Friday, July 07, 2006

50 top science blogs

This week Nature had an article asking for the secrets of success for the top 5 science bloggers (based on their Technorati rank).

Not surprisingly, the most popular science blogger by far is PZ Myers over at Pharyngula. He attributes his success to "tapping into the broader areas of liberal politics and atheism" and "resentment against the reactionary religious nature of American culture".

One of my favorite blogs that I don't read regularly, Real Climate, came in at #3. Blogger Gavin Schmidt asserts that their large readership is driven by "a hunger for raw but accessible information" that is more in-depth than the newspaper without being as technical as a peer-reviewed paper. Hey that's the reason that I read them when I get a chance.

In my humble opinion, being a popular science blogger takes a couple of ingredients:
  1. A conversational writing style that cuts through the jargon
  2. Posting regularly enough to generate consistent readership
  3. A science topic of general interest to the public (evolution, climate) or of avid interest to a specific group of amateurs (ornithology, anthropology, astronomy)
Of those, number 3 may actually be the most important. What do you think?

If you are curious, Nature also provides the Technorati rankings of the Top 50 science blogs (free access?). I am pleased to see many of my favorite bloggers among the list and I am honored to be among them (#41).

On a different note, it must make the Seed folks over at Scienceblogs pretty happy to claim two of the top 5 as their own. I wonder whether Seed overlooked the other top bloggers or whether the others were unwilling to give up their unique and easily findable domain names. I'd bet it was the latter.

Today's question: As regular readers of at least one science blog, what, in your opinion, makes a good science blog?


Nuthatch said...

Seed has asked me twice to come over to Scienceblogs, and I've turned them down. Frankly, I think their site is kind of a mess and the blogs have lost their individuality. For $70 a month!

jennifer said...

I'm not exactly a science blogger because I don't stick only to science, but a good science blog for me is clear, comprehensible, and engaging with the evidence, and has that "neat-o", excited-kid factor. A relevant diagram is also helpful; even if it's a model or a metaphor.

crapcakes said...

I lost my memory & recorded the levels of consciousness, on my (unfortunate) way back. I think your interests would dig my contributions to thoughts that belong to the X-plane (Mother Earth).

If you'd like to make a contribution to my other compilation, see

I'm collecting statements from people all over the world to find out what God is by talking about what God isn't.

Good luck with your endeavor,

majikthijs said...

I think a good science blog is one which appeals to the mass-reader. Science has lost its mainstream appeal (if it ever ad one) and the most exposure people get to science is those annoying shampoo commercials.

Tricia said...

I found your blog somehow via the Nature article. I blog about a different topic (Russian Adoption) but was looking for something I could relate to professionally... women in science. I'm in marketing for a biotech company.