Archive for the 'admin' category

ScienceBlogs is no more: Confessions of a Science Librarian is moving

Oct 31 2017 Published by under admin

As of November 1st, 2017, ScienceBlogs is shutting down, necessitating relocation of this blog.

It's been over eight years and 1279 posts. It's been predatory open access publishers, April Fool's posts and multiple wars on science. A long and wonderful trip, career-transforming, network building and an awful lot of fun. Over that period of time, ScienceBlogs has gone from the 800 pound gorilla of science blogging to just another site with not enough traffic to keep the lights on, which I guess is the way of the world. Things change, life moves on.

Thanks to everyone at ScienceBlogs for all the support and encouragement. And mostly, thanks to all my readers for their support, time and attention.

But the story isn't over, only shifting setting. Over the course of the next few days I'll be relaunching this blog at Scientopia, joining old friends and making new ones.

See you on the other side!

Watch my account over on Twitter for details as they develop.

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A year of blog stats: 2010

Feb 25 2011 Published by under admin, blogging, personal

In the spirit of openness and transparency and "does anybody really care except me" I've included some blog hit statistics below for 2010. These stats are from the Google Analytics application that ScienceBlogs has installed.

For 2010, this blog got 77,630 visits and 91,022 pageviews. To put it all into perspective, to say that this is a fairly insignificant portion of the total traffic for ScienceBlogs is a bit of an understatement. There are defunct blogs that still generate more traffic.

Here are the numbers in graphical format (click to see full year):

And by month (click to see full year):i-5db0b05a79f042227a5415c1baca3b3f-statsmonth-thumb-751x127-61723.jpg

It's nice to see the numbers growing over the course of the year. I think it's fair to say that it took me a full year after my May 2009 move from my old Blogger site to ScienceBlogs to recapture the traffic I had at the old site, largely due to the lost googlejuice from relocating.

For some context, my last complete year at the old site was 2008 and the numbers for that year were 56,593 visits and 73,212 pageviews. For 2010, even though it hasn't been updated in nearly 2 years, the old site still got over 16,000 pageviews.

So far in 2011, as of February 23rd, I have 18,421 visits and 21,870 pageviews. It's nice to see that this year is trending quite a bit higher than last year at the same point. I may end up surpassing several defunct blogs.

As for 2009, since that was the transition year with traffic at both blog sites, the numbers are hard to judge in relation to 2008 and 2010 so I won't even bother trying.

Here are some pageview stats for some individual pages.

Top 15 Posts (non-Friday Fun)

  1. Best Science Books 2009: Library Journal Best of 2009 Sci-Tech Books (3758)
  2. Best Science Books 2009: The top books of the year! (1824)
  3. Librarians vs. Nature (1337)
  4. A teachable moment (1129)
  5. Best Science Books 2009: The Globe 100 (996)
  6. #ArsenicLife #Fail: A teachable moment (973)
  7. What do students want from their libraries? (887)
  8. Is computer science baseless? (723)
  9. The inherent insularity of library culture? (644)
  10. Best Science Books 2010: New York Times Notable Books (617)
  11. Scientists vs. Engineers (592)
  12. Scholarly Societies: Why Bother?
  13. My Job in 10 Years: Social Media and the 21st Century Classroom (585)
  14. Best Science Books 2009: Scientific American (563)
  15. Best Science Books 2010: The Economist (554)

Some Honourable Mentions include the "index" post at 13,877 and the tag post for Best Science Books 2010 at 1902.

Comments: Overall, a very good year. I'm quite pleased by the posts that have made it to the list, they all seem like good examples of the kind of topics I cover and the kind of writing I do. It's also very obvious that the end-of-year coverage I do of the best science books lists is very popular and that it's something I should continue. For perspective, the Best Science Books 2010: The top books of the year!!!! has some 1877 pageviews as of this moment. The very recent and quite popular A stealth librarianship manifesto already has 1087.

