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Post Archive
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December (1)November (5)

Holiday's and the news
Sunday, November 30, 2008

Send Science
Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Appears That Everything's Running Again
Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sorry about the downtime, Site e-mail is down!
Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ugh...Bad day. No news until tomorrow
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
October (5)

Results of the press release
Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Press Release Links
Thursday, October 16, 2008

The big announcement!
Monday, October 13, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

This week's chores
Thursday, October 2, 2008
September (3)

Like the new design?
Thursday, September 25, 2008

Added pictures to blogs
Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Busy week and lots of Updates
Sunday, September 21, 2008
August (2)

Only featured news today
Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sorry about the news lapse!!
Monday, August 4, 2008
June (1)May (4)

Busy Holiday!
Monday, May 26, 2008

New Ad Campaign This Week
Thursday, May 15, 2008

News Drama is solved. For now.
Monday, May 5, 2008

News may be in danger :(
Friday, May 2, 2008
April (4)

PR web wrap up
Monday, April 21, 2008

Middle of the PRweb Press Release Week
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Day 1 of the PRweb news Release
Sunday, April 13, 2008

Labspaces Blogs Up and Running
Sunday, April 13, 2008
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This is the LabSpaces site blog. You will find news and site updates here or posts on press or other coverage of the LabSpaces community

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Comment by Brian Krueger, PhD in Facebook Registration and Login Now Enabled

    $app_id = "YourAppID";    $app_secret = "YourSecretID";    $my_url = "http://www.thePageThatHandlesTheData.php";  . . .Read More
Aug 22, 2011, 8:05am
Comment by Camilo Niemeller in Facebook Registration and Login Now Enabled

Wow That's awesome!! Can you explain how you do it?? Because I want to do the same with my site and after many many hours in the facebook api, I can't achieve it. . . .Read More
Aug 21, 2011, 2:06am

no link . . .Read More
Feb 02, 2011, 10:45am

Link to anonymous blog . . .Read More
Feb 02, 2011, 10:30am

Link to facebook account . . .Read More
Feb 02, 2011, 10:29am
Awesome Stuff
Views: 1845 | Comments: 0
Well, it's that time of year again. It's the annual Donor's Choose drive to promote scientific literacy in grade school classrooms. The LabSpaces crew has once again teamed up to select a variety of projects to to fund to help bring new materials into classrooms to enrich students and their scientific education. Yesterday, we gave $60 to a project in Naples, FL to obtain microscopes and slides for an underpriviliged grade school classroom. The email message from the teacher was exceedingly heartwarming:

Dear Brian, Shanna Hodgson, Lauren Ledesma and CenturyLink,

I cannot thank you enough for your generous donation to my classroom! I can't wait to see the looks on my student's faces when I tell them what is on the way to our classroom! My students will be so excited to use this microscope! You just opened their eyes to science. We can't wait to get these great resources and put them to work in our classroom. Your genorosity means so much to my students and myself! Once again, thank you so much for opening up your hearts to my classroom. Words cannot express how grateful we are!

With gratitude,
Mrs. I

Giving to Donor's Choose is simple and every little bit helps. I ask you to please visit our giving page where we have selected 70 projects to highlight and hopefully get funded by the end of the month. I will be spotlighting my favorites over the coming weeks and working hard to bring science into these children's lives. Please help me by donating and forwarding this link to as many people as you can. It's for science :)

. . . More
Views: 6155 | Comments: 2
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Aug 22, 2011, 8:05am
I've spent the last few nights buried in Facebook's API figuring out how to use their system to login new users. I finally figured it all out and you can now Login to the site and register new accounts using Facebook. The coolest thing is that we can import your data in here for editing to make the registration process essentially hassle free. No one likes constantly entering their work and education information at each new network...

Existing users can now login to the site using Facebook AS LONG AS the primary email address on their facebook account is the same as their email address here. Just click the Facebook Login button, give the login app access to your account, and voila!

I've done some testing of the system but please let me know if you run into any errors and I'll be sure to fix them!

Next on the facebook list is to sync comments on the facebook page with the articles/blogs on the website and vice versa.

. . . More
Views: 1946 | Comments: 3
Last by h2so4hurts on Feb 02, 2011, 10:45am

This update was a long time coming but I finally sat down and coded in the ability to authenticate blog and news article comments using Facebook Connect. It was actually really easy once I started coding. It only took two hours!

