Further Sugary Carbonated Thoughts

Dudes, I don't even drink soda. Of any kind. Ever.

Seriously, though, I'm saddened by the loss of several of my sciblings. Many of them are individuals who I consider role models, and look up to. Dr. Skyskull is attempting to keep a list of new locations for them, here, and I've been adding links to responses to this debacle on the bottom of yesterday's post - I'm sure I've missed a few, though. Several other sciblings of mine are taking the wait-and-see approach that I advocated yesterday.

To their credit, SEED and Scienceblogs are making some of the requested changes. You'll notice that PEPSI and their logo are now clearly on the banner at the Pepsi blog. Above the banner is a grey bar noting that it is an advertorial. We have been promised:

The profile on the left of the blog used to say "All editorial content on the blog is overseen by ScienceBlogs editors." This didn't really explain anything about our relationship, and was a mistake. We've changed it. To be absolutely clear, we've added this language to Food Frontier's profile, and its equivalent to any sponsored blog that appears on ScienceBlogs:

This blog is sponsored by PepsiCo. All editorial content is written by PepsiCo's scientists or scientists invited by PepsiCo and/or ScienceBlogs. All posts carry a byline above the fold indicating the scientist's affiliation and conflicts of interest.

We've also already asked PepsiCo to change the Food Frontiers banner and logo, and are figuring out how to best implement other graphical and technological changes that will further distinguish these kinds of blogs from those of independent bloggers, so that our readers can fully evaluate the merits of each.

You'll notice, too, that the main Combined RSS feed has been split in half: there is the combined feed, and the combined feed minus advertorials.

These are good steps, but is it too-little/too-late? I'm not sure. It was observed today, on twitter, and we're really the pioneers of online journalism, of social media, or whatever you wish to call what we do here. It's the wild west, and in some sense, we have to write the rules as they become necessary. I don't envy the position of SEED Media Group, one bit. They've made some hard decisions, and it seems clear that they've mis-stepped. But how have they mis-stepped? Is it in how they approached the inclusion of corporate blogs and how they've engaged with we the bloggers in the process? Is it the inclusion of corporate blogs in the first place? Both?

In the meantime, in solidarity with my fellow sciblings, I'll be taking at least a few days off of blogging. I'm going to wait a few days, survey the fallout, and see what's what. The Thoughtful Animal still calls Scienceblogs its home, at least for now.

All for the better, I suppose, as we're dismantling and rebuilding our lab this week.

[Update Chris Clarke has graciously put together a combined RSS feed where you can get posts from all the bloggers who have left.]

More like this

Yesterday, ScienceBlogs launched Food Frontiers, a blog sponsored by PepsiCo. This isn't the first time we've hosted sponsored blogs--recent ones included GE, Shell, and Invitrogen--but it is the first time we've received this level of criticism about it. Frankly, we at ScienceBlogs did not do a…
I'm late to the party: I was in Europe, and before that I was in Los Angeles, and before that Colorado, and I am time-shifted and sleep-deprived (hate it: Takes away energy, intellectual nimbleness -- yeah, I got some -- and any ability to multi-task). And that's enough with the lame excuses.…
As I said  yesterday on Twitter, a big conflict of interest and transparency problem has arisen on ScienceBlogs. Like several other bloggers here, I'm now on a hiatus, however like like David Dobb's and Blake Stacy's, my hiatus from ScienceBlogs will be permanent. I've been contemplating a move…
As I said  yesterday on Twitter, a big conflict of interest and transparency problem has arisen on ScienceBlogs. Like several other bloggers here, I'm now on a hiatus, however like like David Dobb's and Blake Stacy's, my hiatus from ScienceBlogs will be permanent. I've been contemplating a move…