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Hello! I’m @somethingburger,

A researcher and a writer based out of Philadelphia, PA. I started using Steemit while I was an undergraduate in college, but I never fully engaged with the platform or posted regularly. While students can contribute great content to the Steemit community by sharing their academic creations, they’re often too pressed for time to engage fully. Since I’ve graduated, I now have more time on my hands. I’m excited to spend some of it as a member of @sndbox‘s second cohort.

I enjoy blogging. It’s something that I would do whether or not I had a Steemit account, which is why I have a personal website. I studied science, and while in college I built research skills by doing data analysis and programming in a neuroimaging laboratory. While I’m no longer at the laboratory, I do have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of my brain from then:

 

brain

 

A picture of me (very good-looking)

 

In the past year I have started doing original data analysis on topics that interest me. This usually involves finding a public data set and writing a program (usually in R) that examines the particular thing I am interested in. So far I have examined topics like the relationshipbetween income inequality and animal agriculture pollution as well as trends in the health of incarcerated women. I have found that doing independent research can be incredibly educational and also empowering.

While incarceration and animal agriculture are topics of particular interest, most of my work ties in to overarching themes of inequality and justice. The more research I do, the more interesting things I find I want to analyze. As someone who strives to practice replicability and openness in research (or just open science generally), I post all the programs I use on GitHub so that anybody else with a computer could reproduce my work.

Steemit is a good blogging platform, but it has some limitations. For example, a lot of the best data visualizations on the internet are interactive. Steemit’s markdown is good for the needs of most bloggers, but it does not support the use of javascript libraries or images that respond to the size of the webpage. This is disappointing for me, because I prefer to create interactive visualizations, and I’m sure that people would prefer to see them over an image. In part because of the desire to post visualizations I create, many of the things I post here are also cross-posted on my own site.

 

graphExample

 

A bar chart showing that lower income communities experience greater amounts of animal agriculture waste.

 

Yet on the other hand, Steemit has a community. Posting here gives my content a much wider reach than posting on my personal website. If people like my posts, it’s much easier for them to share it. It is nice to log on and see other people’s creations and to engage with them so easily. Posts on Steemit are also monetized, which helps incentive. The financial aspect of steem is useful in that it gives me an extra motivation to do research and independent projects that I otherwise might not get around to.

My experience with Steemit has been positive so far, even though I have not spent much time here. I am excited to bring original data analysis to this platform, and it is nice to have a genuine comments section running on a post of mine every now and then. I enjoy logging on and seeing all of the creative work people are coming together to post on this site.

 

steemPark

 

A photo I’m in at Steem Park

 

I hope that the research I do is of benefit to others. So far the most rewarding part of posting on Steemit being contacted by a professional data scientist who had successfully used a program that I had written and posted about to import data taken from a survey of incarcerated people into R. I hope that in the future, more people find utility in what I create. Whether people use my programs, share visualizations, or just engage with research they might not otherwise read, it is all worthwhile.

I am generally new to cryptocurrency. It is not something that I have explored much and not something that I have invested much time in learning about. I expect that to change through the next few months with @sndbox, and I am eager to learn more.


This post was authored by @somethingburger, a member of the sndbox incubator. Learn more, follow @somethingburger or begin a conversation in the comment section below.


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