Ba-Ba-Ba BAAAA Ba, Ba-Ba-Ba BAA Ba-Ba Ba-Ba Ba (BOM BOM): National Geographic and ScienceBlogs

It's been in the works for a while, but a couple of days ago the news got out via the usual combination of rumor-mongering and confidentiality-breaking that makes blogdom such a joy to work with (seriously, you want to know why it's hard to get mainstream media types to take bloggers seriously, or keep bloggers in the loop about major decisions? Take a look at the drama surrounding any changes at ScienceBlogs...): ScienceBlogs and National Geographic are "partnering" in a way that looks an awful lot like NatGeo taking over SB.

What does this mean for this blog? I haven't the foggiest. NatGeo promised one-on-one conversations with the individual bloggers, but barely got that process started before the news broke, so they haven't gotten around to me yet. So I don't know how this new partnership will be altering the terms of our deal (read that last bit in a Darth Vader voice, if you like), and how the dreaded "Standards and Practices" (that wants more of an Emperor Palpatine voice, I think) will affect my normal operations.

I don't anticipate the S&P regime being much more than a slightly more formalized "Don't Be a Dick" policy, something that I mostly try to do anyway. I don't write all that much about the sort of things that lead to systematic dickishness, so I doubt it would cut that much into my normal practices. If they want to ban Toddler Blogging and silly radio-button polls, I'll explore other options (I know what my readers want), but if they're ok with my idiosyncratic mix of content, I'm happy to stay.

Anyway, it'll be a while before I know anything. In the meantime, if you want something to read, the founding editor of ScienceBlogs, Christopher Mims, posted a secret history of SB on Twitter, which has been collected in chronological order here. I was one of the original 14, so it was interesting to read some of the backstory. Let's hear it for anonymous interns!

More like this

If they want to ban Toddler Blogging and silly radio-button polls, I'll explore other options (I know what my readers want)

Are you sure you know, if you haven't offered us purely intellectual beings a radio-button poll to ask us?

I'm sorry, Chad, but try as I might, I can't identify the music you're trying to evoke from the post title. I'm trying various Star Wars themes and I can't make them fit.

Or maybe part of Fanfare for the Common Man... not the part in the sample on the Wikipedia page. (But National Geographic uses that part too, in places.)

First let me say that after reading your (ahem) unique musical notation system, I'm glad you're such a great physicist!

Hopefully the Natgeo collab will go a lot better than the last one (I can't even remember who it was with - a soap company?) Anyway, it seems Discover blogs kind of got the best out of that whole deal in the end.

NatGeo is supposed to be more cool and all about sciencey-stuff after all.

As for avoiding dickishness, my feeling is PZ can't be bothered about it. About the dumbest thing NatGeo could do is try to moderate the raucous brawls, er, that is, freewheeling discussions over on his page.

I think you're safe for now.

"I was one of the original 14..."

We few, we happy few, we band of bloggers;
For he to-day that blogs his science with me
Shall be my blogger; PZ ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And bloggers not in sci-blogs
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their blogging cheap whiles any speaks
That blogged with us upon that opening day....

Cry "Science!" and let slip the blogs of ours!

Paul W. @ 4:

It's Fanfare For the Common Man, by Aaron Copland.

Nope. I think the NG theme is an original composition by Elmer Bernstein.

Spoken as one who watched every NG special there was as a kid and listened to way too much Emerson Lake and Palmer in college...

Thanks! Found it! Based on this, I think you pretty much nailed it! :)