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Common Sense Blogging April 20, 2007

Posted by gordonwatts in physics life.

At a recent All DZERO Meeting — the general internal meeting — our spokes people showed a list of “common sense” rules about blogging. If you read blogs from people out in the business world you’ll find successful bloggers following a set of guidelines:

  • Make sure you are clear when you are posting something personal or some official company position.
  • Don’t reveal secret information
  • Be nice to the company

Walking outside these is bound to get you a talking to from your supervisor. Things are no different in a large experiment like DZERO, CMS, ATLAS, or CDF. There was a recent incident that specifically prompted this (not on DZERO, thank goodness). If you have username/password access to the DZERO agenda server, you can see the two slides of the talk here.

What I find strange is that our field — especially particle physics — is a very collaborative field. We depend on each other to get anything done. So if you piss off people you’ll have that many fewer people to work with. Walking outside the blogging lines is one way to do that. So I’d think just that pressure would keep one on the straight and narrow. At least, it does me! Well, mostly on the straight and narrow. 🙂


1. Martin Griffiths - April 20, 2007

Gordon – look out for an article on this in the May issue of Physics World!

2. dorigo - April 21, 2007

Hi Gordon,

I think I know what the incident is… CDF also discussed the issue at one recent internal meeting. It seems the conclusions they are arriving at are the same as D0 – not much to be done, just ask people to play it fair.

I know this is not what some wanted. But blogging is really something hard to prevent or stop. It’s the internet, baby.


3. Gordon Watts - April 22, 2007

I showed the bullet points to a friend from CDF and they commented they were identical to what had been distributed there — identical enough that we wondered if the spokes had discussed this (I don’t know, I’ve not asked them).

I think most people don’t think blogging should stop. 🙂 But if they did, trust me, there is enough peer pressure in HEP that it would.

4. Martin Griffiths - May 1, 2007
5. Physics World on the Higgs affair « A Quantum Diaries Survivor - May 2, 2007

[…] But Roser and Konigsberg apparently did not yield to the pressure, and they rather put together a set of “guidelines” which, while not mandatory, would drive collaborators’ behavior with respect to blogging matters as a sort of moral obligation – call it a Gentlemen’s agreement if you wish. I also know from Gordon Watts that D0 put together an almost exactly equal list of guidelines. […]

6. Enough Already! « Life as a Physicist - June 5, 2007

[…] Enough Already! June 5, 2007 Posted by gordonwatts in Uncategorized. trackback Just stop! The latest batch of rumors of a bump in a D0 analysis has gotten way out of hand. My original plan was not to say anything: I can’t participate in rumor mongering here: I’m a member of D0. So I have little to gain, and a lot to lose! […]

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