Friday links: Merry Christmas to us, and more

I know I said we weren’t going to post over the holiday, but here are a couple of timely links for your Boxing Day pleasure:

#bakeyourstudyorganism: bison cookies!

Paige Brown Jarreau recently finished a survey of over 600 science bloggers on why and how they blog. One question she asked was what science blogs they read. The top answers, in order: Ed Yong’s Not Exactly Rocket Science, Ben Goldacre’s Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy, Carl Zimmer’s The Loom…and us! We’re totally chuffed, and totally shocked, to be so popular with our fellow bloggers. Merry Christmas to us! πŸ™‚

Continuing with Paige Brown Jarreau’s first-pass analyses of her survey, here’s a figure illustrating a network analysis of the science blogs science bloggers read, with the nodes sized by in-degree. Just a first pass, so don’t take it as the final word (e.g., there are several blogs split between two nodes, due to stuff like typos by survey respondents). And I’m not familiar with the algorithm used to generate the network, so I don’t know what the links represent or how the nodes were colored. But it’s still fun to look at; I plan to use it to identify some new blogs to check out in the new year.



7 thoughts on “Friday links: Merry Christmas to us, and more

  1. I know this survey isn’t a random sample of any well-defined population, but I still can’t get over how we outrank even much more widely read blogs. We’re above Scientific frickin’ American (or any of the individual blogs it hosts)! Retraction Watch! DrugMonkey! SciCurious! Prof-Like Substance! RealClimate! Southern Fried Science! Deep Sea News! Pharyngula! Evolution is True!

    I can only assume that the fix was in and Terry McGlynn filled out the survey 74 times, then forgot to ask us to reciprocate. πŸ™‚

    In seriousness, presumably it just shows that science bloggers are a tiny fraction of the total audience of most any science blog, and have quite different reading habits than the bulk of blog readers. For instance, Deep Sea News is aimed at the general public, Pharyngula and Evolution is True are aimed at a rather specific subset of the general public, etc.

    Indeed, I wonder if the blogs that rank highest in this survey, relative to the size of their overall audience, are the blogs that write about scientific topics at the most advanced level. Us, Neuroskeptic, Andrew Gelman (who’ll show up even bigger once his two nodes are aggregrated)–what we have in common is that we’re writing for a professional audience. (Actually, it’s probably it’s not as simple as that, because if you write at too advanced a level, on topics that are too specialized, no one but a few specialists will read you.)

    The survey asked questions about this, so presumably it’s something the survey results will address.

    In any case, I remain very flattered that so many of our fellow bloggers think so highly of us!

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