For all of you anony bloggers and people who fly under a different "name" I've also given you the option to OPT OUT of displaying your real name and facebook page. Just enter a new handle and webpage URL and those will be used instead. Entering a different name will also prevent the posting of your facebook page link so you can stay anonymous yet skip the hassle of dealing with the CAPTCHAs.

And for all of you CAPTCHA lovers out there, you can still login that way. I just figure Facebook is much easier for everyone. I probably won't be adding google, openID, or twitter support any time soon.

Please test it out and let me know if you have any issues.

. . . More
Views: 717 | Comments: 1
Last by GUEST COMMENT on Nov 12, 2010, 7:43pm
This month's LabSpaces blogging theme is all about mentoring styles. The topic is pretty open ended, so we'll see where everyone ends up! We decided that the basic theme would be mentoring styles and we'd all write on the topic from our chosen perspective as mentee or mentor and then provide some insight on how we think the process can be improved upon. I'll keep updating this summary post as more entries go live! Happy reading.

Genomic Repairman kicked this one off early. He's off on his honeymoon but gave us a great post on his experiences as both mentee and mentor. Appearances by lazy PI, Awesome PI, and the amazing Genomic Repair Girl.

Dr. Girlfriend thinks that the mentee-mentor relationship should be an open one with mutual respect and the knowledge that the mentor is not all knowing, but there to provide some support and guidance as long as the mentee is willing to put in the effort

GertyZ thinks the mentor is there for support and the relationship . . . More
Views: 1348 | Comments: 0
This is a guest post by XrayManCoUk about his experiences as mentee and mentor as a crystallographer in the UK.

They say you never forget a good teacher but to be honest this is somewhat, erm, crap, you never forget a bad teacher either. So in short you never forget a teacher. Unless they were wholehearted bland. So this is wholly transferable to you never forget a good mentor or boss. In my somewhat chequered life I can remember the woes and follies of my supervisors and the purity and talents of my bosses. How I tried to learn from them and then put into practise their mistakes and triumphs.

My own experience as an underling

In academia we have always got some sort of hierarchy, the lecturer lectures to us via whichever medium they can utilise to get the job done. In my day blackboard and if lucky photocopied handouts, then OHP transparencies and photocopies of OHP transparency as handouts. Then came powerpoint and photocopies of powerpoint print outs, now a whole world of technology is there to transpose this information.

So whilst my PhD supervisors (I had two) had of course gone through this mellay of learning themselves, no one had really stopped along the way and given them a . . . More
Views: 539 | Comments: 19
Last by Lascap on Nov 03, 2010, 6:18pm
After 4 weeks of heated discussions and friend recruiting, our first iPad contest comes to a close with Jane De Lartigue coming out as the winner. In a close second was Nikkilina with Will rounding out third place. Nikki wins the LabSpaces runner up junk package while Will takes home the EtonBio junk package. Please message me your mailing information and I'll try to get those (and last month's, whoops) prizes out the door! For T-shirt selections, view the original prize package blog post here.

I'll be in contact with Jane to distribute her Apple Gift Card!

Stayed tuned for details on our next contest!

Again, thanks to BioKm for their generous contribution to this contest. You will be hearing more about them and their awesome on-line LIMS system, BioData, over the next few weeks as I review their product! Check it out, and . . . More
Views: 847 | Comments: 18
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Oct 26, 2010, 8:54am
There has been a lot of criticism again about why I post press releases on this website and what purpose they serve. PalMD of WhiteCoatUnderground and ComradePhysio Prof have been very vocal about their contempt for this practice on my website.

Let me first start off by saying that I entirely see where PalMD and CPP are coming from, although I think it’s disingenuous to comment about my intentions without first reading my post about why I post press releases. I’m trying to develop a site where the public and experts can come to discuss science. I would love to have experts rate the releases so that visitors can be better informed on their veracity. The fact is that thes . . . More
Views: 353 | Comments: 14
Last by Genomic Repairman on Oct 13, 2010, 2:41pm

In the spirit of all of the bribes and contests going on this month for DonorsChoose, I will donate all of the advertising revenue the site generates this month to the DonorsChoose campaign of the blogger who has the most blog views. Last month the site brought in $50 so there's at least $50 up for grabs! Happy blogging and may the best writer win!

The counts start retroactively from October 1st. I assume none of you will cheat and click on your own blog posts a billion and 12 times... Play nice.

To see the projects that we've selected to vet, please visit our donors choose page: HERE

Oh, and it's against the Google TOS for me to ask you to click on ads. So don't just randomly click on a bunch of ads that you wouldn't have clicked on before... Don't want to get in trouble with "the man."

