**Disclaimer** The pictures included below are from Friday, April 25th. All things being equal -- putting words into a blog is harder to do in RealTime then any chemistry.
What is #RealTimeChem?
The official explanation can be found here, but from my own perspective as a Twitter user, the purpose of RealTimeChem is to empower chemists across the internet to share a snippet of their daily-routines and habits with the rest of the online community. Got out of bed too fast and need some caffeine to get your through the day? #RealTimeChem. Close to finishing a graduate degree and glued to a computer screen writing a thesis? #RealTimeChem. Stuck in your fume hood running a column to isolate that amazing compound which will get you published in JACS? #RealTimeChem. Or perhaps you're just smashing glassware as part of your regular spring-cleaning (ahem,@ChemistHulk); it's still #RealTimeChem. The message here is that being a chemist isn't the same across the board - we each have our own unique research area or career paths (for those of you lucky enough to be employed) - so sharing these experiences with the community provides reassurance that we aren't alone in our endeavors, while at the same time showing chemists as real people- the latter shocks me too.
Why did I need to contribute a blog post?
The contributions to #RealTimeChem have been rapidly increasing since it was first conceived. This week, however, is extra special; it's been advertised extensively as the week of #RealTimeChem. Chemists of the internet have been dragged out of their lab dungeons and collectively united into joining the festivities. The simplest and most common means of involvement is through Twitter - I saw some rough statistics a few days ago of how the week has been going: upwards of 4,000 Tweets from ~700 unique users (as reported by @rapodaca), numbers which have surely increased by the time of this writing. And because this is the inaugural week of #RealTimeChem, the ante was upp'ed and blog posts documenting your RealTimeChem were encouraged. There certainly haven't been 4,000 of those, but for the extra-savvy in the crowd who found time to contribute, @JessTheChemist has been hard at work doing daily post round-ups on her blog The Organic Solution.