late 2010, there was a discussion about a biologist who published a paper in 1994 reinventing the trapezoid rule in calculus. While it points to a serious flaw in the peer-review system, John D. Cook had this to say,
The paper reinventing the trapezoid rule has been cited 75 times. It must have filled a need. Yes, the author was ignorant of basic calculus. But apparently a lot of other doctors are just as ignorant of calculus. The author did the medical profession a service by pointing out a simple way to estimate the area under a glucose-response curve. The technique was not original, and should not have been published as original research, but it was valuable.
The message contained in a blog post is not the only factor that determines its worth. What matters more is how much the message is spread and how it affects its readers. This is true for other communication mediums. The endless retweets, reposts, etc. does serve the value of making an idea reach more people.

End of Entry