Top 5 Various Fun Posts

  1. Friday Fun: Historians Admit To Inventing Ancient Greeks (1515)
  2. Friday Fun: Epic failures: 11 infamous software bugs (1012)
  3. Thursday Zombie Fun: Braaaiiiinnnnsssss! (865)
  4. Friday Fun: 5 Terms Social Media Douchebags Need To Stop Using (652)
  5. Friday Fun: 5 Signs You're Talking To A Social Media Douchebag (618)

Top 5 Book Review Posts

  1. Reading Diary: The Walking Dead, volumes 1-12 by Robert Kirkman (763)
  2. Reading Diary: Your hate mail will be graded: A decade of Whatever, 1998-2008 by John Scalzi (397)
  3. Jenkins, Mark Collins. Vampire forensics: Uncovering the origins of an enduring legend. Washington: National Geographic, 2010. 303pp. (395)
  4. Christensen, Clayton M. The innovator's dilemma. New York: Collins Business Essentials, 2006. 286pp. (288)
  5. Review of: Makers by Cory Doctorow (286)

What's left to say? Thank you all very much for your time and attention. I truly appreciate all the wonderful connections, ideas and opportunities you and this blog have brought to me over the years.

See you around the Internets!

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ScienceBlogs and National Geographic

Dec 04 2009 Published by under admin, blogging

Announced today:

Dear Readers,

It is our great pleasure to bring you news of an exciting new partnership, starting today, between ScienceBlogs and National Geographic.

ScienceBlogs and National Geographic have at their cores the same ultimate mission: to cultivate widespread interest in science and the natural world. Starting today, we will work together to advance this common mission through new content, applications, and initiatives. We will bring acclaimed voices from National Geographic into our rich discussion on ScienceBlogs, and National Geographic will invite their worldwide audience to join the conversation. Our bloggers will gain new audiences and maybe even a few SciBlings...

Over the next few days, weeks, and months you will start to see the fruits of the SB-NG partnership take shape here on SB and on We hope you'll share with us your ideas and feedback for how we can make this partnership as valuable as possible for you.

ScienceBlogs and our 137 bloggers around the world strive to continually raise the bar of online science communication, and we are thrilled to be taking the next step with National Geographic. We look forward to bringing this new dimension to your ScienceBlogs experience.

Thank you for being a part of our community!

-- SB

I've been a huge fan of The National Geographic for many years -- I have fond memories of their tv specials when I was a kid, particularly the Jacques Cousteau series. We also get the magazine every month at home, although the kids usually get a hold of it before I get much of a chance to read it. I look forward to seeing how this collaboration develops and evolves.

The NG web site is here, their blogging community and, of course, their library.

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Comments not coming through

Nov 02 2009 Published by under admin

Just so you all know, the last couple of comments I've received are stuck in limbo. I can see them on the admin side but they're not showing.

Unfortunately, my work computer just died and I can't seem to access my email, even via the web interface.

Hopefully, all will return to normal soon.

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ScienceBlogs on Facebook & Twitter

Sep 23 2009 Published by under admin, personal, web 2.0

If you feel the need to socially network with ScienceBlogs and any of us various SciBlings, you can do so on Facebook and Twitter. I suspect that most of us who are on those services are fans/followers of ScienceBlogs.

The main places I hang out are Friendfeed, Twitter and Facebook. Drop by and say hi!

(I don't know if it exists, but it would be interesting to see a list of all of our various handles on those and other services.)

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ScienceBlogs community/reader registration: poll

Sep 03 2009 Published by under admin, blogging

It looks like ScienceBlogs will be getting a lot more community-like and a lot less we-talk-you-listen -- and that's a very good thing.

Since we're listening, we'd also like your feedback on how we should set up our community.

As you may have heard from one of our bloggers, ScienceBlogs will soon be introducing an optional user registration program. We hope that this will help you, as readers, connect with one another, keep track of the posts and discussions you are interested in, and control how you interact with the site.

To that end, we'd love to hear what you think would most improve your site experience--what would be useful, interesting, or just plain fun? You can help us decide which features to introduce in both stages of our two-part development by responding to the poll below. Bump items up or down to rank them in order of most- to least-wanted.

Look for registration coming soon!

Also, feel free to leave a comment here if you have any suggestions.

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Worldcon wrapup

Aug 27 2009 Published by under admin, personal, science fiction

And speaking of reading, a couple of the books on the summer reading list I posted yesterday were actually purchased at the World Science Fiction Convention dealers' room! We were lucky that this year the con was in Montreal, my home town and very near Ste-Agathe, where we spent most of our vacation time. The whole family came down to Montreal for the Friday of the con, while I stayed for Saturday and Sunday as well.

Overall, the con was a blast. I had a fantastic time! Of course, since I lived in Montreal for 38 years and was quite involved in Montreal sf fandom for a few years (I was on the first four organizing committees of Concept, for example), I knew a lot of people who were there and was able to see a lot of good friends from the old days, many of whom I hadn't seen in a while, Keith and Berny amongst them. (Hi guys!) Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to see Rene Walling, one of the co-chairs who I know from the old days and congratulate him on a job well done. Now's the chance, of course -- great job, Rene! (And congrats to all the organizers, too!)

