Goodbye ScienceBlogs

Craig is away at a workshop but emailed me this message to relay. Remember to visit and bookmark our new site!

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craig-cousteau.jpgWhen I was much, much younger, I joined Jacques Cousteau’s Calypso Club (named affectionately after his beloved ship). Was anyone else club members? Is there still a Calypso Club? The rights and privileges of this elite club were endless. Entry was limited to any child with a few bucks to their name and a few cereal box tops. My membership packet came in with all kinds of information, patches, stickers, and certificates. Everything a young ocean explorer would need on their quest to unravel the secrets of the ocean floor. Well, except for a research vessel, support crew, scuba, and of course a film crew. In that packet was perhaps the most important thing I ever received in the mail, a Calypso Club membership card. That treasured wallet-sized laminated card stated I was an ocean explorer. At 12, I had come into my own as young mover and shaker ready to navigate the depths. But alas being caught up with the busy life of elementary school, a lack of scuba equipment and training, not living on the coast, no access to a research vessel to travel the oceans, and quite frankly knowing next to nil about the ocean, I explored through the pages of Cousteau’s monthly newsletter.

I remember to this day how that card made me feel. The information and stories I ingested from Cousteau’s updates in the mailbox. I have always wanted DSN to do that for our readers, that sense of awe, passion, novelty, and most of all participation in exploration. Kevin, Peter, and I have worked hard to ensure that our “look and feel” and writing work toward this goal. Now I just need to get stocking hats, speedos, and membership cards for our readers!

In 2005, I started DSN with little concept of what a blog was. Originally DSN was a mere website where I posted abstracts of recent papers. My intended audience was my fellow scientists in the field. Over the next months I began to add more news of the latest expeditions and colleague’s papers that had made it to the big time in the popular press. However, I soon realized I could provide something more meaningful and that I was in a unique position to relay science directly to the public. There would be no middleman. I would deliver deep-sea science as it was occurring through the eyes of scientist. Perhaps, along the way I could educate and convey my passion for this unique environment. Maybe I could get a few laughs along the way. But more importantly, I felt as the anthropogenic effect of humans on the deep sea continued to grow, I might provide a voice of protection and conservation.

I met Peter a year into this journey and Kevin a year or so after that. I wasn’t necessarily looking for co-travelers but upon meeting Peter and Kevin, I believed their enthusiasm and knowledge would prove an asset. I haven’t been wrong. Peter and Kevin have been powerful allies in realizing my original goals for DSN and I cannot imagine being here without them. In 2006, we made the big time and Scienceblogs invited us to join their ranks. At the time I bragged we would be bigger, better, stronger, and overall definitely more kicka$$. Our readership grew from just 50 a day to now over 2,000 a day.

On the rollercoaster that is being a burgeoning professional academic, DSN is my daily reminder of why I do this. I enjoy the part of the day I set down at my computer and share with the readers the wonderment that is the environment that I have dedicated my life to. The readers reaffirm how blessed I am to be in this field. I am continually flattered by the positive reviews we get from other bloggers and readership. Indeed, the idea that I can use a term like readership in itself provides a metric of success. Of course, we wouldn’t be here if wasn’t for our readers.

A few months, Discovery Channel approached us about moving DSN to their website. I asked myself what more could we accomplish with Discovery Channel behind us? Is this the Zooillogix stooges playing with us? Will Discovery help get a Scuba Craig action figure on the market? Of course, the move would mean leaving behind my wonderful online family here at Sb. They have helped us along our journey and Seed has overall been a wonderful home. Sb gave DSN more exposure and many of you discovered us first here. It is thus with both excitement and heavy heart we leave our home here. Our new collaboration with Discovery Channel allows us to broaden our message and further realize our goals. The next year will no doubt be exhilarating as we work with our new family. We will still be same DSN but with a new paint job and perhaps a new stereo.

So I end my last post at Sb with thanks to the Sb staff, all the fantastic bloggers here, Discovery Channel for the chance to try something new, and most importantly the readers.

Now where do I go to order personalized speedos?

Dr. M (1620 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, created to facilitate research to address fundamental questions in evolutionary science. He has conducted deep-sea research for 11 years and published over 40 papers in the area. He has participated in dozens of expeditions taking him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses mainly on marine systems and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow. He focuses often on deep-sea systems as a natural test of the consequences of energy limitation on biological systems. He is the author and chief editor of Deep-Sea News, a popular deep-sea themed blog, rated the number one ocean blog on the web and winner of numerous awards. Craig’s popular writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web.





7 comments on “Goodbye ScienceBlogs
  1. I had a “Calypso” sticker on a car I bought for $500 once, a pretty green Honda Civic “station wagon”. It was the only thing that kept that car running. I’m not kidding.

  2. Am I going to get regular newsletters from you now that you are Discovered? I want newsletters! How am I going to wave the flag for Dear Old Blighty and fish flavoured beer if I don’t get newsletters? Please reassure me – I am distraught (yeah, well . . . )

  3. Congratulations, I think. I hope it works out for you at Discovery. Now with higher exposure are the posts going to be subject to more “trolls” as they are called? Hopefully not. Keep up the good work. I will continue to check out DSN wherever it ends up.

  4. One of my personal favorite undersea blogs to visit over the past year has been Deep Sea News.

    An eclectic mix of personal views and undersea critter fest-this blog had it all. Sadly (or not) they have been made “an offer you cannot refuse”. I assume it had a ton of zero’s behind it or at least tickets to the Superbowl. Deep Sea News now has a new home at Discovery Networks and already I miss the old site.

    Call me nostalgic, but the old blog had a certain “garage band” feel to it. You could almost smell the ’67 ‘Cuda engine with it’s 71 360 block, hot tanked, magnafluxed, new cam bearings, brass distributor gear sitting off to the side of the bass drum as the band belted out covers to Aerosmith and the Rolling Stones.

    Sigh.

    But I digress. Deep Sea News we miss you, please come back to the world of garage band blogging, no one will care if you spill a beer on the floor, or set fire to the couch, we promise!

    Cheers,
    Patric Douglas CEO
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