. . . More
Views: 3540 | Comments: 82
Last by Nikkilina on Oct 21, 2010, 9:04am
With the completion of the September contest, I would like to up the ante a bit. Over the last few weeks I've been talking with the bloggers about ways we can increase readership and inspire greater interaction on the blog posts. We decided that it might be fun to try a high stakes contest. This month's contest will be for a basic Apple iPad! The bloggers have very generously donated over $300 to fund this contest and BioData the creators of BioKM are sponsoring us for the rest!. This is also my birthday month, so I thought it might be nice to do something extra special!

This contest will work similarly to the last one in which the user with the most points at the end of the month will win the grand prize. The two runners up will get the standard novelty junk package! So it's a win-win for everyone.

How Do I Earn Points

Earning points on the site is easy. First of all, you must be a . . . More
Views: 440 | Comments: 3
Last by Evie on Oct 01, 2010, 2:52pm
The winners of the September contest are Thomas Joseph in first place and Nikkilina in second!

Please pick your shirts and message me your address so I can get these prizes shipped out to you ASAP :)

L - For research only
M,L,XL - Got DNA

Please take some time to stop by the contest sponsors:

IDT DNA - - . . . More
Views: 8782 | Comments: 42
Last by Evie on Sep 21, 2010, 11:12am
Last night, I retweeted Genomic Repairman’s request for the twitterverse to sign up for an account at LabSpaces. He wanted users to join in on the discussions he was having in the group he created. We were greeted moments later by a tweet from DrugMonkey saying that THE Facebook for science is dead. Considering I just wrote a blog post on that exact topic, I found his tweet Ironic. The emphasis in that previous post being that there probably will never be ONE single social hub for scientists, but that doesn’t preclude the formation of multiple niche venues. Please excuse me while I get this out of my system:

(rant)What exactly is a FaceBook for science anyway? Is any site with a science spin, groups, a forum, and/or user profiles a “FaceBook.” If that’s the case, then there are hundreds of FaceBooks for science out there. I’d argue that the term is deprecated. Many sites employ social tool . . . More
Views: 4830 | Comments: 21
Last by JanedeLartigue on Oct 15, 2010, 12:49pm
I recently got an e-mail from David Bradley asking my opinion of Web 2.0 as it relates to science, where it’s heading, and how we can get scientists more involved in web 2.0 / data sharing / and the semantic web. I thought this would be a great topic for me to write a real post on since I’ve been involved in this field and trying to promote the ideas of web 2.0 in the sciences for the last 5 years.

For starters, I really have no idea what it will take to get scientists to be fully engaged with the on-line world. It's hard enough to get them engaged in the real world (I wish that was a joke…). I think for most scientists to get involved with a network, we're going to have to develop something that significantly increases scientific productivity, and I'm not talking just a free reference management site or being able to post lab retreat pictures to a profile. The last 4-5 years have showed us that scientists really are not interested in FaceBooks for science. The marginal success of ResearchGate, NatureNetwork, and LabSpaces can't be cited as triumphs because very little of wh . . . More
Views: 978 | Comments: 11
Last by Thomas Joseph on Sep 02, 2010, 11:56am
It's time for a contest, and not some lame contest where all you get is a crappily made t-shirt. This contest offers a treasure trove of novelty junk that could surely have bought Manhattan or some other island back in the early days of screwing over American Indians.

There are two prize packages to be had and these will be awarded to the two LabSpaces members who have the highest point totals for the month. Both of them are pretty damn sweet though.

Package #1 contains an IDT Lab notebook, 2 IDT clickable sharpies, an EtonBio Pen, an Invitrogen Pen, and Invitrogen Lanyard, two LabSpaces stickers, AND an freaking sweet LabSpaces coffee mug! I can see you drooling already. If you ask nicely, I might even autograph it for you...

Package #2 has 2 IDT clickable sharpies, an EtonBio Pen, an invitrogen Pen, an Invitrogen Lanyard, 2 LabSpaces stickers, an EtonBio color-changing coffee mug, AND a LabSpaces Bumper sticker!

Finally, you get to choose ONE of 4 different T-shirts (while supplies and sizes last).

I have a bunch of the IDT shirts in small, medium and large. I have various colors of the EtonBio shirts in small, medium and Large, and I have only XL Invitrogen shirts.

