Thursday, July 29, 2010

Proposal for organizing science blog networks

I’ve been pondering the questions raised in Dave Munger’s post about how to aggregate science blogs in the absence of one central authority. In the middle of the second chapter of Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody, I realized that there’s no real need for a central authority to aggregate blogs; the tools exist for bloggers to do it themselves. Credit for the solution I’m about to propose goes to my boyfriend, who said “Stop thinking the Diaspora project is the answer; they’re not up and running yet. What about technorati?”

I think it could work. You register your blog with technorati. You tag your blog appropriately. (For many blogging platforms this just means tagging your blog as you usually would, but if technorati doesn’t pull tags automatically from the platform you use, you can explicitly add code to your post that technorati can understand.) If bloggers come to a consensus about shared tag names, readers can then go to the technorati site to get a feed of all recent posts using that tag.

I have been very interested in reading all the commentary about the state of science blogging and its possible future, but I’m having trouble discovering all the posts out there, scattered across so many blogs. I hereby propose (perhaps to an empty room, but why not give it a shot?) that bloggers use the tag “meta-scienceblogging” to tag posts about the ScienceBlogs diaspora, the current state of science blogging, possible futures of science blogging, etc. Register your blogs with technorati (as a side benefit, it should help increase your traffic), and it will aggregate the posts.

I’ve registered this blog and tagged this post. If everything works as it should, posts with this tag from registered blogs will show up at There should even be an associated RSS feed. [ETA: Crankily, I declare that this doesn’t seem to be working for me. Technorati still hasn’t indexed this post under the appropriate tag. Either technorati takes too long to index things (possible) or I did something wrong (also possible). Either way, I don’t think it is the easy-to-use solution I was hoping for.]

I hope this is a useful idea.

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