Bora leaves ScienceBlogs, ground shifts under our feet

Jul 19 2010 Published by under blogging, personal

The fallout of the Pepsigate scandal continues.

Bora's recent relative blogging silence left me with a bad feeling, an ominous feeling. A feeling like the other shoe was about to drop.

Well, it did. Bora is leaving ScienceBlogs.

As with most of Bora's giant summary zeitgeist posts, you just have to read the whole thing yourself. The comments too are incredibly heartfelt.

For me, Bora always epitomized ScienceBlogs. He was always the ultimate SciBling and I was so thrilled to be blogging her next to him when I joined. Bora's also always really epitomized science blogging as a whole to me. As such, I always felt that he was shepherding and guiding all the rest of us. He was also one of the first non-library blogs that every noticed my humble blogging efforts.

Bora = ScienceBlogs. Bora = science blogging.

He'll be missed. But, being indefatigable and incorrigible and undefeated and incredible and unbelievable (and pretty well every other un- and in- you can think of!), he continues blogging and shepherding and all the rest.

It's a beginning as well as an ending and while we mourn one we should also celebrate the other.

As for the rest of us, it really does feel like it changes everything, like it's a point of no return or a foreshadowing.

(To check out more online reaction, follow the #IoweBora hashtag on Twitter.)

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Pepsigate: Yes, I'm staying

For now, at least.

My natural inclinations about this whole mess are probably closest in nature to either Chad Orzel's or Jason Rosenhouse's, so reading them will probably give you a pretty close idea of where I stand. Bora, not surprisingly, has collected a lot of the reaction.

I also really like what Christie Wilcox has to say:

Let me make it clear, though - I don't blame anyone for leaving. I don't hold it against them. While I may not have had the same visceral reaction they did, I also haven't been here that long. I haven't dealt with this kind of mismanagement and gotten fed up about it over and over again. I can easily see how, for many that left, this was the last straw. For me, though, this was the first time Seed did something wrong.

I also stayed because I decided it was the right thing to do. When I saw my friends jumping ship, the thought of leaving crossed my mind. That thought, however, was fleeting, and I decided instead that I needed to stay.

I originally wanted to blog on ScienceBlogs because it is a community and a media outlet that I believe in. This hasn't changed. I still think that ScienceBlogs is an important member of the scientific and journalistic communities, and I feel that it is important. Now that the battle is over and the smoke has cleared, it's time to mourn the losses suffered and rebuild. I'm still young, naive and optimistic enough to think that Seed can and will do better in the future, and that it's a future I want to be a part of.

I hope that you all continue to read the Sciblings and ex-Sciblings that you know and love, wherever they end up. As for me, I'm going to be here for a little while longer, and I hope that you'll stick around for it.

I truly believe that ScienceBlogs management has made some serious missteps in this whole fracas, ones that have seriously damaged the community of readers and bloggers. Credibility and community takes a long time to build and even longer to restore. However, I think restoring that credibility and rebuilding that community are projects worth undertaking.


More recent revelations about other advertising/editorial issues also leave a bad taste in my mouth. You can read about that issue here and here.

So I'm still torn. I enjoy being part of this community and I truly believe it's worth working to save. I appreciate the opportunity to reach a very different audience than I did at my old location, a chance to preach to the unconverted. I value being able to reach science people with the library message. I've been blogging long enough to have no illusions about how "famous" it has made me. But the people that I do reach here on ScienceBlogs are truly the right people for me to reach.

I would be very unhappy to give that up. And so, here I remain.

I still think this is very much a teachable moment -- a theme I may come back to at a later date. Those of us that deal with students in our non-blogging lives I think could almost use this as a case study in thinking about what credibility really means in the online world -- how to build it, how to lose it, how to measure it and how to teach about it.

(As an aside, my natural inclination was to just keep blogging without saying anything. To stay without a statement. I thought about it long and hard and decided since I did make my initial post I should probably follow up.)

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