How do I e . . . More
Views: 148 | Comments: 0
I spent some time last night and today fixing up some high resolution images to upload to a Zazzle store. The bloggers have been nagging me for a junk shop pretty much since they started, so I figured it was important to them. I don't know about you all, but I'm definitely getting a mug or two and at least one shirt. Stop by the store and see the rest of the junk!

Zazzle Store

The 3 designs available are shown below. I'll add more later. I'm sure some LabSpaces Memes will show up in there too!

. . . More
Views: 654 | Comments: 2
Last by Nikkilina on Oct 31, 2010, 9:23pm
I was clued into a discussion earlier this morning by BiochemBelle about some misconceptions about what LabSpaces actually is. I will say that when I first read the comment by Ed Yong that LabSpaces is just another news aggregator (paraphrased) I was pretty upset. For one, the news (or "news") is only a small fraction of what LabSpaces is all about. If this was just a news site, I would have chosen to name the site "EurekAlert Science News Scraper". I thought that the vision of this site was covered pretty well in the "About" section, but Ed Yong is a busy guy and an all-star science writer/blogger, so I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt here. What follows is a mock interview with Ed, I hope you enjoy.

Ed Yong: What's the deal with the Press Releases, . . . More
Views: 536 | Comments: 13
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Aug 05, 2010, 8:14pm
This really is the story of my life. I meant to write this entry last Saturday when Genomic Repairman suggested we do a blog theme sometime next week. Of course I thought Monday was too early because I had a weekend of coding and lab work to get through, so I picked Tuesday...And here I am on Tuesday morning, writing this entry.

My scientific life really began when I was in junior high and got my first subscription to Discover magazine. At the time I didn't realize that most of the pieces in there were sensationalized glam science, but for a kid in junior high I found the research fascinating. I've wanted to do scientific research for a long time, and finally when I got the opportunity to get my hands dirty in undergrad, it really wasn't what I expected. I got a job at a USDA lab in Peoria, IL while studying biology at Bradley University. I was really excited until I found out that the bullshit job description they wrote up actually translated into "4hr a day indentured servant dishwashers." I did actually get to do some science there, but it wasn't enough for me to tell if I liked it enough to make science my career. So I went to graduate school to get a b . . . More
Views: 2052 | Comments: 0
Over the last year, there has been a question on the minds of thousands of people that continues to be for the most part unanswered: Why do disinfectants and hand sanitizers kill only 99.9% of germs and not the full 100%? Or, more succinctly, why is there always 0.1% survival? Many people have surmised that the 0.1% is due to the presence of those superbugs we keep hearing about. Others have suggested that the 0.1% is just not killable. Then there’s the suggestion that the 0.1% is just a way to keep the fear of germs in the mind of the public. While these may seem like good explanations, none of them are true.

As a microbiologist who has been involved in the testing of antimicrobial products, I’ve been testing disinfectants, hand soaps and hand sanitizers for years and I can tell you that both 99.9% and the resultant 0.1% is nothing more than a statistical anomaly.

When we do testing of these products, together known as antimicrobials, the goal isn’t to determine whether 100% is killed. We want to develop a statistical analysis to show that on a regular basis, the product will kill a certain amount of microbes. We accomplish this by using a certain amount of a particular bacterium, virus or fungi (what we call a challenge) that could never be 100% kil . . . More
Views: 218 | Comments: 0
I've been wanting to institute an awards system on the site for a while. It seems to be the "in" thing to do in social networking, plus it gives users a warm fuzzy feeling on the inside to be ranked and loved/hated by their peers.

The system is pretty simple. You get points for posting comments, submitting links, and getting "likes" from other users. You can lose points by being overly spammy/abusive and through dislikes by other members. It should be fun and interesting and hopefully its an incentive to spur discussions and get people to submit more external links! The top users each month and the top users of all time will have their names and a link to their profiles posted on the front page for everyone to see.

I'm going to use this month to work the bugs out of the system (I already fixed a few today!), but next month I will start dishing out swag from IDT, Invitrogen, and Eton Bio based on the points values each month. Happy posting :) I'll put up another blog post detailing the contest, rules, and post pictures of the various prize packages. I have a shelf full of pens, t-shirts, and other goodies! . . . More
Views: 475 | Comments: 0
Hopefully you noticed that I spent the last few days redesigning the website. It was long overdue. I was really tired of the look of the old website and it wasn't organized in a way that let you get at a good look at all of the news that was available on the site. I hope you agree that the new design is much less crappy than the old one. At the very least its cleaner and has more white space :)

I also decided to remove a few of the "features" i had programmed in before. I took out the citation manager because it really served no purpose other than to let you share and recommend citations to your friends and lab mates. I just saw it as a very watered down version of cite-u-like and I don't think it would get much use. Plus it took up a lot of valuable real-estate in the user navigation menu...

