Field of Science

Introducing /r/SciBlogs/

Starting (or launching if you like) a much needed subreddit for science blogs: http://www.reddit.com/r/sciblogs/

Think of it as Editor's Picks for the science blogosphere. It's also an effective way to introduce science blogs to the general public.

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I love science. I love blogging. Thus, FoS is a labor of love for me. But I don't just love and enjoy FoS. I'm a fan of all science blogs. The reason for this is an open secret among science blog readers--science blogs are the best place to get your science.

For example, we are expecting, and a few weeks back my wife came home with The Vaccine Book given to her by one of her coworkers. She asked me what I thought about it. Naturally I was skeptical. I first turned to google and quickly found myself sifting through anonymous opinions in a forum. Then it occurred to me that there was probably a reason the name "Dr. Sears" sounded familiar. I'd probably read about him on a science blog. So I went to The White Coat Underground and searched "Dr. Sears". The first result was a link in Respectful Insolence to Science-Based Medicine… That was easy.

However, this awareness of the value of science bloggers is relatively rare. Most people get their science news from mainstream media sources. Even science enthusiasts often rely on sources that simply regurgitate science press releases. What that suggests to me is there is a vast, untapped audience for science blogs out there. People who are interested in science and would happily choose a science blog over a press release, if only they new they had a choice.

Recently Bora launched his SciAm network. There was one reviewer who congratulated Bora for doing it right, but then went on to suggest that SciAm's rise might result in the demise of some of the smaller science blog networks. To paraphrase his reasoning, you can only read so many science blogs in the day.  There's some truth that the pool of science blog readers/fans can only read so many science blogs in a day, but it's a mistake to assume that the reader base for science blogs is currently anywhere near its true potential.

Reddit is populated by, for the most part, non-science blog readers. But as I suggest above, it's not that the typical redditor isn't interested in science, it's that the typical redditor isn't in on the open secret that is science blogs, and so ends up relying on press releases or the media's rehashing of those press releases for the majority of their science news.  If you want to reach this group, you have to go to them. That's what /r/sciblogs/ does--a subreddit devoted to science blogs where those of us who read science bloggers submit links to the gems we find.

Competition among science blogging entities is good, but the number of readers one network or blog can hope to poach from its peers pales in comparison to the number of potential science blog readers we can hope to persuade to turn away from mainstream media sources and press releases and turn to science blogs.

/r/sciblogs/ goal is to grow the audience for science blogs and to bring to that audience (and you and me) a daily dose of the best of science blogging.

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