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Wow! What a week!

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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And they are off!!! Image Credit


The network is up and running at full steam now, so it’s time for the first Friday Summary, what is to become a regular feature on this blog.

The Launch and beyond

First, I have to mention, again and with great admiration, our team of developers for putting together a site that works great and looks great, while under a furious pressure of a hard deadline. Sitting here in the SciAm office, I was impressed by the calm efficiency and speed with which they smoothed out, at lightning speed, the inevitable bumps that come with all launches – you probably did not even notice a thing.

In case you missed it because it was not available until a couple of hours after the launch, here is the Combined RSS Feed for the entire blog network:

http://rss.sciam.com/all-blogs/feed

In the next couple of weeks, you will see a number of additional improvements to the site. When the original eight SciAm blogs are moved to the new platform to join the rest of the network, this will allow for a deeper integration of the blog network into the main site. We are also in the process of testing a number of additional functionalities that we will introduce, one at a time, over the next few weeks. I will announce these upgrades, and if needed, provide brief tutorials on how to use them, as they arrive – here on this blog. So keep an eye out for it. As I mentioned in my introductory post (but so far on the bottom of a very long post, not everyone got that far), we will soon add functionality to enable commenters to log in to the blog network using their Facebook or Twitter accounts. I am not a developer, but from what I understand, this functionality proved more complex to implement than expected due to the complexity of our site’s structure, which is why the decision was made, on a tight deadline, not to make it available at launch as initially planned, but to bring that live days later.

Reactions

The response from the community – on social networks, blogs, in the media, and our readers e-mailing in – has been huge and overwhelmingly positive. Here is a sampling of some of the early reactions, mostly on blogs, and we are sure that more traditional media will also catch up soon:

Boing Boing, NASW (Science Writers), Labcoat Life (also on Storify), It’s Not a Lecture, Convergence, Pharyngula, SciCrunch, Code For Life, University of Illinois news bureau, The News-Gazette, SJSU Today, NCCU News, The Mary Sue, Terra Sigillata, ScienceGeist, WCG Common Sense, Deltoid, Greg Laden’s Blog, reddit, Sandwalk, Aardvarchaeology, Gene Expression, Jekyll, LiLoLe, PRNewser – MediaBistro, Denim and Tweed, and The Loom.

Thank you all so much for such a great reception!

The Blogs debut

The bloggers could not wait to start posting. All that pent-up energy! I know – I’ve been waiting myself for nine months. To spare you all from an instant explosion of great writing, we are posting on a schedule these first two weeks, so you have enough time and opportunity to meet each blogger and read every post. About a third of the bloggers burst out of the starting gates this week, while the rest are reined in until the next week.

James Byrne at Disease Prone looked at his own genetic ancestry in My Genographic Project.

 

Joseph Milton at Creatology decided to start by creating a cartoon image – The inevitable evolutionary effects of global warming

 

SciAm‘s math and physics editor Davide Castelvecchi, at Degrees of Freedom, penned a brilliant explanation of why we see the sky the way we do – Under a Blood Red Sky.

Plugged-In, being a multi-author blog, had already two posts this week. First, Saving Water with Wind by Melissa Lott, then Hello, Pale Blue Dot by David Wogan.

On PsiVid, our video blog, Joanne Manaster starts off with an interview – Introducing John Boswell – Creator of ‘Symphony of Science’.

 

Dividing cognitive labor, sharing a world: the American public and climate science. At Doing Good Science, Janet Stemwedel is already making us think!

David Bressan started us on a tour of History of Geology with The discovery of the periglacial realm.

 

Enceladus was a popular theme this week. First, in Cassini helps us peek underneath the surface of Enceladus, we get the intro to Basic Space by Kelly Oakes.

The next day, Enceladus again, with Smells Like the Beach by Caleb Scharf at Life, Unbounded.

 

Into the social realm, Krystal D’Costa kicks off her blogging at the new home of Anthropology in Practice with Shifting Stigmas: The Act of Crying in Public.

After a year on hiatus, Guilty Planet blog is back in full swing. Jennifer Jacquet made up for all this time we had to wait for her come-back, with The pros & cons of Amazon Mechanical Turk for scientific surveys.

At Symbiartic, the art blog, Glendon Mellow gets to go first. And he made an awesome image with embedded links in Science-Art: don’t call it “Art” – worth exploring the links and what it all means.

Lucas Brouwers at Thoughtomics begins with an end. The end of E. coli, that is.

 

In Seeing Schizophrenia Before It’s Too Late, the first of two parts, Ingrid Wickelgren, a SciAm MIND editor blogging at Streams of Consciousness, weaves science into a deeply personal story.

At The Urban Scientist, evolutionary biologist Danielle Lee comes out swinging! See: Why Kanazawa is wrong, and it’s not just because he dissed black women.

Now, looking at our old blogs, there is plenty new there as well. Jesse Bering has a new post up, shorter than his usual, but great fun: 18 Attributes of Highly Effective Liars.

John Horgan on Cross-Check continues to opine on free will in In Defense of Wishful Thinking.

 

Going back to a 1904 issue of Scientific American, Mary Karmelek finds Picture the Moon: A Look Back at Lunar Photographs.

 

On Extinction Countdown, John Platt looks at efforts to save a species – Last Wild Camels in China Could be Saved with Embryonic Transfer Technique Perfected in U.A.E..

Two new posts went up on the Expeditions blog: Dinosaur Egg Clutches, Not as Simple as Chicken Eggs by Hannah Susorney and Christi Lorang from the MSU China Paleontology trip, and William Gilly wrote Squid studies: Southward-bound; “We had all felt the pattern of the Gulf….”–J. Steinbeck and E. F. Ricketts, Sea of Cortez (Viking, 1941) from the deck of New Horizon.

The Observations blog was super-busy with many posts about the shuttle launch, but there was other stuff there as well, in case you missed it, for example a Katherine Harmon’s trifecta: Satisfaction With Job, Family and Sex Guard Against Signs of Heart Disease, Jaws did not dominate early oceans and Brain on beauty shows same pattern for art and music.

Finally, the Guest Blog was chock-full of incredible stuff this week. I can’t make myself leave anything out, so here are all of them:

Paris: City of lights and cosmic rays by Greg Gbur.

Scientists Discover That Antimicrobial Wipes and Soaps May Be Making You (and Society) Sick by Rob Dunn.

Technogenic Disasters: A Deadly New Normal for the Media by Rita J. King.

Does debt boost young people’s morale? by Rachel Nuwer.

The educational value of creative disobedience by Andrea Kuszewski.

Learning from Insect Swarms: Smart Cancer Targeting by Paige Brown.

Next generation: We want a spaceship, not a freight truck by Dave Mosher.

Now you know what to do over the next couple of days – there is so much great stuff to read! Have a great weekend, and keep checking the site – there will be more posts soon, on the Guest Blog over the weekend, and on the rest of the network next week.





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