Additionally, I removed the blogs link. Previously I had allowed anyone with an account to have a blog, but more recently only spammers have been using it to post about casino deals or post lame press releases about healthcare technology. Sorry, but I'm not giving away free advertising! I have since decided to recruit a number of my scientist friends to write blogs for the website. I'll put up a more detailed post about who they are and what the . . . More
Views: 360 | Comments: 0
I came in to work on Friday morning to find that my database had reverted back to Thursday morning. I was kind of pissed. I checked my e-mail and found 180 e-mail messages from my web server telling me that it couldn't connect to the database... My webhost says they had a power outage for 30 minutes during a system backup and had to revert to the previous days database backup and couldn't get the old information for me. Not only that, but I submitted my problem ticket at 7am and didn't get a response until 4pm. I think I might be looking for a new webhost... Anyway, they said they're going to give me a free month. I think I'm going to start manually backing up the database everyday after I make my final news entries.

So now I had 2 whole days of lost data (I didn't post any news on Friday just in case they could restore the old database). That's about 4 hours of work and I just don't have the time for that. I spent yesterday adding a feature that's been nagging at me for a while. Until now I was manually cutting and pasting all of the press release information into my content management script. This meant that every press release took 2-3 minutes to format and add into the system. So on Saturday I programmed a page parser for my top top press release sources. . . . More
Views: 304 | Comments: 0
I took a bit of a turkey day break from the website. I drove home to visit the family for Thanksgiving and really didn't expect much news to be released on Thursday or Friday. I was wrong! I'm kind of behind and I have a ton of lab work today so I only have time to get the press releases up today. I'll continue with the normal rotation tomorrow. Enjoy the science! . . . More
Views: 371 | Comments: 0
LabSpaces is now available as a gift on facebook's Send Science!

I contacted the owner, Maria Praggastis, of the Facebook application Send Science and asked her if she'd add my website as a gift on her application. She thought it was a cool idea and now we're avaible as a facebook gift. Check out Send Science and help spread the word about LabSpaces at the same time!

You can also visit the Send Science application using the link in the site friends section. . . . More
Views: 932 | Comments: 0
Looks like everything worked itself out. E-mail is back up and running.

Turns out that any request using the function fopen in PHP was also not functioning properly. That means that anything with recaptcha and my pubmed search did not function properly. That got fixed after about an hour... Haha, these experiences really make me want to get out of shared hosting, but that's expensive :(

I also fixed a bug with the news. Apparently news links from the comments section of web articles didn't link to the right sites. I figured it out and now the all work. It just makes me wonder how long that was broken... . . . More
Views: 305 | Comments: 0
The site has been down since 12am today and just came on-line now at 9:30am. Sorry for the down time. Apparently a router at my webhost blew up, and then the backup router failed. This was all on top of maintenance last night to replace a failing hard drive on the server. It looks like everything is back up and running again though. News might be a little slow today since I lost an hour this morning :(

Site e-mail is still down. If I get any new registrars I'll forward the information to you from my Uiowa address for the time being. It seems that the e-mails are "sent" but they're instantly rejected and bounce back to my site account. Very odd, but they're supposedly working to fix it. . . . More
Views: 377 | Comments: 0
It's been a long day. I was hoping to get a lot done on the plane today and have the news up during my layover in Detroit, but it wasn't to be. I was heading to the Mountain Lake Meeting on Transcription Termination this morning and started the day off by leaving my poster at the security desk and then dropping my laptop on the floor while being pushed through the line by the TSA. I sat down to try to abuse the internet and found that my computer started but the monitor didn't fire up. That's bad news for a lot of down time and plane flights...

