The sciencebloggosphere is a changing! (updated)

(Updated July 22, 2010 — been hard to keep up with all the changes! Let me know if I have left anyone out.)

Update: The strike is over!  SEED seems to have agreed to the changes requested.

BIG Update: PZ Myers of Pharyngula is going on strike until SEED makes changes both in its communication policies and improves its technical support! (Greg Laden joins the strike.)

Update: Food Frontiers is officially off of Scienceblogs.  It remains to be seen how this will affect the bloggers’ decision to stay or go — some have already stated that they won’t be coming back.

If you haven’t heard, the Scienceblogs community has gone through a tremendous upheaval over a short span of 24 hours, with a number of their best science writers basically resigning from the community in protest.  The spark that ignited the powderkeg was the introduction of a corporate paid for and sponsored blog to the science blogging mix, Food Frontiers: a blog by PepsiCo on nutrition, of all things!  This has been seen by many, if not most, of the bloggers as corporate propaganda masquerading as legitimate science, which hurts the reputation of said bloggers and corrupts the integrity of the system.

I don’t have enough of an understanding of the details to make a strong statement about the controversy here (at the very least, the whole thing seems like a very big PR clusterf#$k on the part of SEED).  Right now I can understand the arguments of both those who have chosen to stay at SBs and those who have chosen to move on to, or rather back to, independent blogging.  I did want to say that I support all of the Sciencebloggers and feel your pain right now (hell, the whole thing has made me anxious, and I have no association with SBs!).

I also wanted to help out those who have departed by throwing a few links towards their new/old homes!

People who were undecided but seem to be staying (for now):

I’ll try and update this when I hear more about where folks are ending up…

Note: Carl Zimmer is also keeping a list of evacuees here.

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41 Responses to The sciencebloggosphere is a changing! (updated)

  1. Blake Stacey says:

    Thanks for sending a link my way; I’m not sure when I’ll be using my WordPress site to any serious extent (or if I’ll set up a new one, etc.), but it’s appreciated.

    It’s possible that the SEED management will get this whole thing sorted out, to the satisfaction of those who haven’t yet made up their minds. (I’ve already seen some changes on the labelling of the blog-shaped advertisement.) The whole thing was managed so incompetently, though, that what might’ve been a necessary evil turned into a serious cluster#%$#!! all around. Any style of management which can lead to that once can lead to it again . . . and I have no interest in going through an acrimonious mess like this, six months or a year from now.

    So, good luck to the people staying — and to the folks who’re leaving, let’s do lunch sometime! (-:

  2. John McKay says:

    I can add the following:

    Going on hiatus while thinking about it all:
    Casaubon’s Book
    Class M
    Mike, the Mad Biologist

    Alex Wild of Myrmecos returning to his old site

    Mark Chu-Carrol of Good Math, Bad Math quitting, no word where he’s going

    Rebecca Skloot of Culture Dish will be at her personal & business site

    GrrlScientist of Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted) is looking for a new home

  3. Scicurious says:

    Thanks, GG! Been a really tough day on all of us. Right now the new site is actually called “are you scicurious?” but I’m playing with it still.

  4. John McKay says:

    Add Highly Allochthonous to the hiatus list (the hiati?)

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  6. John McKay says:

    Superbug just announced she’s on hiatus. That makes sixteen.

  7. Krystal says:

    Good Math, Bad Math is also closing up shop. No word yet on where he’ll relocate.

  8. Another_Scientist says:

    Whine, whine, cry, cry. These bloggers were accepting payments for their writings from SEED, no? Payments came from sponsored advertising, no? Click advertising is a known to be a non-sustainable business model (Who clicks on these things anyhow? Most of us don’t even see them thanks to adblockers.). So these bloggers were supported by corporations up until yesterday. Now they want to play self-righteous over the addition of a new blog that doesn’t even have any content to judge yet and whose authorship is completely transparent. Cry me a river.

    • The wife says:

      Another_Scientist – “Whine, whine, cry, cry” . Really? This is your most sophisticated retort? Even if you have a valid point in your post, I am totally disregarding it. Why not stick your tongue out too while you are at it.

  9. Joel says:

    The Food Frontiers blog is one that Pepsi’s been running for a while (on their own domain). The content can only be described as marketing, not science.

  10. Blake Stacey says:

    In case people don’t see it:

    “Moving on now” does not mean pretending it didn’t happen, or going forward on the same old course. There are real structural problems in how Seed is managing the blogs, and they’re going to have to take steps to fix them, or we’ll just get another debacle, and another, and another, and then we’re all done.

    I wouldn’t question anyone who left. There were some discussions going on behind the scenes between me and some third parties that had me thinking, too…and there was maybe a 50/50 chance that I’d have been out the door, and it’s only that they finally ended up doing the right thing that tipped me away from the exit.

    Another such incident, though, or a continuation of the neglect we’ve been struggling under, and alternatives would look much, much more attractive.

    PZ Myers

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  12. Blake Stacey says:

    Rebecca Skloot’s site, mentioned above, now hosts her blog.

  13. Pingback: The Pepsi Syndrome: Did ScienceBlogs Sell Out, or Was This Just Business As Usual? « The Scholarly Kitchen

  14. Blake Stacey says:


    If I had heard about this when it happened, I would have left SB in protest last February. No question about it.

    • The more I learn, the more I picture SEED management as playing a big game of Jenga with the bloggers: how much crap can they pull out from under them before the whole system collapses?

  15. PalMD says:

    I strongly encourage everyone to support these writers. They are fantastic, but not being in a larger network drops their readership significantly as folks tend not to hunt around. I like to use feed readers like Viigo for my blackberry, and google reader.

    On a personal note, I haven’t made a decision yet as to where or if I’ll go, but for now I’m continuing to write.

  16. Pingback: The PepsiGate linkfest « A Blog Around The Clock

  17. John McKay says:

    You have Grrlscientist on both lists. You need to remove her from the staying list.

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