… ensure that the results of science are rapidly disseminated to the public throughout the world, in a fashion that conveys their significance for knowledge, culture and daily life … (from Nature’s original mission statement)
We launched a new blogs portal on nature.com earlier this week. It’s part of a general overhaul of blogging at NPG which amongst other things involves link backs from articles to the blog posts writing about them (bloggers get traffic, our readers get conversation around papers – works for us both) and improving the blogging experience for users on Network.
I’ll skip the PR blurb in favour of some good old fashion techie bullet points:
- Nature Blogs is a blogroll of good quality science blogs (quality is a relative term, but there’s no spam or pseudoscience and little press release regurgitation)
- To get onto the blogroll you need to submit your blog
- You can log in to the site with your Network or nature.com username and password then claim any blogs that you own.
- The blogroll is moderated by the community (once you’ve submitted and claimed a blog you get to vote on submissions)
- To be included in link backs from articles you need to be on the blogroll
- It uses Scintilla to aggregate posts from all of the blogs on the blogroll
- then clusters them into stories – groups of related posts.
- We’re trying out Twitter as an alternate view on the stories data – if you follow the NatureBlogs user then a couple of times a week it’ll point you to particularly interesting stories you might have missed. You can also find twittering bloggers by watching NatureBlogs’ following list.
- It uses Connotea’s WebCite web service to work out what links in posts are to scientific articles.
We’re just getting started and there’ll be more developments as other aspects of NPG’s blogging strategy come together.
The next release in a couple of weeks will focus on usability issues and bugs – we know there are a few! – and on the API, which I hope you’ll find useful in your own sites and mashups. Some undocumented previews (schemas and content are liable to change):
- download blogroll in CSV format for your own projects
- link to page of posts talking about the paper with DOI 10.1136/bmj.a1938
- that data in JSON format
- and in Atom
I’m keen to hear any criticisms, bug reports and feature requests – as blog readers you are the target audience after all – so do feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message natureblogs on Twitter with your feedback!