Sunday, July 31, 2005

Introduction to my blog

A good friend of mine, Irina Papancheva, from Bulgaria asked me to write a short introduction piece on my blog. She will do the translation into Bulgarian for her readers back home. So I might as well publish the English text here. If anyone wants to publish it, feel free to use this...

"My blog The Stuttering Brain

The Internet has truly changed the way that people communicate with each other. The world wide web, email, and messenger technology have allowed people worldwide to form on-line communities and discuss or share ideas important to them. The latest add-on to this revolution has been web diaries, in short "blogs". A blog is an on-line diary where a person or a group of people post their daily thoughts, typically on a very specific issue. Here some examples. An Iraqi school teacher regularly posts his experiences of daily life after the fall of the Saddam regime, allowing everyone from across the globe to get a first-person account of what it really means to live there. Or, the wife of the leader of the English Conservative Party wrote a blog during her husband's election campaign. Other blogs deal with specific life situations (e.g. the birth of child), political views (e.g. against abortion), or science (e.g. discussing new findings). In short, blogs have the unique capability of sharing first-person experiences with anyone across the world. In fact, they are like little broadcast channels of ideas.

Having persistent developmental stuttering (PDS), I am naturally interested in its nature. What are the causes? What are the best treatments? As I am also a scientist, I have been very interested in the actual research issues. In recent years, I have become much more involved: I initiated and chaired the research committee of the British Stammering Association, I attended several conferences, and I have been in discussion with the researchers. Our times are unique in the sense that new research tools have started to give us a better understanding of PDS. For example, brain imaging technologies now allow us to look inside the brain when stuttering occurs, and genetics studies point to genes that increase the risk of stuttering. However, meta-analysis of research or current research papers happens rarely, and mostly in published fee-charging journals. In my opinion many researchers are secretive about discussing new unpublished ideas, scared of commenting other researchers' work, communicate within smaller groups, and mostly speak about their specific areas of interest.

There is a need to comment publicly and independently on research. My strong scientific background, my own experience with PDS, and my many contacts allow me to undertake such a task. So I decided to start a blog. In a sense, not much changed, as I have always been thinking about specific research issues or current research findings. But, I never shared them so publicly. At first, I was a bit reluctant for several reasons: I was concerned to loose interest after a while; Posting takes up time; I expose myself to scrutiny by posting my ideas; No-one might be interested in my blog. These scenarios did not materialise. After three months, I am still posting at a regular pace: two to three posts a week. Posting does not take up too much time. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. I have around twenty to thirty readers per day. Some read the blog regularly, and the readers come from all over the world. And more interestingly, as the reader are watching me, my thinking have become better and sharper. I do not want to be proven wrong on the spot! To conclude, I am really enjoying myself. My blog survived the potentially difficult first months and I am eager to continue.

The web address of my blog is http://thestutteringbrain.blogspot.com "

6 comments:

chirri00 said...

Thank you for your blog!
It's very interesting.

I see, you have a lot of knowledge about stuttering. Why not to do a archive PowerPoint explain the Stuttering? So, it's more easy to understand it...for stutter and no-stutters.

I did one, but you have more knowledge and information about stuttering.

http://www.geocities.com/hobbytartamudez/EntendiendolaTartamudez.pps

Tom Weidig said...

Hi,

I am glad you like it. It is difficult to find the right level.

I couldnt download your file.

Could you please send it to my email address.

tom.weidig AT physics org (replace AT by @)

Tom

Jaynne said...

Health Add Url
is still in believe it or not. Just check out Health Add Url
today and join our " team". I am myself have ADD and I love it. It makes me multi-tasking and that gives me an edge over everyone else that is "normal". Great bonus if you ask me.

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