Home > Bits and Pieces > Why I left Scienceblogs

Why I left Scienceblogs

June 9, 2009

There appears to be some speculation (see the comments here and here, for example) as to why there has been a relative flood of bloggers leaving the Scienceblogs stable over the past month. While I will not comment on why others have left, I think it is about time that I clarify why I left.

I was one of the original 14 bloggers who joined Scienceblogs in January 2006. The site provided us with hosting, support and an infrastructure which we could use to reach a wider audience for our discussions of science and culture. Over the months, a community built up both on the blog pages and behind-the-scenes in a forum that was created especially for the bloggers by SMG. Over the coming years, Scienceblogs grew to the 70+ blogs that exist to this day, expanding its coverage of science and bringing different voices into both the public and private fora.

Mine was one of the relatively low traffic blogs and I was perfectly happy for that to be so. Blogging was (and remains) something I was doing for myself and whatever readers stop by. Despite receiving slight remuneration from SMG for page views, I was never “in it for the money”. Behind the scenes, what kept me going was the community with whom I shared successes and failures, whose members supported me and gave me much needed advice and help. That – for me at least – was the value of being at Scienceblogs.

My leaving was, in truth, a long time coming. Over the past 18 months it became increasingly obvious to me that the community that I had valued three years previously no longer existed and that new voices were slowly but surely destroying what had been the truly enriching experience of being a “Scibling.” Stepping away from the private forum for extended periods, I occasionally returned to see if any of the old spirit had returned. Predictably it had not. Realizing that ultimately all I was getting from Scienceblogs was hosting, I decided to leave last month.

And here I am.

About these ads
  1. June 9, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    that new voices were slowly but surely destroying what had been the truly enriching experience of being a “Scibling.”

    Is there any way to elaborate on this without ‘naming names’, so to speak?

  2. Ken McKnight
    June 9, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    For what it’s worth: “remuneration” not “renumeration”

    Edit: Fixed. Thx. -jml

  3. June 9, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    I think I understand. It’s fun being part of a community of people who respect your views and whose views you respect. It’s even better if those views are diverse.

    It’s not so much fun when you lose that respect.

  4. June 9, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Sorry the experience grew wearying, but I’m glad to follow you to your new digs.

  5. Doc Bill
    June 9, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    John, I simply replaced your old url with your new url. Glad you’re still writing and providing us Friday photos of fascinating critters that us non-biologists would never otherwise see.

  6. Wes
    June 9, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Is there any way to elaborate on this without ‘naming names’, so to speak?

    Comment by thingsbreak — June 9, 2009 @ 1:08 pm

    This is speculation on my part, but one of the reasons Joan Bushwell gave for leaving SciBlogs was that someone behind the scenes kept calling her a “misogynist” for no reason.

    I can think of a few of the newer SciBloggers who fit that bill. Although I have no idea if Doc Bushwell’s problems with SciBlogs were in any way like John’s. Maybe Doc Bushwell and John were annoyed at completely different people.

    Either way, I’m glad John’s still blogging, wherever he happens to do it. I like being part of the “low traffic” crowd. :)

  7. Wes
    June 9, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Oh, I suppose those who don’t read Doc Bushwell’s Chimpanzee Refuge would probably like to know what Doc Bushwell said…

    I also want to be open about what I say without fear of being castigated as a misogynist (a term often used inaccurately – try “sexist,” folks), a tremendously ironic notion given that I harbor genuine ovaries (although going dormant) and had some pretty hair-raising experiences during my fairly long scientific career which allow me to speak from a solid platform of experience and credibility.

    The latter sniping derives from my stumbling upon some very shoddy behavior in the back rooms of Science Blogs, stuff that removed any doubt that leaving Science Blogs for an independent venue was the thing to do. The majority of the folks that blog here do not participate in this — uh — “community” forum, but the ones who do are fairly heavy hitters and like it or not, they set a tone.

    http://scienceblogs.com/bushwells/

    Like I said, I have no idea if the people who were getting on Doc Bushwell’s nerves were the same people John is referring to.

  8. June 9, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Well Dr. Lynch, I’ve been reading your blog off and on for about 6 months now, and I’m certainly glad I found it before you left scienceblogs. I’m a masters student in molecular evolution, and I’m slowly realizing that 40hrs/week of bench work is not really want out of life. I’m intrigued by your career path that seems to have successfully straddled the science/philosophy/society triad, and I certainly hope you keep writing.

    Cheers,
    Dan

  9. June 10, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Thanks for the explanation, John. I think those of us who care about this can get a coherent picture of what happened, even if the details of what went on in May are confidential.

    P.S. Come over to the Dark Side. It Is Your Destiny.

    I can think of a few of the newer SciBloggers who fit that bill. Although I have no idea if Doc Bushwell’s problems with SciBlogs were in any way like John’s. Maybe Doc Bushwell and John were annoyed at completely different people.

    The impression I’ve got is that several people are involved: if it was one person, they would have been forced back into line by the other bloggers.

  10. DLC
    June 10, 2009 at 2:49 am

    Well, I’ll continue to drop in from time to time, even off of Scienceblogs. You’ve done some good writing, and I appreciate that.

  11. June 10, 2009 at 9:15 am

    @thingsbreak (#1):

    No, but a little bit of detective work will give you the answer easy enough.

    @Dan! (#7):

    You may like to read this post about my career track.

    @Bob (#8):

    Still thinking that through.

    @everyone else

    Thanks!

  12. RBH
    June 10, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    A small band wanders in the wilderness of WordPress … but it’s worth it.

  13. Lettuce
    June 10, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    What a wonderful post.

    I’m glad I was reading your blog when you moved. I just changed the URL.

  14. J-Dog
    June 13, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    We set up a special welcome post at ATBC for Wilkens (After The Bar Closes – the Pandas Thumb Forum)) – We would certainly be happy to do the same for you. (Well, actually, it was Abbie… she is much more persuasive than I am). But we would love to have you stop by if you get the time. We have regular posters from all over the world, real scientists, and a couple of interested civilians like me.

    Thanks for sharing about SciBlog.

  1. July 1, 2009 at 5:28 pm
Comments are closed.
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 30 other followers

%d bloggers like this: