Today is an exciting day in the science blogiverse. There is a new science blogging network, a self-managed bloggers’ cooperative – Scientopia (from the press release):
Scientopia.org will launch a new blogging collective to educate and entertain anyone interested in eclectic voices of science on Monday 2 August at 1000 EDT.
Scientopia.org unites multifarious voices from the scientific community to discuss anything and everything that catches their fancy. There are a lot of science blogs out there, and a lot of science blogging networks. When the networks run with commercial interests in mind, the priorities of the bloggers and readers can get lost. Some bloggers began to wonder: what would happen if the bloggers and their readers came first? From this discussion sprung Scientopia.org.
We invite the world to ponder, argue, converse, and laugh along with us.
Each blog is produced by an individual or group that retains complete editorial control of its own content. Some bloggers are moving from other networks; others are creating new blogs.
This will be very exciting to watch. They are launching with 24 blogs with 30 bloggers, about half of whom were at some point in the past blogging at Scienceblogs.com, and thus have the “stamp of approval” by a media company. The others, by virtue of being invited to join the collective, automatically also get that ‘stamp of approval’ from their peers.
This is already a pretty large network and will be adding new bloggers later, so it will be interesting to see how the experiment works with the bottom-up instead of top-down approach to management. They have devised good mechanisms for dealing with various foreseeable problems, and for things like deciding collectively about invitations and acceptance of new bloggers.
The Scientopia network is more than a collection of individuals: it’s a scientific community. It serves the common goals of sharing our love of science, while respecting the diverse interests of its members. At Scientopia, the community — of bloggers and readers, engaging with science and each other — is not a side effect. It’s the whole point.
The theme of a few of my recent posts – that the science blogosphere is changing from one large volcanic island to a whole archipelago of equally interesting and powerful islands – seems to be unveiling as predicted. Unlike networks run by companies, the coop could act fast as they did not need committee meetings, CEO approvals, endless Excel sheets and such – they took only three weeks from the original idea to launch.
And while many excellent science bloggers remain on Scienceblogs.com (and if you have thin skin for discussions of politics and religion you can always skip the “Politics” category or subscribe only to the “Select” feed and be floored as to how much kick-ass science blogging there is at Sb), the appearance of another big network full of well-known personalities of the science blogosphere, provides us all with another place to go.
The bloggers who are starting at Scientopia at the day of the launch are probably most or all already very familiar to you. Here are their old and new URLs so you can check them all out:
Ethan Rop will launch a new blog – Attack Polymerase.
Sanitized for Your Protection is a new blog by Rebecca Montague.
Grrrlscientist who you probably know from her old Sb blog, and perhaps from her NN blog Maniraptora, has teamed up with her husband Bob O’Hara (who you may know from Deep Thoughts and Silliness) to start a new (ad)venture: This Scientific Life.
As you may notice, my blog is not on that list. While this network looks great, I have decided to remain solo for a while and promote all the new and renewed networks springing up, and promote good science blogging in general. Good luck to all my bloggy friends on this endeavor.