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.
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.
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!
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).