If you are a regular reader of Scienceblogs.com, you have probably already learned that two of our blogs have moved over to Discover blogs.
Razib and Ed are joining the small but elite blogging network, backed by the well-known Discover brand, the likes of Carl Zimmer, Phil Plait, Sean Carrol et al., Sheril Kirshenbaum and Chris Mooney, Andrew Moseman and Smriti Rao, plus NCBI ROFL, as well as their editorial blogs, e.g., 80 Beats aggregator, Rebecca Horne's Visual Science and Science Not Fiction. I hope you change your bookmarks and subscriptions and follow Ed and Razib at their new place. As they say, once a SciBling, always a SciBling.
Science blogging networks are growing and multiplying. Each network, be it Scienceblogs.com, Nature Network, SciBlogs, Discover blogs, ScientificBlogging.org or others has a different approach, different goals, different style, different target audience... Some start many new people at blogging, nurture them and build them until some of them become brand-names on their own. Others lure in already very popular bloggers. Some focus strictly on science. Others give bloggers complete freedom to explore any topics they are interested in (hopefully with some intersection with science most of the time).
It is not surprising that individual bloggers, as they change and mature, find that a move to a different network (or even maintaining multiple blogs on multiple networks) better fits their own changing goals. Each network occupies a slightly different niche in the science blogging ecosystem, and more such networks exist, the better for science communication as a whole.
So, move by Ed and Razib from Sb to Discover is just a part of a regular shuffle. They did not disappear from the scene in any way. Is it a "loss" to Scienceblogs.com? Sure, in a way. But perhaps you noticed that Scienceblogs.com has grown quite a bit lately, adding a number of wonderful bloggers. Are you reading Observations Of A Nerd and Obesity Panacea and Universe and Oscillator and Casaubon's Book and Dot Physics and Applied Statistics and Evolution for Everyone and Tomorrow's Table and The Book of Trogool and Collective Imagination and Common Knowledge, among the newest additions to this very large stable of bloggers? Do you check The Last 24 Hours page every day? We had more bloggers join than leave lately. The network subtly changes over time. And that is how it goes. And that is a Good Thing.
Congratulations to Ed and Razib - we'll follow you there, of course.
Cheers, Bora (I almost typed in my old URL in the form) ;-)
Nice post! I concur, for the reasons above and also that as people move to other networks they expand not only their personal audience but the overall audience of people reading science outside journals on one end or mainstream media on the other, making it better for us all.
PCs became more popular than Mac's because lots of companies could make PCs and only one made Macs and so it goes with blogging - we all want it to be more popular than corporate media controlling supply. Can you get a crappy PC? Yes, you can and caveat emptor on who people read in science as well, but all of the sites you mention have filters for quality and credibility, so readers know they are not reading cranks.
The fact that 4 years later you still have originals contributing is a testament all its own!