23 July 2010

This is what a blogging exodus looks like

As you know I've been following the developments at Scienceblogs.  I've read all of the departure posts from the Sciblings in exile.  Just for kicks, I thought it would be interesting to see if all the "resignations" struck common themes.  Here's what I got from pushing all the farewell posts from the bloggers listed on Carl Zimmer's post through the cloud generator at Wordle.  For those who may not know how it works, you enter the text and it spits out a graphical representation of the discussion - the more often a word is used, the larger it appears in the cloud.  It's not scientific analysis but it's nice to look at and it starts discussions.

I think it's interesting, though not surprising, that the writers there are / were far more interested in the ScienceBlogs network, and not Pepsi.  This is intriguing from a corporate crisis PR perspective - while Pepsico isn't exactly called a good guy in all this, the consensus among the bloggers is this had very little to do with Pepsico and very little to do with what Pepsico wanted to discuss.  It was always about transparency and accountability.  I also find it interesting that only 2 names showed up - Adam Bly, the CEO, and Bora Zivkovic, the heart & soul of the science blogging community.

I do think it's a positive development that the management from Scienceblogs has tried to establish a dialogue with the remaining bloggers. Seems like the strike has been called off.   It's true: ScienceBlogs still has some good blogging.  It's also interesting to learn how some of these bloggers have some unique multi-tasking skills

There has been some significant damage done, however, and the plan to rebuild trust and reputation must begin in earnest.  Bora is right that the science blogging ecosystem has evolved quickly, and the old-school thinking (and old-school response time) is a great threat to the network there.  I notice that Adam Bly still hasn't addressed the substance of this at his own blog.  That's a problem.

Readers deserve to know what's happening too.


Dennis said...

Kinda boring. Outside of "Pepsi" in there, it looks pretty mundane.

David said...

I'm not sure I agree. What's missing is what's interesting. there doesn't seem to be a consensus theme - that's an important point. There's a lot of "this isn't about pepsi" in the posts. People had really different reasons for leaving, but the consensus was this episode said more about their own community than anything else.