So I spent 5 hours this morning twiddling my thumbs on the plane and during my layover in Detroit. The up shot is that the airline found my poster and threw it on the next plane out. The only problem is that the next flight came in 3 hours after we landed and my boss needed to be at the meeting early to set up since he was an organizer. That meant I got to ride an hour to the hotel with him, then hop back in the car to drive back to the airport to get my poster. Fun times... The bonus is that I got back to the airport early enough to run to home depot for a screw driver. I sat in the airport with my computer in pieces(I'm sure people were excited about that..) and finally got it all working again(I managed to jostle the . . . More
Views: 367 | Comments: 0
The results of the press release have been great. The story will run for a week as the cover story of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine web page. I was also contacted by a laboratory publication and they will be running an article about my site as a companion to a featured article of there's talking about how scientists can use social tools to better science. It'll be interesting to read about some of their ideas. I also got a few phone calls and e-mails from journal publishers that may be interested in supporting the site. This would be really great for the site and hopefully drive more users here. More details about these talks later if they actually flesh out. I'm pretty excited about it!

I think I'm going to start a new blog series that reviews the other social networks in the scientific community. A new one springs up just about every month and from my experience in perusing them (you always have to keep an eye on the competition ;) ) I have found them to be severely lacking in content and avenues for communication in the sciences. Haha, of course I'm slightly biased, but I think it would be fun to do a blog series comparing their technologies to mine. . . . More
Views: 379 | Comments: 0
Here are the first 2 links:

Iowa City Press Citizen

UIowa Release Site

I was informed today that it will be posted to EurekAlert and Newswise (My two main featured article sources). This could generate a huge amount of buzz about the site. I'm EXTREMELY excited to see what happens over the next week (I hope my web host doesn't crash :P).

I'll Update this post throughout the week with more links.

Newswise link is up:

EurekAlert denied it because "they don't accept articles about websites." Haha, maybe that came about as a result of the little discussion Patrick McGinness and I had about using them as a source... Oh well, I've seen plenty of articles come out of them that are about websites, so this smells very fishy to me. . . . More
Views: 423 | Comments: 0
About a month ago I contacted the University of Iowa press office about the website. I told them I wasn't sure if it was what they would consider "news," and pitched them a small blurb about the site. To my surprise they were excited enough about it to send over a reporter from their office to interview me for a press release. I got the proof of the press release on Thursday, made a couple of minor edits, and it will be released this Thursday (Oct 16). They're also going to make the article that was written about the site a featured article on the Carver College of Medicine homepage!

I'm really excited to see who I hear from on Thursday and Friday. Hopefully the press release generates a lot of interest and gets more people on here to help me further develop the site into a useful scientific community.

I'll post some links on Thursday. It might be tacky if I run the press release as a featured article on my website ;) . . . More
Views: 751 | Comments: 0
I added this missing functionality today. Now you can add YouTube videos. Just take the embed code from YouTube, paste it in, and it will be activated. I have it set so you can't change any of the parameters, so don't change the default embed size or all of the code will be removed from the post (Changing the color skin or adding related videos at the end is ok though!).

You can use this functionality to post cool science videos to your blog, use it to video blog on the site, or post video lectures. If you can do it on youtube, you can post it here. Be creative! Oh, you can also post youtube videos in all comment sections on the site :)

Above is a sample video of my fish tank before I got Spike. I guess I should take a new video ;) Maybe I'll wait until the tank is done and I have my shrimp and banggai cardinals in there! . . . More
Views: 446 | Comments: 0
This week I'm cleaning up some loose ends. I've noticed a lot of human generated spam lately. People seem to like to register and post about their awesome casino site. Well, that's all over now. I added a "Recent Activity" panel to my admin console. Now I can automatically see the most recent posts and delete them at will if they're full of spam... Thanks for forcing me to do this spammers, it's been on my to do list for months.

I'm also working on adding a citation manager to the site this week. In this section you'll be able to categorize and organize all of your favorite citations into specific folders. You'll also be able to recommend papers to the community and your friends :) Maybe in the future I'll allow the uploading of personal PDFs, but I'd have to look into copyright policies about that. I wouldn't allow sharing, it'd be more like your own personal internet hard drive. I don't know how useful that'd be though. SO any input would be great!

The video conferencing application is coming along nicely. I'm hoping to have it done by the end of the month. The only thing that's going to suck is paying for the streaming host :( Anyway, more about that in the coming weeks!

I also have a big announcement tomorrow, I think... At least I . . . More
Views: 566 | Comments: 0
I've been working on a few redesign ideas in my head. I really didn't like the layout of the front page, so I changed it :) I think this look is a little cleaner and less busy. I also like dividing up the featured articles and the main stream news articles. I like parts of this layout, but don't be surprised if I tweak it some over the next couple of days :)

There's a pretty cool announcement coming early next week. I'll post about it then!

