Visiting the Nature Headquarters, part 1: the internal Nurture blog

MacmillanBuildingLondonMacmillanBuildingwholeEven those scientists, who don’t have any journalism, or out of niche discipline interests (the vast majority), would be eager to take a closer look at how Nature, the number one scientific weekly journal is made, how the articles are peer reviewed, how the column structure looks like, what are the future perspectives of Nature Publishing Group, how they are doing in the new web age, what the main problems are.

On the 10th, September I spent around 6 hours at the Nature Headquarters in London. The Macmillan building is an old Victorian house near King’s Cross at the Crinnan street.

For lunch I was happy to get the company of Nature’s Web Publishing group’s brain trust: Timo Hannay, Euan Adie, Ian Mulvany and Joanna Scott (pictures in the next post).

We started to talk about how work at NPG is organized and I asked the guys how functional the Nature email system ( addresses) is. It turned out that the mail storage capacity is poor (still in the MB range), so heroic manual delete fight is needed against full mailboxes. But instead of an efficient email system, there is an internal, email killer corporate blog called Nurture (don’t mix it with the Nurture’s magazine for Nature authors) which works perfectly well.

Ian Mulvany, Connotea experimenter, was kind enough to send me the first post of Nurture by Ben Lund (former Connotea project manager turned freelancer) from 2003 in the name of radical transparency. So here I am pleased to blog this historical first post accompanied by the current tag cloud of the Nurture blog. As Ian says retrospectively: By placing it on a blog the readership can self-select. It also allows for consumption independent from interruption.




to be continued…

11 thoughts on “Visiting the Nature Headquarters, part 1: the internal Nurture blog

  1. It’s Euan Adie, not Edie. (He’s a friend of mine, by chance I just wandered over here from the Pharyngula blog.) I agree that the internal blog is a very cool idea!

  2. Wow, I have absolutely no recollection of writing that!

    I suspect the last sentence is supposed to read “archivability” rather than “achievability…”

  3. Ahh, I just sent this via email, but perhaps tis better here:

    Hi Attila,

    There was a little confusion in my email to you, sorry for that.

    The first blog post only goes as far as:

    “This is Ben’s first post. We are moving usable Type for this blog.”

    The rest of the message was my response to your question on how the blog functioned and how it differed from email and IM.

    – Ian

  4. Oh, I am terribly sorry for the misinformation, post updated. Thank you, Ben and Ian. Those words sounded so perspective projected back to 2003. 🙂 I should have suspected reading this: “It is working very well. Generally there are a few posts a day, with some of those posts generating comments.”

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