Hiatus: Yeah, me too.

I'm taking SUPERBUG offline while the Pepsi mess plays out.

I dislike and resent having to do this: I was flattered to join Sb and I have great respect for my Sciblings.

I acknowledge that Sb's management, Seed Media Group, made some concessions today, but I am dissatisfied that those changes came only after community protests, when they addressed issues that should -- could -- have been foreseen.

I'm also not convinced they go far enough, since the central issue of a corporate-sponsored blog that appears (still, functionally) indistinguishable from the independent blogs here has not been addressed. I don't want, by remaining, to appear to support the decision to publish that blog in its current form, when I don't support it.

I need to think these things through. So, publication is temporarily suspended.


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There is, in fact, no rule that says that if you don't support the Pepsi blog (or don't feel satisfied with the changes made so far) that you can't or should not blog.

I support your decision, of course. But I just wanted to correct the record: The assumption that the reaction signals the opinion works OK for some things (like if someone laughs a lot or a little at your joke as in indicator of how funny they think the joke is) but not for something more complex like this situation. People who are not storming off may be more unhappy with the new blog and all it implies than some who have left.

In fact, in my view, it is perfectly reasonable to say or do nothing at all for days or even weeks as things like this play out. (Assuming one is a blogger on the sidelines ... the management better not be sitting back for weeks at a time!) If one wants to sentence Sb to death for screwing up (as many commenters seem to be saying) then fine, but if one wants to see how seed eventually settles this, then drag them over the coals if appropriate, then sit next to me and share the popcorn, because that is what I'll be doing.

And the issue is complex. For instance, what is wrong with a corporate blog (generally, not Pepsico in particular)? One thing might be that there are hidden overlords telling the blogger what to blog and not blog. That would be bad.

Well, are we sure that is not already happening on scienceblogs? What are the policies of our new institutional blogs? Do any of our bloggers work for companies or institutions that require them to not say or do certain things, or that serve as some sort of threat that may affect what they write? Offhand I can't think of anyone in that situation on Sb, but I just spent significant time this weekend with a colleague at a MRU who simply, and legally apparently, can not blog about her research without approval from a Dean ... on a post by post basis. That happens in the blogosphere. There are probably more science blogs (not necessarily at sb.com) that have this difficulty than many would estimate. So, I ask, does knowing that affect one's perception about this particular aspect of a corporate blog?

(And no, I'm not justifying a practice that I disagree with in all forms. I'm just pointing out what may be a narrower gap than what many people seem to think between the pure as the driven snow model and the e-vile corporate model.)

Anyway, I'm glad to see you are going on hiatus rather than just leaving.

So it's cool for an individual to promote herself/himself, but not a corporation?