Let me know what you think of the new layout. . . . More
Views: 1044 | Comments: 0
I thought it was kind of dumb how I didn't host user images. I have 100 gigs of space and I'm using 100mb of it. I figure I can afford a little disk space for small user images, so I added the functionality! You can now upload images for your blog entries. The maximum size for these is 300px. You can link to the full resolution images. If 300px isn't big enough for you, you can insert a larger image hosted on your own image server :P

Maybe one of these days I won't be the only person blogging on here!

Oh, and I started work on the videoconferencing server. Should be up and running in a few weeks! Now if only I could afford the streaming server... . . . More
Views: 477 | Comments: 0
This weekend I cleaned up a few loose ends on the website. I reformatted the Lab profile and group pages because they weren't looking that great. Having the blue bordered boxes around everything really threw off the design. I'll probably do another major design overhaul eventually.

I reordered the groups section of the site. It guess I didn't realize how stupid it was to not list out all the groups and categorize them when I first made that module. Haha, I simplified it immensely now. You can page through all of the groups or sort them by categories and subcategories. You can actually find them now without randomly searching... Yeah, I was dumb.

I also did away with the general "group comment" section and stuck my forum script into the group section. Now each group has its own discussion forum. It's pretty slick and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

The big project this weekend was adding pubmed search to the site! Now you don't have to manually type in all of your pubmed information for your publications. You can either search for your name and select the right citations, or you can batch upload all of your citations by pubmedID. That makes things WAY easier. Since I spent 3 hours yesterday learning how to parse XML through PHP I'm . . . More
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I tore my last contact lense the other day and had to get an eye exam this morning and then had to go to the bank to work out some stuff. I had to postpone doing the news until 12, amazing that those two things took up 3 hours of my morning. Anyway, I don't have time to read the mainstream news today, so those links will have to wait until tomorrow! Enjoy the featured articles though. . . . More
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I went to my sister's wedding this weekend (thurs-mon) and didn't have a whole lot of time to do the news. The wedding was a great time though! The news should be back on schedule tomorrow. I'm only going to post press releases today (Tuesday), though because I need to catch up on some lab work after taking 4 days off! Haha, the life of a lab slave! . . . More
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This past week I found a couple of Social networks for the sciences that have launched in the last few months. One was advertising itself as the "First" social network for the sciences, although its only been live for a month. I went live in the summer of 2006, Nature's goofy little network went live in December of 2006, followed by Biomed Experts and Researchcrossroads in January. So it seems that I have a little bit of competition out there (Although I'm ahead of all but 2 in Alexa rankings...) That just means I have to be more creative than them. I think I'm capable :)

This next ad campaign is going to focus on the things that have worked for me in the past, I'm just going to multiply the monetary input by a factor of...haha, I guess I won't let too many secrets out.

I also have some other more inventive plans floating around in my head. More about those in a few weeks! Enjoy the news and tell your friends! . . . More
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Sorry about the lapse in news publishing. I don't feel too terrible because Friday and Monday were both really slow news days. There will, however, probably be twice as much news today just because of how the holiday worked out.

Enjoy the news! . . . More
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I decided to do a little more advertising this week. I'm still running this site on a shoestring budget but I decided $60/month in advertising is doable.

I'm currently running a $40 Fark ad for the week. You can see it Here.

In addition I decided to test out StumbleUpon's ad service. Now if you don't know what StumbleUpon is, I encourage you to check them out because it really is a genius concept. The site is typical social bookmarking site with the small exception that it relies on a Fire Fox browser plug-in. This plug-in basically gives you a direct connection to stumbleupon and adds a set of buttons to your tool bar for looking up new websites. The cool part is that there's a randomizer button that you click and it takes you to a random site (with in a bunch of preferred categories that you set). Now, you can also pay for stumbles, which is what I have done. Feedback has been pretty positive so far, so hopefully this helps spread the word.

I also made a Facebook group and a . . . More
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Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on May 14, 2008, 8:18pm
I hadn't heard from the director of EurekAlert for the past few days, so yesterday I e-mailed their communications officer again to find out what was going on. I hadn't heard anything by the middle of the day today, so I gave them a call. I got a hold of the communications officer and he told me that he really couldn't talk about their decision and the director was making a judgment call. That sounded really bad so I spent a little time today compiling the e-mail address of every media relations director at every institution I posted a release from over the past week. I sent them all a precautionary request asking for permission to republish their releases on my site. The response was an overwhelming "YES," however, the Field Museum and Columbia University had reservations about it and I'm still in talks with both institutions.

