The “we” here is our team of co-PIs at the Stevens Institute of Technology, myself, Kristyn Karl , and Julie Pullen . Together, we created and will run the Reinventing Civil Defense project, with key contributions from Ed Friedman . Kristyn Karl is a political psychologist who works across the hall from me, in the College of Arts and Letters, and whose work involves studying how people evaluate risk, especially in response to communications about it. She has researched the ways in which people evaluate different types of reporting about terrorism, and how that impacts their emotional responses and subsequent policy support (or lack thereof). Julie Pullen is an associate professor of oceanography and meteorology who I have known since I came to Stevens, who works in the School of Engineering and Science, who has done a lot of research into port and maritime security in the New York City area, and has studied technical issues relating to nuclear terrorism. Ed Friedman is an emeritus professor of physics, and one of the reasons I am at Stevens in the first place: it was Ed whose initial interest in my work brought me here to give a talk, at which point I not only realized where Hoboken was (I grew up on the West Coast, so my East Coast geography was pretty poor), but learned there was a job search going on in my field. Ed has had one of those lives that looks so jam-packed with interesting and important work (as a sample, he worked in Afghanistan for many years before the Soviet-Afghan war, teaching at the engineering school in Kabul) that no matter what one accomplishes, one feels like one has done almost nothing, but he is a generous and concerned scholar who is deeply interested in matters relating to nuclear weapons and terrorism.
I think the key thing here is about finding what you’re passionate about first vs the money. I’ve never seen anyone start a blog strictly for that and then succeed – not to say it’s not possible. Just a billion other ways to make money (and faster!) than blogging :) So my advice would be to find something you genuinely love to think about, and then start a blog around that. If it takes off, great! You can make money while having fun and building a community around it. And if it doesn’t, well, at least it was still fun and nothing wrong with sharing thoughts as a hobby anyways. That’s all I did here for the first 6 months – just had fun talking about money and didn’t even realize you could get paid for it – hah!