Drumroll, please! Introducing: Scienceblogging.org

What? Yet another science blogging network? No, no, no! This is even better. Let me explain.

For four years, Scienceblogs.com was the biggest, most popular, most visible and most high-trafficked science blogging network in the world. A couple of other networks existed, known mostly to the connoisseurs. And thousands of independent bloggers, with a couple of early-adopter exceptions, were almost invisible except for the most devout readers.

For many people, The Last 24 Hours page at Scienceblogs.com was their browser’s homepage. They would start their day by checking the page out, to see what is new in the world of science. That page was a one-stop-shopping page for all things science-bloggy.

But over the last month or two, the world of science blogging changed. Scienceblogs.com is there, big and good, but not as dominant as it once was. Other existing networks suddenly became more interesting and more visible. They started growing. New networks got started and are still being built at an alarming rate of approximately one per week. This is a good thing – many more blogs are now enjoying increased visibility, traffic and influence.

But there is a problem for the reader – how to track all those networks and all those blogs? They are scattered all over the place. It takes time to go through all the bookmarks and feeds in order to catch everything.

So, Anton Zuiker, Dave Munger and myself decided to do something about it – make a one-stop-shopping place for all things science-bloggy.

The result is Scienceblogging.org (also automatically redirected from Scienceblogging.com). Anton was a smart guy and bought that URL years ago!

Now we hope that you will set Scienceblogging.org as your homepage in your browser and start your day there, checking out what’s new in the world of science.

You should also subscribe to the official Twitter account.

So, what is it all about?

The page will aggregate RSS feeds from all the major (and some minor) science blogging networks, group blogs, aggregators and services. As the site develops further, it will also encompass other online (and offline) science communication efforts, including Twitter feeds, links to major scientific journals and magazines, ScienceOnline annual conference, and the Open Laboratory annual anthology of the best writing on science, nature and medical blogs.

If you look around, you will see feeds for all the networks, several major group blogs, press services (like Futurity), aggregators (like ResearchBlogging.org), blog carnivals, etc.

If you are the owner/manager of one of these (or other) sites, and there is something you want to change, let us know – we want the community input as to how to improve the site.

Perhaps you have multiple blogs on your site/network but no common feed. We may have included only a feed for one of your blogs instead of all, or used FriendFeed as a temporary solution. You can fix that – make a common feed and send us the URL so we can switch it.

You may like the way a pretty logo appears next to the names of various networks, but do not like the ugly red Y of Yahoo next to yours. You can fix that as well – switch from Yahoo pipes to a better feed (RSS or Atom) and your logo will show up as well.

Is your network missing? Let us know. Are you building a new network? As soon as it goes live, let us know and send us your feed.

If you have (or intend to post) images on Flickr with science themes, please tag them with #scienceblogging and they will also appear on the site.

We need your help – we want to include independent bloggers as well. But how do we go about it? There are thousands of them! We cannot include all of those feeds. If we fuse them all into a single feed, that would be a firehose moving at the speed of light. There must be a better system!

Of course, indy bloggers will occasionally show up there – when they host carnivals, do guest-posts on networks, or have their posts aggregated on ResearchBlogging.org, but there must be other ways as well – let us know your ideas.

We also intend to include some Twitter feeds. For example, just before, during and after major conferences, like Science Online London, or ScienceOnline2011, we will put widgets on the sidebar showcasing tweets with the associated hashtags. But what other feeds? Twitter Lists are limited to 500 accounts – which 3-5 Lists combined cover pretty much all the important science twitterers? Let us know.

Likewise for FriendFeed rooms. Any other services we should include (YouTube, perhaps)?

What is missing from the Blogroll on the sidebar of the blog?

We are also putting together a common feed for all the sciencey blog carnivals and will try to keep the feed up to date. Are any carnivals missing from this list? If so, do they have RSS feeds? If not, can you make one?