I think it's kind of crazy they'd object to free PR on a website that targets their audience specifically. Yes, I understand that the essence of a press release is to get some reporter to call the scientist and interview him and blah blah blah, but the majority of these press releases are stand alone articles. All the journalist is going to do is reword some of the sentences and republish it.

The director did get back to me today; . . . More
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I got an e-mail from the director of EurekAlert on Friday, Patrick McGinness. I was inquiring about advertising on their website and as it turns out, the lady who runs the advertising was out of town. Patrick answered my e-mail instead and informed me that he thought I was in violation of their site usage. Here's his e-mail to me:

I took a minute to visit your website, however, and came away a little confused as to what it is. On the surface, it looks like a science news site, which is something we typically wouldn't accept advertising for, given that we're a science news service ourselves. If that's not the case, and if you can explain the site a little more to me, that might be helpful.

I also noticed that you are using EurekAlert! as a news source for your science news headlines. This is certainly allowed, as long as it complies with our usage policy. The way you are currently using our content doesn't fully comply, though. Specifically, we require that you link to our content directly, like your site currently does for other news sources, instead of cutting-and-pasting our content into your pages. In addition, the credit should be listed everywhere as "EurekAlert!, a service of the American Association for the Advancement of . . . More
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Well, its been a little less than 2 weeks since I spent $200 on a PRweb news release. I thought the release was well written and on an interesting topic, but I guess it didn't grab the attention of the PRweb subscribers. I should have been tipped off that this might be a problem since a large number of the releases on that site are for tech items. Haha, or maybe people just don't care about a science social network. I won't give up just yet though, but here are the stats.

-177 visits from PRweb clicks
-That's $1.30 per click (ouch, my google average is $0.20)
-4 new 'users' ($25 per new user, bigger ouch)
-PRweb says the article was read on their site 1034 times(which means only 17% of those viewers clicked over to my site)
-The news article was displayed 75,000 times over news feeds and 30,000 times on the PRweb main page

For a comparison...

My $160 Yahoo! Campaign ($100 of that was free introductory advertising)
-142,000 impressions (the ads have been show that many times)
-1,100 clicks and an average of $0.12 per click
-The 'new' users from above may actually be a result of this campaign, well, we know at least one of them wasn't

So sadly, I didn't get even a hundredth of the exposure I was hoping for out of t . . . More
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Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Apr 22, 2008, 2:00pm
I initially got 300 extra clicks from my $200 investment. That's about $1 a click or a really bad day with google Adwords. I guess I shouldn't have expected a whole lot out of the release, but I was hoping it'd be picked up by at least a few science blogs or something.

The next phase of my advertising campaign is going to be a little more local I think. I e-mailed my press release to all of the area newspapers. I remember a few weeks back the Des Moines Register ran a story about some guy's car washing business. Hopefully they'll be interested in some graduate student's internet business :) I'm also looking to do some table spamming on Monday all over the medical campus. Look for my signs. My latest plan is to get a local following from Iowa on the site and then maybe that will attract other users to stop by and comment or sign up for an account.

Looks like it's back to Yahoo!, Google, and Fark ads :(

. . . More
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I spent the last month or so researching some good ways to promote the site. I had been using google adwords, but I got very mixed results and had few users stick around for more than one or two clicks (that was also back when the site was the "green monster" so who knows if I'd have better luck now).

More recently, I have read a bunch of blog articles about how using a PRweb news release drove new users to their site during their initial launch. I figured I'd give it a try. And wrote a news release: See it here. It got a 5 out of 5 editorial score which I'm not completely sure what that means, but I assume its good (or just a result of me spending $200 on the release...). The release went live this morning at 12am and I've seen a marginal increase in the amount of traffic to the site, and unfortunately most of them are one clickers :(

Hopefully things pick up a bit over the next few weeks as a result of the news release being posted to multiple news feeds. I'd hate to think I blew $200 :( I'll save my final verdict for next Monday. So stay tuned and I'll post the stats! Cross your fingers for me though, I think I� . . . More
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I have finally added blogs to the website. Now you can write your own blogs that relate to the news stories on this site.

In the future (like later this week):

add RSS feeds for all bloggers blogs
Add blogger links to link to outside sources

When I get more time (and more server space):
Allow picture uploads and image hosting

Test out the blogs for me and let me know if you find any bugs. I'm always looking for good suggestions for improving the site!

-Brian . . . More