Science Blogs is a semi-professional network of people blogging about science. Most of them are in the university system as graduates or academics, but there is the odd journalist having their say. There are more than 50 blogs updated fairly regularly, and the network itself has been up for a year.
This is part 1 of a continuing series of reviews.
Behind every large institution there are those who oil the wheels, line up the gears, set up the chess pieces. They are the administrators. Science is no different. There are scientists, there are those who write about science, and there are those who organise the people writing about science. A Blog Around the Clock can be considered an administrative science blog par excellence. The author, coturnix, describes himself as a "Serbian Jewish atheist liberal PhD student with Thesis-writing block and severe blogorrhea trying to understand the world". This mad torrent of words also characterises his approach to blogging. It reads like a true web log, a running diary of his day - organising Science Blogging Conferences, linking to new material, compiling an Anthology of the Best Science Blog Writing, passing remarks on whatever catchs his fancy. It's a fantastically busy hive of constant activity. But unless you are deep inside this insider's science world, it can seem all so haphazard and trivial. What's missing is a relevance to the general reader, something to bind all these disparate threads together, an overarching vision. In the end, all A Blog Around the Clock ends up doing is spinning around itself in dizzy circles.
Peoples, cities, cultures, all leave their tracks in time. It is the purpose of archaeology to make sense of that broken pottery, corroded coin, or barely defined glyph. Reconstructing the past from fragments of time - this is what the blog Aardvarchaeology is all about. The author is Swedish, a journal editor, and an archaeologist to boot. The blog is a fairly recent arrival to the network, but Martin was blogging for about 12 months at his previous site. He has developed a crisp, clean style - effective and to the point, but not blunt. Most posts are accompanished by a tactful image, and the text does not usually run to over a page - making it quite easy to navigate and browse through his blog. Martin also sticks quite closely to his chosen subject, something I applaud in a world of everpresent distractions. If I had to pick one word to describe this blog, it would be robust. Well done.