One can imagine science bloggers would be a (the) primary beneficiary in a landscape where Google ranks sites based on the correctness of factual information provided by the [blog]. What's more, it is not a stretch to conclude that science bloggers could very well be in the vanguard of a new wave of bloggers who earn Google’s trust by blogging within the confines of what is known.
The news that Google is working on a system of ranking sites based on the quality of their facts should be greeted by science bloggers everywhere as a game-changer.
3+ years ago I left FieldofScience to fend while I (read: my wife) had babies. To my relief, FieldofScience managed just fine without me. There was some attrition, and a scatting of broken links, but otherwise I was not really needed. When I started FieldofScience back in 2008, I gave myself the title of Founding Editor. But looking at it now, that was mistaken. Turns out there is nothing here to edit (duh!). The better title for what I do is Founding guy who pays the annual domain registration. Of course I do tweak the templates, tidy up, and when I have time, make an effort to grow FieldofScience's ranks. But all of those things are second to what is my most important job--doing nothing.
I have been slowly reengaging with FieldofScience over the last few months. Doing little things here and there, and letting plans for redesigns simmer in the back of my mind while I reacquaint myself with my tools and with the state of science blogging. One of the things I am struck by is how I missed reading about science. I am obviously a fan of science, but I am not a scientist or an academic or otherwise have any reason to follow science outside of my own penchant for science. That penchant alone was not enough to keep me plugged in when life got busy. In taking a break from FieldofScience, I also took myself out of the science loop.
Founding, designing, growing FieldofScience is my hobby. But it is also a habit that keeps me tuned in to science. To the extent that I am not unique in my layperson's appetite for science (and I think I am not), perhaps there is the kernel of an idea in this observation for those interested in promoting science communication. People do not need to be sold on science, they need a habit that causes them to stay connected to it. Perhaps the best way to grow your audience is to give them something to do (such as Citizen Science).