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Guest blog? Please read.

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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Guest blog? Please read.
Tue, Jan 18, 2011, 6:57 pm CST

Namnezia posted a few days ago that he thinks we should have a guest blog here.  I thought it sounded like a great idea.  We could use it as a recruiting tool and as a way to extend our hand to other networks and bloggers.

Since one of the main criticisms of the departing bloggers was that they wanted more of a say in who got added, we could use the guest blog as a space for auditions as well.  We can then discuss the new bloggers via e-mail or I can create a private forum for these discussions. I really never meant for anyone to think they weren't included in these decisions.  I just assumed that the inactivity on the googledocs sheet meant that people really didn't care.

We can use the current googledocs spreadsheet for vetting guest bloggers and I can send them an e-mail asking if they are interested in posting.  We'll just have to be sure to make it clear on the spread sheet if the person is up for an audition or if it's only a visiting guest post.

I thought the blog name could be "Dangerous Experiments."

Please give me any thoughts on this.  I haven't recieved any emails about changes people would like to see (just apologies for not posting and emails of support).  I hope I'm not wrongly assuming that everyone is happy with how things are being run.

 


Thomas Joseph
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Tue, Dec 14, 2010, 11:34 am CST

For the record, I am happy with how things are being run. I think we should have an avenue to discuss new bloggers privately. A private forum would be nice ... I tend to forget about GoogleDocs, but I'm open to either and will try to adjust my habits correspondingly.


Evie
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Tue, Dec 14, 2010, 12:17 pm CST

I'm w TJ. Awesome work Overlord.


genegeek
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Tue, Dec 14, 2010, 12:42 pm CST

Sounds good to me


Lab Mom
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Tue, Dec 14, 2010, 8:23 pm CST

I agree with the PPs.

I also think the privacy of a bloggers forum would make it easier (for me.. I speak only for myself) to be comfortable bringing forward any gripes about the network without it feeling like airing dirty laundry..

As for the guest blogger spot.. I am 100% for it.  I also like the idea that those who don't want to commit to full time blog (again only speaking for myself) to be semi-regulars there.


Gerty-Z
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Sat, Dec 18, 2010, 3:37 pm CST

For the record, I am a little peeved about many (perhaps all?) of the same things that were bothering Tideliar et al. I'm sorry that I haven't been so outspoken, but when he and Dr. Becca  would always point out these things so I felt like I didn't really need to. That was lazy of me, I admit. I'm glad that you separated "living LabSpaces" from your personal blog, I think that is a step in the right direction. I would like to suggest that we, as a group, institute a No Censoring policy as well. I didn't even realize that some comments had been deleted (I have a day job and all).

As for the new bloggers, I was lead to believe that the current writers would all have a chance to have a say about who was contacted, etc. I took this to mean that there would be an attempt at a "vote" of some sort BEFORE new bloggers were contacted. Just adding a name to the spreadsheet doesn't really seem like gathering opinions from the writers so much as just telling me what is going to happen. I have a similar view about "guest blogs". I like the idea in principle. It seems to be catching on (I believe Occam's Typewriter has a "guest" spot). But, again, I think that we should have a chance to express opinions about who may be invited to write one. It seems there are already a lot of folks lined up on the spreadsheet. I don't even know who half of them are. Is Brian the one sending out the invites? Or can anyone? If this is actually a conversation with (and not at) the writers, then I wish we could slow down a bit and have a chance to have a discussion.


Evie
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Sat, Dec 18, 2010, 3:53 pm CST

Gerty, I added 4-5 people on the bottom left of the googledocs as people who would be happy to contribute a one time guest post. This does not mean they have been asked to do so. This just means that they are people that I find interesting, that I think would have a fun science-y post to add, who are totally willing to write one up, in the event that they are asked. I added their twitter names, so you can easily find them and see who they are, what they do.


Suzy
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Sat, Dec 18, 2010, 7:45 pm CST

Brian sent out an email a while ago with a long list of names of people - people that were referred to him or people he thought were interesting. I went through the entire list, clicked each link, read an article on every blog, then sent him the names of the blogs I thought were really different and interesting.

Some of them have since become writers on the site.

Brian has communicated with all of us about new bloggers- maybe not as often as people would like. Maybe he should have sent everyone a second narrowed list of writers that made the first cut so people have a chance to respond or add to it. I still don't understand the overwhelming need for people to "approve" new science bloggers. What is the worry?  

 I am fine with any and all bloggers on this site. I don't care if you write once a week, once a month or once every 6 months. I don't feel that another writer's opinions or blogging reflects on me at all. This is simply a community for scientists who like to write and we have our own little labspace where we get to experiment with writing topics and styles and have some fun in our spare time.

I would enjoy reading any guest bloggers contributions as well. I've been trying to entice a few people to try out blogging because I think they have experiences that others could learn from. So maybe I can bring in some new talent and give them the writing bug through LabSpaces. But don't worry- I'll let you all know first.

 


Evie
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Sun, Dec 19, 2010, 7:07 am CST

I'm w Jade. Happy to have anyone who wishes to contribute. Not concerned as to what their work would potentially imply about me.

