Please help a guy out

I’ve mentioned before that there is a web page set up by Abel Pharmboy at Terra Sigillata to raise some money for Bora Zivkovic, recently of but now detached from that network. Bora is the community organizer for PLoS, and is a scientist interested in biological clocks, which is why his blog was named A Blog Around the Clock. Which I once accidentally misspelled by leaving out one letter.

The reason to go to Abel’s site, click on the PayPal button and give bora a few bucks is this: We are taking this moment of transition, Bora moving from, to pause and, basically, give him a tip. There are two reasons to do this.

1) As a community organizer and thoughtful blogger, Bora has changed the culture of the scientific neighborhood of the Internet. You can see that by reading is blog, but there is quite a bit you can’t see because it was done behind the scenes. Bora advised PLoS in their efforts to reach out the blog community (bloggers and blogee’s alike) and helped to get a large number of science blogger access to a large amount of information that previously only accredited journalists had access to. Every time you see a “Blogging Peer Reviewed Research Icon” there is a non trivial chance that the blog post you are looking at was made possible by Bora, indirectly.

2) Bora has influenced and helped individual bloggers. When I started blogging, there were two bloggers who helped me. PZ Myers helped me by giving me his amazing CSS code, and by pointing his readers to my blog posts several times to help get my readership going. Bora helped me by advising me at several turns, at several stages, both about the mundane (how to handle reposts) and the not so mundane (how to address conflict). And, I feel it perfectly valid to say that Bora and I have worked together, in our different capacities, in support of Open Access publishing. Bora the community organizer has, in short, had his way with me, community organizing-wise, and I am a better blogger for it.

Number 1 is the obvious reason you should go and click on the Donate button and give Bora a tip. But Number 2 is equally valid, because what I’ve indicated here is repeated across the science Internet with many, many other bloggers. It is absolutely true to say that the quality of the science blogging world (and adjoining areas of science communication) is greater than it otherwise would be because of Bora’s efforts, both directly and indirectly. And that says nothing about his major role in organizing Science Online, the annual science communication and outreach conference held in Research Triangle. I’ve been to a lot of conferences, and there are a few that stand out as really really cool, and that is one of them.

So it turns out that both reasons, the general and the targeted (but targeted over and over) should compel you to give a tip to the guy who has given you this Internet thing in a form improved over what could have been.

I gave a modest donation. But I’m not going to thank Bora. I have in the past, he knows what I think and I will in the future. And, for me, this is not much of a transition. (As far as I know the only thing changed is his URL. We’re still all working on this communication thing.) I’m standing aside so YOU can click over there and tip the man, thank the man. Now is an excellent time to do this.

Over sixty people have donated so far. Let’s make it much more than that. Please do this.


  1. #1 Abel Pharmboy
    July 24, 2010

    Beautiful sentiments, Greg – thank you so much for supportin this effort.

  2. #2 khan
    July 24, 2010

    Oh all right.

  3. #3 Nox
    July 24, 2010

    The link seems to be broken, at least for me in Chrome.

  4. #4 Nox
    July 24, 2010

    Scratch that, it worked once I reloaded the page.

  5. #5 Bubs
    July 24, 2010

    You absolutely must be kidding. This guy’s incredibly long post about leaving Scienceblogs, self-important and borderline delusional, had me wanting to claw my eyes out. There is no reason we should be tipping any blogger, especially the ones here at scienceblogs who just regurgitate the same stories in a massive game of telephone. Everyone here owes their existence, their puffed up self esteem, and their $200 monthly check to PZ.

  6. #6 Mediajackal
    July 25, 2010

    Dibs on the popcorn concession for the fight that is about to erupt following Bubs’ post.

  7. #7 Stephanie Z
    July 25, 2010

    Did someone named Bubs post?

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    July 25, 2010

    I’m pretty sure Bubs (short for Bubba in certain parts of the south) is actually Bora playing a joke on himself.

  9. #9 mark cettie
    July 26, 2010

    Happy to donate.
    I very much enjoy the blogging on peer-reviewed research.