Thursday, April 16, 2009

An online forum for Geology

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An online forum for geology - does it exist? In the many years that I use the internet, email and discussion forums of various kinds I have failed to find any good and useful online discussion forum in english language on geology. That doesn't mean there aren't any but they are either of extremely low quality, specialised to a single expert topic, not used and half dead or share some or all of these negative points. There are a few good exception like the Geoversum which I frequent daily and find a great source of information - it is entirely German language. It's audience is limited to those capable of German; even though most people there also understand English. Nevertheless I love that place and met some, by now, real-life friends there. There is another forum specialised on carbonates in the form of the Carbonate Network which seems to be good on quality but is rather specialised and not very active.

Perhaps I missed the good one stop location in terms of geology forums, yet, I have I feeling I didn't. (If there is please point me to it)

There have been a couple of ideas going around in the geobloggosphere in the recent months. So perhaps it is time to add one more: To create a good quality and active online forum for geology. I could imagine such a place to be a great place for amateurs and those interested to ask question and find answer on geology, to meet like-minded people that don't want or don't have time to frequent the great variety of Geoblogs, also it might be a good place for us Earth Scientist (to also include geophysics, mineralogy, palaeontology, etc.) to talk and discuss ideas totally at ease or simply share anecdotes and information we don't feel like turning into a blog post.

There have been some ideas to expand on the Accretionary Wedge (sorry for not finding the appropiate links right now). Maybe it might be worth to include such a forum in there somehow?

I would be more than happy to share some thought with you on this issue. What are your opinions on this?

9 comments :

hypocentre said...

I've frequented the Geology Rocks forum for a while now but it is a lot less active than it used to be.

There seems to be a lot more geology discussion on twitter now.

Ron Schott said...

It's just my off the cuff reaction, but I suspect that any forum that attracted enough interest to maintain a sustained conversation on as broad a subject as geology is likely to attract a fair number of trolls that would ultimately kill it. I think that for topics that don't require immediate response the distributed geoblogosphere might be as good a solution as there is. On the other hand, if you're looking for more immediate conversational responses you ought to give Twitter a try - there's a growing number of geologists (many of us who have geoblogs) who have some pretty good rapid fire conversations in the "geotwittersphere".

Anonymous said...

I have long thought we should have a geology forum. I think it would get a lot of play. I am aware of a few smaller ones out there, but they usually feature uncommon message board software which makes use a bit more difficult. A nice, clean forum with well-organized subforums would be outstanding.

As Ron mentioned, one obvious pitfall would be the troll/crank aspect. Personally, I am sick and tired of topics on global warming, expanding Earth, and abiogenic oil as they seem to bring out the worst elements in the web community. If a forum could be formed around geobloggers, students, and professionals, along with intense moderation for crank threads, I think it would have a great chance at success.

Lost Geologist said...

hypocentre: I totally forgot to mention that one. I'm registered there for a while now and it is, as you said, getting even more quiet than it used to be.

Ron: You are right on the trolls and cranks. Those are a problem in any good and large forum that I have come across even those not related to geology. Registering in a forum and a good moderation are quite a necessity to control those.

Anonymous: Totally agree.

Generally, perhaps I should give twitter a try, however, it seems like it will consume my real-life time even more. In a forum anyone could have the luxury of having a slow discussion without having to throw it out into the blogosphere. Twitter seems a little too fast paced for my taste.

Well, I've just been wondering. :)

Silver Fox said...

The thing about twitter is that you can use it a lot or a little, although I admit it has time-sucking aspects that can make it hard to stay away from. It's one way to keep in touch w/ geobloggers, and questions can be answered fairly quickly, usually, and we have conversations about geology and also about other stuff.

It seems to have slowed my blog posting and reading, though, and also my general commenting on blogs. I'm more up-to-date on news, though!

DonkeyDi said...

I am looking for a Lost Geologist. His name is Dave Jones. He retired from the Nevada State Dept. of Mines around July 2002. I moved to Wyoming earlier that year and we have lost contact. I urgently need to find him. I have found many Dave Jones' but none are Geologists. He used to have Bovier dogs and he loves snow camping and snowshoeing. Please help me find him.....I pray that one of you know who I am talking about. Thanks so much! Diana

Anonymous said...

This is for DonkeyDi;

Dave Jones remembers you but cannot remember your last name so that he can call information. You can contact him at djccnv @ aol.com or me nevadadeb at the same site. He's in Flagstaff, on his way to CA and OR soon. He'd love to hear from you!
Deb

Anonymous said...

Hi Diana .. thanks for trying to track me down. As my friend Deb mentioned, you can reach me at djccnv@aol.com, the e-mail I've had for many years. Drop a line and let's reconnect, ok ? I'll be leaving northern AZ by mid-June but e-mail address(es) will remain the same.

Love to you - Dave

Anonymous said...

Now it's my turn to find a lost geologist. His name is Andrew J Perry and he graduated from UNR in the mid 1990's. He first worked for Quest Petroleum out of Reno and then moved on to OREX? around 1998. A few of us are looking for him. Last know state was Texas, but he was in Equador for a while too. Contact me at aol as nevadadeb.

Than ks,
Debbie Potts