Finally, check out the blog. For now, we have posts there like Welcome to Scienceblogging, Some thoughts about science blog aggregation, Blog Carnivals: what, how and why? and Just one way. We will use the blog to update you on the news about the site, as well as the news about the science blogging community and its endeavors, including meetings like ScienceOnline and the annual anthology – Open Laboratory. I will do a Q&A with founders, owners and managers of all the networks and other sites we cover so you can learn more about each one of them. We will try to highlight some of the independent bloggers who are not on any networks. And we will likely have some guest bloggers in the future. We appreciate all the other ideas you may have. And we welcome all kinds of feedback: criticisms, suggestions, praise.

Subscribe to the blog feed to keep up.

I hope you help us spread the word about Scienceblogging.org, link to it from your sites, save it as your browser’s homepage, bookmark it and visit it often. And help us make it better over time.

Update:

The reaction was overwhelming and overwhelmingly positive. Hundreds of tweets, several blog posts, several new suggestions/applications fo =r getting added to the site. etc. Thank you all so much!

See also posts by Dave Munger on ResearchBlogging.org and his own blog, and the comments there.

Also see blog posts by DrugMonkey, John Dupuis, PZ Myers, Jason G. Goldman, Zen Faulkes, Jeremy Yoder, Odyssey, Sandeep Gautam, Christina Pikas, Larry Moran (being his grouchy self and not having read our introductory posts, including this one, that specifically address his concern in advance of the launch of the site, eh…, Benjamin Brooks and UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering, and the comments on them – there is a bunch of interesting ideas for future improvement and development in several of those posts.

As our posts on Scienceblogging.org blog, including the latest – Adding more blogs to Scienceblogging.org – suggest, we are just getting started and are asking the community for helping out with ideas, and technical know-how for future development, especially considering the need to include independent bloggers without overhwelming the system with thousands of feeds (or a feed containing a thousand blogs).

About these ads

35 responses to “Drumroll, please! Introducing: Scienceblogging.org

  1. Fantastic! I’ll be checking this out right away.

  2. That’s the most awesome new site that’s popped up in a long time. Great work. One thing though, could you add a “Suggestions” tag with a page where people can do just that – suggest improvements? IMO that’d be better than suggesting them on other posts of the blog as you can also see other people’s suggestions in a centralised place. :)

  3. Really nice collection of links!

  4. Excellent! I’ll take a look and see if I have any suggestions or comments.

  5. I went to the site and literally began to salivate–no, I am not misusing ‘literally’!

  6. Do you guys the tech capabilities and/or desire to allow for personalization of the page? Users create scienceblogging.org accounts, and can then remove or rearrange or add additional network/blog/twitter feeds (or even keyword feeds) on their homepage and create a one-stop science blog shop edited by themselves.

    • Great idea, Matt. Will look into this. If we can couple the site with the ScienceOnline2011 conference, and raise funds for growth of both, we’ll be on our way. Watch for a post from us this weekend asking for help from the community.

      • Cool. That said, it looks nice and clean and easy to navigate and the networks/blogs that you’ve chosen to start with are excellent. Looking forward to seeing how the indie blog conundrum is solved.

  7. Can you change the LabSpaces link to the blog feed and not the “news” feed?

    http://www.labspaces.net/labspacesblogs.xml

  8. Thanks so much for including Chris’s All-geo feed!

  9. Why not have an indy blogs section where anyone could link up to? That way you in essence get any blog anyone wants to register?

  10. Awesome. This will definitely be my homepage.

    Some easy-to-implement suggestions:
    – With so much data on a single page, it’d be nice to have as much stuff “above the fold”as possible. If I take the {width: 960px} style off of the #wrapper div, all the blank horizontal space on the browser is utilized and I can fit five blog feeds on each row.

    – If you squeeze the logo into the same row as the nav menu, you’d have room for an ad banner, which would help offset the hosting cost.

    – The ability for users to hide or show different feeds on the page. This could be done strictly with cookies and javascript so that nobody has to log in to the website.