The programming was decent, if a little sparsely attended at times. In my programming choices, I was lucky enough not to be affected by any of the timing/scheduling snafus that Worldcon's seem prone to. I enjoyed the art show and other displays, particularly the David G. Hartwell Necktie Display (pic). The dealers' room was very small by Worldcon standards with almost no used book dealers to speak of. Most small local cons are better served in that department, at least here in Toronto. Only a few small press publishers managed to make the trip. It's too bad that so many potential dealers were scared off by the usually fairly minor border crossing requirements for dealers, not to mention that the difficult economy probably influenced a bunch of them as well. Many of the dealers that did make the trip seemed to make a killing, selling all or nearly all of what they brought. Of course, I managed to spend my allotted funds.

From a blogging perspective, I did run into SciBling Chad Orzel as well as friend Mark Tovey. I also dropped by the party to thank them for my book deal. The con was probably also the cheapest way to ever get to see Paul Krugman speak.

And speaking of parties, it was a complete joy to attend the book launch party for my old friend Claude Lalumière's first collection, Objects of Worship. And speaking of Claude, if you want to get a sense of what Worldcon was like, you should check out the blogging he and Matthew Surridge did for the Montreal Gazette.

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Blogging break over & summer reading wrapup

Aug 26 2009 Published by under admin, personal

My annual summer blogging break has officially come to a close. I returned to work Monday after a very nice four week vacation. Yes, I use my whole annual vacation allotment all at once and go the rest of the year without any significant break except for Christmas.

The first three weeks we spent most of our time at a cottage we rent every year near Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, about 90 minutes north of Montreal. The weather was mostly pretty good, so a great time was had by all -- swimming, canoing and just lounging around reading books. For my part, let's just say a lot of BBQing and drinking local beer was involved!

And speaking of reading, here's the list of books I actually got around to reading while on vacation:

As is usually the case, the four of us passed the same books back and forth quite a bit. I'll indicate who read each book with the appropriate initial: w/j/s/d. What can I say, we're a family of big readers! We were also a DVD watching family, with my wife and I getting through all of Buffy season 7 as well as a good chunk of Angel season 2 and Homicide season 1, not to mention some miscellaneous movies.

I've posted reviews of most of the books on my other blog.

The more observant amongst you will notice that I don't list either of the two winners from my Summer Reading Poll. That's because the spirit was a lot more willing than the eyeballs to read anything even vaguely good-for-me. I'm about 60% done the Feynman bio and I haven't started The Pirate's Dilemma at all yet. Oh well.

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Summer blogging break

Jul 24 2009 Published by under admin, personal

Yes, it's here. My annual summer blogging break. A time to recharge my blogging batteries.

Time to pack up my virtual bags, hop on my ePlane and take a posting holiday. As usual, I'll be offline for the next four weeks or so, probably back the week of August 24th. I have scheduled some posts for my absence, however: four Friday Fun posts as well as four items I'm reposting from the old blog.

As for the summer reading poll, I guess it's now time to declare the two winners:

The two polls received 117 votes between them. Thanks to everyone who participated! I'll probably do this again as it was great fun. Watch this space for reviews of the two books when I return.

It's interesting to note that the Feynman bio got more than the next three books combined -- a message that I'm crazy for having missed reading such a classic!

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And Dorothea Salo makes four...

Jul 18 2009 Published by under admin, information science

That's four librar* blogs here at ScienceBlogs, of course, with hopefully more to come. We're taking over!

I'll let Dorothea introduce herself:

I'm very pleased to welcome you all to The Book of Trogool, a brand-new blog about e-research. My name is Dorothea Salo, I'm an academic librarian, and I am fascinated with the changes that computers have wrought in the academic-research enterprise. I hope to explore those changes, and particularly library responses to them, in the company of the wonderful ScienceBlogs community. My thanks to John, Christina, and Walt for paving the way, and to Erin for welcoming me here.

I hope to tell stories about e-research projects (because narrative is how humans come to grips with novelty), pass on tidbits of e-research-related news, demystify jargon, ask and answer questions--in toto, I hope to bridge the science, library, and IT communities as we all work to understand, accommodate, and make the most of computers in research.

And yes, she does explain the name of her new blog.

Run on over and check out Dorothea's new digs at The Book of Trogool, especially her first real post on What is e-research?

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