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.