  11. isisthescientist

    Brilliant!

  12. This is quite a fantastic idea and a very clean execution. Congrats, gents! What a contribution.

  13. Wow, this is excellent.

  14. Bora (et. al), A quick thought on the how-to-incorporate-indy-bloggers/show-the-entirity-of-the-sciblogosphere. Years ago I ran a site called foodpornwatch (now defunct, but, hey, I got an interview out of it). It started in the pre-rss days, so, there was no feed that could easily be checked. Also, my server had little bandwidth for the page to be regenerated fresh for every user. The solution was simple. Every hour, on the hour, the site would scroll through all of the blogs listed (people could add a blog, and I would look at it to make sure it really was, indeed, a food blog). It would use the content and generate a checksum value, and if the checksum differed, it would mark it as updated. Then, once all sites were checked, it would generate a static html page that had everyone listed in order of last update.

    This approach was great for the internet of 2001. And it was adaptable. As dynamically generated content came into vogue, I began checking rss feeds instead of the site itself. As the number of food blogs exploded, I implemented asynchronous checking so that the bandwidth usage of my server stayed to a low background minimum. The page was still generated from the database every hour on the hour. And it was a nice, static, low-bandwidth html page.

    Perhaps this is a solution that would work either a) for pulling all blogs together or, b) to generate an indy-blog feed? I’ve got ooooooold code (and not very good – originally, I created it just to teach myself perl) lying around if you’d ever like to take a peak.

  15. Wow! Clean execution, like DM said! You guys really went meta on this one!! Epic awesome!

  16. You have Bora-fied the science blogosphere! Okay, and Anton-ified, and Munger-ified. It is geekalicious to the nth degree!!!!!!

  17. Pingback: Scienceblogging, nuevo agregador de Ciencia — Amazings.es

  18. Pingback: Some thoughts on ScienceBlogging.org « BenjaminDBrooks' Blog

  19. The site looks fine, although I have to admit it reminds me of Alltop Science, down to the similar display of feeds and titles. (The overlap in content between the two is minimal, though, it appears at first glance.) With your current focus on aggregation, though, I don’t see how you’re going to get away from the firehose problem you describe above. A better approach would be curation: instead of telling me what I can read, tell me what I should: what are the best of all of those posts you’re aggregating, as decided by human judgement, what people are linking to, etc. A science version of Techmeme would be awesome. Of course, it’s also much harder to do…

  20. Jeff (and others who have made the Alltop comment) — To get this site off the ground, I chose WordPress and the Aggregator theme from Templatic.com (check out the cool Livetwit theme). I suspect Alltop inspired the Aggregator theme, as it did the OneNews theme.

  21. It would be cool to use all these feeds to come up with a sorted list of most talked about themes as done for example in Techmeme for tech related news.

  22. Pingback: Portuguese Man-o-Links | Deep Sea News

  23. Pingback: Sites for Science and Humanities Exploration « Neuroanthropology

  24. Pingback: Best of August 2010 | A Blog Around The Clock

  25. Great resource! No doubt will be just as ompoirtant to me as Google news.

  26. Pingback: Alert! Some Big And Important And Exciting News! | A Blog Around The Clock

  27. Pingback: Finalistas Mejor Blog de Ciencia « Bladecyberpunk's Blog

  28. We need your help – we want to include independent bloggers as well. But how do we go about it? There are thousands of them! We cannot include all of those feeds. If we fuse them all into a single feed, that would be a firehose moving at the speed of light. There must be a better system!

    I don’t understand what the problem is. Why would 1000 independent blogs be harder on the system (or indeed on readers) than 20 blog networks of 50 blogs each? I say just throw ‘em all in the same bucket. Each blog should participate on a level playing field, whether it’s part of a well-known network, a little-known one, several of them or none at all. This is the Internet, not a trade fair!

  29. Pingback: 2010 in review | A Blog Around The Clock

  30. Pingback: 2010 in review | A Blog Around The Clock