I hate when people tell me what to blog (and not blog). I blog what I want, you read what you want. When the two coincide, wonderful.
Bayblab, which is apparently some kind of science blog mostly written by anonymous bloggers, has a post critical of certain areas of science blogging.
Mostly it is whining wannabee dribble, sour grapes, and all that, and I couldn’t care less about it. But BB makes a deeply disturbing error in conflating science blogging with blogging about peer reviewed reserach. Nothing else is considered “true” science blogging.
Here is my comment on BB’s post:
Interesting post, but I think your point of reference, or approach to measurement, could be different.
For example, you note that Pharyngula is not that much about science (or imply it, anyway). But if you take the Pharungula posts that are explicitly science, count them, and count the number of what I think you would call science posts on the typical science blog, you’d find that Pharngula is more productive than average, or at least average.
Also, you explicitly conflate blogging on peer review research and real science blogging. A lot of my posts are not on peer reviewed work, but they are still on science. Sometimes it is my own research. Also, I provide commentary on science news items.
Finally, the political side should not be discounted. Posts on evo-creo and such are posts about science. Scientists ignore the political side of what we do at our peril.
Have a look at Science or Nature …. is every word they print either peer reviewed research or about peer reviewed research? NO. Is it all about science? Yes.
Oh, they also call PZ Myers, of Pharyngula, an 800 pound gorilla. Well, I know PZ Myers and, well, that’s pretty much accurate, I must say.
BB’s attitude that attacking creationists is a waste of time is exactly the attitude that many scientists have had for decades, and it is an attitude that has contributed to the current state of affairs. It is an utterly irresponsible attitude.
BB points out that we sciencebloggers get paid. Yes, we do. And the rate at which I am paid, if prorated over the hours I spend brining my readers this stream of blogstuff would be illegal in Indonesia.
I should also mention that the reason that “scienceblogs.com” is the elephant in the room is simple: A blogger does not simply set up an account on Sb, as one might set up an account on, say, blogspot. Rather, we are recruited. Make no mistake: There are many outstanding and popular (not always the same thing) blogs out there that are not on Sb. It is not the case that Sb is the cream of the crop. But it is a selected group (selected by the Seed editorial team with some input from the Sb bloggers). But it is important to note that the criteria for selection are not about popularity. Rather, the editorial staff seems to select to develop a representative sample across the sciences, and to promote diversity in the science blogosphere.
As to BB’s suggestion that we are incestuous: We are a little. But as far as I know, all of us avoid cross linking to Sb to the exclusion of other blogs. Before becoming an Sb blogger, I had a blog (gregladen.com). That blog was linked to by Sb bloggers then at about the same frequency as my blog on Sb is linked now. Joining Sb got me about week or two of “welcome to the team links” but otherwise, I get no special treatment.
We coordinate and collectively act via our Sb link on very few things, and these things are virtually always about actions in support of worthy causes (like raising money for teachers). For my part, I communicate “off blog” with other science bloggers at a rate independent of any linkage to Sb. My interaction with other bloggers is more about common interest in scientific and, yes, political issues.
Go read the post and the comments.