Will JoVE’s new science blog service reinvent the genre?

JoVE pyrosequencingThe pioneer biological video publishing site JoVE (covered here many times) will soon launch a blogging platform and a community site. Nikita Bernstein, the main nerd behind JoVE is building the code and the platform – as Anne Kushnir informed me – should hopefully go live in the next couple of weeks. At least that is what can be known publicly.
The expectations are high and the JoVE guys (co-founders Moshe Pritsker and Nikita) themselves raised the bar with the quality and concept of video-protocols. As JoVE is a startup, not an established company with big inertia, they could be experimental but within the limits of their investors’ patience and money.

The real question for me whether JoVE’s blogging service can renew the genre of science blogging or at least bring a previously non-existing color into it? Points:

- Who will become JoVE’s first generation bloggers? Fresh blood? If yes what will be the source? Senior scientists, high school students, postdocs in the U.S.A., discovering the web?

- Existing bloggers who’d like to syndicate their content? Bloggers from Scienceblogs, Nature Network or from the DNA Network? Independent bloggers from outside theses established circles? Journalists? What will be the bait? For existing bloggers, who are tempted to commercialize their activity somehow the crucial question is whether they can generate any revenue out of this new platform? Will they be paid by traffic, and if yes how competitive are the tariffs? Is it possible to install paid ads, banners on the blogs and the bloggers could be paid based on pay per click methods just like Google AdSense?

– What about content rights? Exclusive, non-exclusive, et cetera? Would there be any topic restrictions? How can quality science blogging and credit is maintained in the long term?

- choosing a high-end blogging platform, buying good commercial licenses (I guess they like to avoid the situation how Nikita finished his short blogging career under Blogger this way: “OK, seriously, this blogger thing is rather lame… I feel no inspiration to write on it. Not only is it a fairly ugly interface, but I am getting errors and I have to type in the “I am a human” verification”…”)

- How can they relate the new blogging platform to their existing video-article profile? Vlogging options? New microceleb science vloggers drawing attention? That was my first public question to Moshe after he introduced JoVE in the comment section of the Pimm post Science: video protocols can help to share the tacit dimension: Moshe, have you thought about launching some vlog on JoVE, brief introduction to the authors, little interviews with biologists, …? The videoblog format is perfectly fits with JoVE’s video focus. Technologically you have all the ingredients.

- Full hosting of the service or aggregated, republished blog posts?

- What kind of technical support can JoVE offer to their would be bloggers? Using Javascript, installing Google Analytics? Complete access to stats is important and helps to build a good audience. What kind of widgets, plugins will be available?

- Should users have register at JoVE in order to comment posts?

7 thoughts on “Will JoVE’s new science blog service reinvent the genre?

  1. Thanks Attila – no pressure, right? ;)

    We do have some things up our sleeves, although I can’t say what they are as of yet. It would be interesting to hear what features science bloggers out there would like, and, most importantly, what workflows we can address that would help them whether it be note-taking, venting, writing, collaboration, etc. If you or your readers have any suggestions, I would be very curious to hear your thoughts: what would you like to have?

  2. I love the idea. The only part I don’t get is the blogging platform type, since there are so many wonderful frameworks already available. Obviously, I am biased towards WordPress.

    However, I am very curious, since obviously there is a lot up Nikita’s sleeve :). Looking forward to seeing where all this goes.

  3. I’m sure there are science bloggers who would love to syndicate to JoVE, especially if they were allowed to keep their own sites up. The ScienceBlogs “exclusive” model is kind of annoying because it forces the blogger to give up some independence in choice of format and style when they move to the scienceblogs.com domain.

  4. Attila, WordPress seems like a good platform, but if we use it, we’ll have to give up a lot of flexibility. Or we’ll have to switch to it for development, which doesn’t really make much sense to me. Blogging functionality is not that complex to implement and to run but being limited by one platform or another, to me, as a “nerd” (see your article above), wouldn’t work. Have there been any cases of extreme makeovers of WordPress?

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