A new blog collective: Occam's Typewriter

December 9, 2010

cross posting from ScienceBlogs.com

A bunch of refugees from the Nature Network blogging outfit have set up shop as Occam’s Typewriter. Very nice. Been waiting to hear about this since the mutterings over at Nature Network turned ugly a few months back. Okay, maybe it was several months back. Anyway, we can consider this part of the great 2010 science-blog-collective asplosion.

First look–

The lineup includes our good blog friend Cath who brought VWXYNot? aboard. Also Stephen Curry (Reciprocal Space) who I’ve usually found to not only be readable but a decent conversationalist on blog, you know, as a relative matter. Of course they also have spittle boy, but whatevs. whatevs.

Overall I think you will find that this collective contains most of the chatty in-crowd from the glory days of Nature Network so if that’s your kind of thing, you will find yourself quickly at home over there.

Other notes…

Powered by WordPress- Brilliant, as the British types would have it. Should allow them to act like a real blog community and view their stats and referrals and stuff. Big ups there.

They seem to have brought over some of the more conversation-stifling aspects of Nature Network (see community guidelines) which seem to boil down to “no sockin’ and no swearin'”. Can’t say I think that’s positive but given the lineup I’m unsurprised.

At least they have ditched the registration-to-comment millstone. So a bit of a win there.

The Irregulars will be a guest column type of blog, pretty good idea. In fact such a good idea that one wonders where they came up with it? Hmm. Well, since another one of their community guidelines is “No stealin’ (without attribution)” I’m sure that isn’t anything like what it looks to be…

One stylistic element that is unusual for a collective is that once off in the sub-blogs there is not a lot of navigational help in getting to the other ones. There’s a small text link at the top to get back to the collective main page but otherwise we’ll be left up individual sidebar choices, I guess.

Latest comments feed is a good idea and will help with cross-blog integration and navigation if you make use of it. Always a tricky thing because if you have a firehose of too many comments it gets unwieldy. But they should stay small and focused for a good while I would think.

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No Responses Yet to “A new blog collective: Occam's Typewriter”


  1. Thanks for the shout-out, DrugMonkey! This has been in the pipeline as a development site for a good few months, so it’s great to finally be up and running.

    I’d have to look back into our archived email and Facebook conversations to be sure, but I think the guest blogging idea came from Soapbox Science, at (ironically enough) Nature Network.

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  2. DrugMonkey Says:

    Looks pretty sharp, Cath. Looking forward to seeing how it all develops.

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  3. Me too 🙂

    Yeah, Richard did a great job with the site. I use WordPress for our departmental website, and it’s a great system. The only thing I miss from Blogger is the “most recent posts first” blogroll widget.

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  4. rpg Says:

    Thanks for taking notice.

    Cath, if there’s a WP widget for that I can install it. Remind me to take a look 😉

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  5. Khalil A. Says:

    Lol, the guest blog idea is classic Bora.

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  6. rpg Says:

    In that format? I mean, a separate blog in a network especially for guests?

    I don’t claim it was novel, but I can assure you we weren’t thinking of anyone else when we set it up. It just sounded sensible. Convergent evolution maybe.

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  7. drugmonkey Says:

    Cath if you find one of those for WP, let me know too. it is the single most brilliant feature that blarghspot has over WP. Fantastic for traffic, fantastic for my random walking about the ‘sphere.

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  8. I know. My old site was still getting more hits from abandoned blogs with the fancy blogroll (e.g. Prof-like Substance’s pre-Scientopia blog) than from many active ones with a standard, fixed blogroll.

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  9. Thanks for the compliment DrugMonkey – I think (relatively speaking). For what it’s worth, my wife has a lower opinion of me as a conversationalist. 😉

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  10. Yes, Hear hear about the most recent posts sidebar widget on blogspot, easily blogspot’s best feature. I’ve never bothered setting up Google Reader myself because you can use other people’s blogspot sidebars to do the job instead.

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  11. What kind of douches have mission statements and codes?

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  12. Coturnix Says:

    SciAm has had the Guest Blog for something like six years now. I am very happy to see that Guardian, Wired, PLoS and other networks have picked up on this idea and are running with it. It will foster cross-fertilization between networks, promote indie bloggers, help non-blogging scientists get their first stab at the format, etc.

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  13. drugmonkey Says:

    No doubt many of our spouses are secretly happy about the intertoobs for precisely this reason, Stephen.

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  14. drugmonkey Says:

    Oh Christ. I just noticed they are going with the open-to-all back channel forum. Ugh. I endorse the idea of chat forums for blog collectives, those can be useful. But to let your readers see that inside-baseball (cricket? Does it translate?) chatty Cathy stuff? Umm….look away quickly, folks.

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  15. Dude, why would anyone else wanna read the private blitherings of a buncha fucken british snifter-snooting douchebagges, anyway?

    Like

  16. Bob O'H Says:

    What kind of douches have mission statements and codes?

    Scientopia

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