Jacks of Science Blogging Experiment Failure

May 31st, 2008
Maddened Scientist

Jacks of Science is a bit of an experiment.

I hypothesized that the site would become a flourishing group science blog as far back as 2006.

To observe this desired blog state I devised a simple theory. I would mix a solution from a staff of student bloggers in different fields such as Physics, Biology, Geology, and Chemistry.

Would I be able to find reactants that formed a homogeneous mixture or a highly reactive substance on the brink of explosion?! Even if I found writers that worked coherently together, would I continue to get decent results over time?

I figured that the greatness of Jacks of Science would be directly correlated with post diversity. Many authors would lead to diversity in post subject matter, writing style, humor, complexity, geekiness, and length. However, in theory, things are much different than in experiment. As you may have noticed, this diversity of authors ended up just being a diverse range of posts authored by me. I didn’t follow through on my original plan of finding other writers since I was busy trying to become a better blogger myself.

The original intention of the site has been lost but, 102 posts later, as my domain renewal date draws nearer, you’re looking at the results of the Jacks of Science experiment. Full of random art doodled on my class notes (which now includes my 1st and 2nd year!), to pro-piracy open science discussion, to science DJ mixes, to my most popular article: Science Valentines.

So I’m trying to draw some conclusions about the data so far. As far as the traffic indicates the site is growing in popularity but I’m just not sure if things are working out. Blogging is a lot of fun, but the Jacks of Science initiative, as originally imagined, has been stagnant for some time. It doesn’t seem to be going anywhere for a variety of reasons off the top of my head.

No clear audience that I’m writing for!
No incentive for new writers to be part of the site!
I can only post once a week by myself (quality over quantity)!
Science is boring (and thus cannot reach a wide enough audience)!
My single column blog theme is too narrow!
So the Jacks of Science domain expiry date is June 8th, does anyone have any suggestions or should JOS expire peacefully on its 2nd birthday? Comment or email me at science AT DOMAIN NAME jacksofscience DOT com
Perhaps I should start fresh on a new blog of my own (just imagine “Jack of Science” with blogging about about normal things too). Perhaps I should contribute to an existing blog? Perhaps quit blogging and focus on real hobbies that make you money like wood carving or online poker? Perhaps quit using the internet all together! OMG this is turning into my quarter life crisis, help me out!
Posted by Chris Filed in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, General, Math, Physics
6 Responses to “Jacks of Science Blogging Experiment Failure”
Kevin H Says:
May 31st, 2008 at 8:47 pm
Don’t be a quitter! I’ll eventually get around to finishing my post 🙂
JOS has been consistent and great… unlike my own neglected blog where consistency is as far removed as possible :p

Patrick M Says:
May 31st, 2008 at 9:17 pm
Seems to be in the air lately; one of the other blogs in my RSS feeds just posted this today: http://pruned.blogspot.com/2008/05/geoff-manaugh-has-plan.html

Perhaps a sub-blog let off steam and formulate the more complete posts?

It’s terrible to keep your thoughts pent up just because you’re holding JoS to a certain quality standard. At the same time, admittedly, if I’ve got 68 or whatever blogs in my RSS feeds, I’m going to want more signal and less noise. I’d rather see one using-photoshop-to-measure-things post a week than five gee-I-bought-new-shoes posts a week, you know?

You and your crew can definitely contribute some intriguing things when you’re ready. The experiment should go on! Maybe change some parameters here and there, though. (Also, it’s usually a bitch to get your old domain after letting it lapse, so I’m not sure I recommend letting that happen. It should ‘only’ be about seven bucks depending on your registrar.)

Eva Says:
May 31st, 2008 at 11:22 pm
For what it’s worth:
I can’t keep up with all of the science blogs out there, so in my RSS reader I have two lists: “Science blogs”, which contains all that I want to read, and “science favourites”, which contains only about 10 must-read blogs, and yours is one of them. Others include the SEED weekly summary, Carl Zimmer’s The Loom, and the Science Creative Quarterly. So in the tiny piece of the internet that is my private RSS reader you’re on par with these blogs.

Lisa Says:
June 2nd, 2008 at 9:26 pm
do NOT quit the internet!

Chris Says:
June 5th, 2008 at 2:29 am
Thanks Jacks of Science believers!

ChabrellIgan Says:
April 17th, 2009 at 5:28 am
God dag! Kan jag ladda ner en bild fran din blogg. Av sak med hanvisning till din webbplats!

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