The Rumors Are True
To the best of my knowledge, I haved never been the subject of gossip before, probably because I am the most boring person whom you could ever know. However, an e-magazine, Element broke the news today that Scientific Life and several other science blogs will be moving to a new location. This has not exactly been a secret because I have hinted here several times in the previous months that I will be moving to a new server, and some friends and colleagues have been following the development of this project behind the scenes, but the details of this move are something that you, as readers, probably want to know, and should know, in my opinion.
Scientific Life is moving soon to a spiffy new server provided by Seed Media Group, which publishes Seed Magazine, among other things. Seed Media Group, the parent organization, is a science media and entertainment company that is dedicated to developing world-class science content across digital media channels. Indicative of their interest in science, they have some really interesting people on their board of directors, including Nobel Prize winner James Watson who, along with Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin, co-discovered the structure of DNA. Because I am a molecular biologist, these people have attained near-legendary status in my world, along with Mullis, and Darwin and Wallace, and Avery, MacLeod and McCarty, along with a host of others who have made important scientific advances.
Seed's ScienceBlogs is a community of science bloggers from around the world who, it is hoped, will provide one location for cutting-edge, up-to-date and sometimes, behind the scenes, scientific information to the general public. To this end, they are designing the site to meet our needs, a process that is still ongoing, so you will see a variety of changes there in the next few months as new features are implimented. (I, for example, have a great idea for my masthead, which has not been designed yet. I also am trying to get a different wallpaper from the standard one they offer, and there are a few cute little features that I will be adding soon, too).
We will be paid to write our blogs after we move. The initial pay scale is based on the traffic to our current sites, and then will be based on the traffic to our new site after the move; more traffic means a bigger paycheck, of course. The sum that each of us is paid is small, but may possibly increase in the future (for example, I will earn just enough to pay for a wireless connection from my apartment).
There will be advertising on our blogs. I am not sure if any of you know my philosophy about ads, but I know you have noticed that I have never had any ads here. There is a reason for this; I hate 'em. But the reality is that supporting this project would not be possible without advertising, even if we weren't paid for writing -- and in fact, us bloggers are the "most affordable" aspect in this entire project. The equipment and the IT experts necessary to support this project are very expensive. But I have been assured that these ads will be "tastefully done" and further, if there is a particular ad that I don't want on my site, the IT folks at Seed will write a filter that prevents it from appearing there.
In my opinion, the most important aspect for you to know about this move is that, as scientist-bloggers in the Seed community, we will never be subject to any editorial oversight. So basically, we will write essays and commentary about the same topics that we always have written about, argue with IDiots, host blog carnivals (yippee!), answer memes, online quizzes and indulge in other silliness, and basically carry on as we always have done.
Currently, new commentaries/essays that I publish will be mirrored on my new site. I am still learning how to use the publishing platform, Movable Type, and I am experimenting with the template. I will be posting essays here until the end of January (my birthday!), when I will formalize my move by leaving this site as linkable archives, close down reader comments to avoid those annoying spamweasels (do you hear me, William?), and focus my blog writing energies on my new site.
As the author of a mere "baby blog", I am thrilled and honored beyond words to be invited into this little online scientific community. I am proud to say that I am friends with several of my "sibling bloggers" in this online community and I hope to become friends with all of them over time. I am so excited about this move and its promise for providing high-quality scientific information to the public, and I hope that you, dear readers, are too.
You are welcome to make suggestions, ask questions or voice any concerns that you have and I'll do my best to answer them.
Some of my "sibling bloggers" have made a formal announcement to their readers or have already made the move;
Cognitive Daily, a team blog by Greta Munger and her husband, Dave Munger
Evolgen, who used this opportunity to change the name of his blog to Clash, Culture and Science
Dr. FreeRide, who reveals her real name and face on her new site
Deltoid, by Tim Lambert
Pharyngula, by PZ Myers
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