 

 

 


Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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Sun, Dec 19, 2010, 8:28 pm CST

The guest blog is just an incubator.  If someone puts a name on the list on the google docs sheet, I'll invite the vetted person to write a post.  I didn't think this was going to be a problem since anyone can put a name on the list.  You all are also open to use your own blogs to invite people to give guest posts.  I've done this twice with my blog, and GR did this to promote Thomas Joseph.  If we like what the person blogs about, we can talk further in the private forum about them and have a real discussion and a vote if that's necessary.  It's totally informal.  I don't see any harm inviting unknowns or people who have never blogged to post on the guest blog.  It's a space for experimentation.  I think more scientists would blog if they realized how easy and enriching the process was.  Of course, we'll be inviting established bloggers to post too, but I'd like to see them use different media forms or write on a topic outside of their comfort zone, again, another experiment.  I don't think the goal of the guest blog should be to only highlight already great bloggers who are well established.  That only helps us and doesn't open the door to other people.

I will always censor trolls on my blog posts if they have nothing to say and only coerce arguments. Trolling has no place on the internet.  It's cancer. I will not tolerate personal attacks on me or anyone else.  If people don't have constructive comments and only comment to disparage me or the website, their comments will be deleted.  This is one of the few things I will not compromise on.  Everyone is welcome to control their comments however they see fit.  I can count the number of posts I have deleted on one hand, and half of those were made by the same person.

I didn't have time this weekend to code the private forum.  I'll try to get to it one night this week!

BTW, no oen on the list currently is auditioning.  They're just guest posts, but if someone stands out we can talk about sending an invite if everyone agrees!  So Gerty, Everyone gets a say in who they would like to guest post, and they also get a vote on if someone new can join (if we're interested in bringing it to a discussion).


Gerty-Z
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Tue, Dec 21, 2010, 11:47 am CST

Brian: I don't have a problem with running the gues blogs that way (i.e. anyone can invite, keeping it informal). I would like to make the point that none of this was clear to me. I would hope after the recent exodus of writers that we could work together to avoid these sorts of miscommunications. As for censoring, if you have a "policy" about this, then that is fine. I think in the interest of transparency and fairness that this policy should be clearly articulated and uniformly applied. As it is, it seems like you only censor the things you don't like or points of view that do not agree with you. For instance, you did not delete comments that had nothing to add except a jab at "not liking Scicurious". Nor did you remove the totally inappropriate (and intentional) trolling of GR and Tideliar on your cheerleaders piece. I don't see how either of those added anything to the comments except for trying to start an argument. Finally, I think that who is part of LabSpaces can reflect on the rest of us. I don't really care about how frequently people post. But I do care about who else is a writer here, because the company I keep DOES reflect on me. When you asked me to join I was told me that the current writers had some say in who would be invited. I understand that this is your deal, so you can do what you want. But if we are all going to be separate and individual bloggers just hosted under a LS banner, then I think there should be a statement to that effect, similar to what Scientopia has on its home page.


Odyssey
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Wed, Dec 22, 2010, 1:15 pm CST

I'm with G-Z on this. Frankly, I would very much prefer that there be no censorship. I believe our readers are smart enough to be able to figure out who's trolling. But if you insist on some form of censorship it should be clearly laid out and uniformly applied. No exceptions.

I also believe that, as a collective, the writings of eacher blogger do reflect somewhat on all of us. Indeed, the reputation of LabSpaces as a whole effects our blogging reps. I seriously thought about leaving when GR and Tideliar trolled the science cheerleaders thread.


Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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Wed, Dec 22, 2010, 3:09 pm CST

I totally agree with both of you.  My personal policy should be applied uniformly.  For the record, I have only deleted posts that were no substance personal attacks.  I've left other more critical posts up if they've actually contained an argument.  On the particular comment thread in question, I refrained from deleting those posts because I knew it would spark yet another sub argument about censorship and I really didn't want the comment thread to get that far off topic.  Probably a bad decision on my part.

I also think that we are all representatives of this group and the things we say reflect on one another.  I just don't think there's anyone here that says or does anything that negatively reflects on the community.  If you think differently, please e-mail me and let me know how we can fix that.  I think the new audition and group vote policy should prevent the addition of any questionable personalities to the site.

Keep the thoughts and suggestions coming!


Dr. O
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Wed, Dec 22, 2010, 3:11 pm CST

Agreed with Gerty and Odyssey on the trolling/censorship, and I especially wondered why the comments by GR and Tideliar on that thread weren't removed when others were. It's a hard balance to walk when removing comments, so a solid, consistent policy should be put in place if it's going to be the way of things. I've always had issues with trolling by certain readers, but I think everyone knows who those people are and what they're like - and their comments are often taken with a grain of salt. I think we also need to be careful about remembering that some of those commenters had genuine points, even if they went to extreme measures to make them. We're all in the game of grabbing attention with our writing - some of the commenters/bloggers in our 'sphere tend to take it a little (or lot) further. I don't want LabSpaces to get the reputation of being thin-skinned, which is what seemed to happen when some of those harsher comments were being made.


Evie
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Wed, Dec 22, 2010, 4:06 pm CST

I disagree. I see no reason at all to allow personal attacks on anyone. We do not need to cater to those other bloggers/trolls simply because they feel like spewing hate.

On topic comments, no matter how harshly stated is one thing. Direct off topic personal attacks is quite another.

 

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