Deep Sea News in London’s Metro

Thanks to Ed for scanning in this clip for us!

metro_deep_sea_news

The London Metro saw fit to include Craig’s post on the mystery sewer organism in print. The Metro article can also be found online as well, which actually mentions the post’s author, Craig, by name and is a little bit more expanded. But I don’t know if I should be happy or disappointed. We were never approached by the Metro and asked if it was OK to use our material. But, on the other hand, I am excited that other traditional (and nontraditional) news outlets view us as an authoritative source for material.  But, we do what do for free, make no money off it (in fact we pay for we hosting and domain registration out of pocket),  while this newspaper (I’m assuming) charges for subscriptions and advertising spot, such as the Ice Age film and profits off its material. So when they use our material, they are profitting from it. When WE use our own material we end up in debt… But the exposure is nice for us, right?

This begs the question. We are the top marine science blog in terms of # of hits, bold statement but true. Its not a statement of quality, I think other marine blogs are just as good, if not better! In fact, I would argue that the marine science blogging community as a whole has some of the highest quality blogging you’ll read out there. We have purposely crafted a website to be enjoyable to read by anyone. To us, this includes few distractions such as flashy advertisements. We also prided ourselves on being ad-free, especially after our history with ScienceBlogs and Discovery Channel, which are both very ad-laden. The latter, DC, even had extremely annoying popup ads when I was trying to read my cobloggers content! We would never go so far, but I would like to probe our readers on the following questions. We have always been honest with you and we blog mostly for your adoration, not necessarily for profit. But when you are an underpaid biologist with 2 kids to support you welcome any additional income possible!

1) Will static ads or ads that rotate when the webpage is refreshed, degrade the experience of reading DSN? Or are sufficiently used to it that we can easily ignore the ads?

2) Will flash-based ads or dynamic/rotating ads distract from your experience reading DSN to the point you would consider not visiting us often?

3) Would you purchase material (i.e. shirts, bumper stickers, etc.) with DSN’s logo and totally awesome images and artwork of the deep sea and its critters? Would you be more inclined to purchase material from us (not necessarily with the DSN logo – I’ve got some pretty sweet ideas!) if part of the proceeds went to a nonprofit like The Beagle Project or Coral Reef Alliance?

4) For long term readers: Did you get more out of our site while we are at Seed Scienceblogs, Discovery Channel or our new independent website. i.e. Did the experience of being associated with major news and science outlets enhance your outlook of us or enhance your reading experience.

5) Did you feel that the association with major news and science communication outlets lended more credibility to us? Or does having academic or “real scientist” credentials give us all the credentials we need for you to be satisfied we are giving you interesting material with reasonable interpretations

Please write answers in the comments! We are interested in your opinions and do not want to procede in a direction that will offend or alienate our readership.

Kevin Zelnio (886 Posts)





15 comments on “Deep Sea News in London’s Metro
  1. 1) Don’t mind them [even when not using adblocking software ;)]
    2) Annoying, but I could tolerate it.
    3) I like.
    4) No, and I like the new site more than either of the other two.
    5) Not for me personally, but I can definitely see how that might be true of some casual readers.

  2. 1 & 2: I block all ads with AdBlock.
    3: I’m a poor student who can barely make a living.
    4: not a long term reader, but wishing to be.
    5: I’d say yes because it was published in a real newspaper as well. However i don’t know the usual credibility of said newspaper.

  3. 1. Don’t mind ‘em. Pretty much ignore them.
    2. Kind of annoying. Not a fan.
    3. And feed the kids?
    4/5. For some reason at science blogs I was able to get the feed better and follow things more regularly. Now I have to remember to check back with you (I know this is likely because I’m doing something completely wrong with my feed settings). Your time at Discovery was so short I don’t recall what it was like. Personally I don’t think your current lack of association is a detractor, but I can see how others might feel like the other institutions gave you more street cred.

  4. First of all, as Londoner, I can tell you with certainty that the Metro is a free newspaper. Of course, that doesn’t take away the advertising issue, but at least they’re not charging their readers.

    1) No biggie.
    2) I use AdBlock and this kind of advertising is why.
    3) Yes. But I could be biased.
    4) You seemed to get more comments at Scienceblogs but it looks like the pace is picking up here nicely, no long term damage. Frankly, the Discovery Channel kind of sucked. I applaud your indy move!
    5) The credibility/authority issue is tricky. I suppose the Scienceblogs brand or your scientist cred might have been important for some readers, but for me it’s more about content.

  5. 1) No problem

    2) Maybe

    3) Yes and Yes

    4) Found you on SB, followe you to DC then to here. The current incarnation is my personal favorite. SB was a fine reading experience but DC was crapola.

    5) You’re all scientists, no more cred is needed.

  6. 1 and 2) I also block all ads with Adblock, so doesn’t bother me.
    3) No, I would buy it cause I love y’all.
    4) No, I like your new place better. It’s more unique, easier on the eyes, and I loooove the banner.
    5) I approve of indy blogs (though I’m biased there too.) I don’t think the big networks give cred – it’s about the content.

  7. 1) nope…
    2) only the annoying ones with the dancing office workers “caught” by the “candid camera”…
    3) yes, though i could be biased
    4) sb or db gave no extra bells and whistles to the dsn experience… i actually like the new look and feel, though there appear to be issues on reading stuff on your actual site vs feeds… it doesn’t scale well to smaller screens…
    5) see # 4… your creds speak for themselves…

  8. This is great feedback! Keep it coming people!

    @Brian – Is it an issue with Feedburner or our main site RSS feed? I’d recommend using the feedburner link. I have the site settings to display only a few hundred words to force you to come to the site. But I’m glad it doesn’t prevent you from visiting us otherwise!

    @Karen – The commenting has been a stickler with me for a long time. Why don’t get 100 comments on every post like PZ!!

    @Dr. Glitterbear – Glad to have you along!

    I’m glad to get positive feedback about the new(ish) site. We put a lot of work into it. I’m getting to a point soon to be able to invest more time in fixing a lot of the potholes left from when I created the site. Like boxes around the drop down menus in the sidebar… Any suggestions are always welcome!

  9. 1) DSN already has the typical cluttered blog look, so adding ads will not affect my perception of it. Use Google Adsense.

    2) Look into ad networks like The Deck. They can handle the rotation for you automatically.

    3) DSN has a logo? Let me know what solution you come up with. I find that CafePress, Zazzle, etc take so much out that it’s not effective unless you are pushing massive quantities of merch. Splitting it with another org isn’t going to help raise funds for DSN or incline me to make a purchase. But I look forward to collecting all the Dr. M., Etnoyer and Zelnio action figures and deep-sea playsets.

    4) I got less out of it when at SB and Discovery. Whenever possible, own your own content; don’t surrender control. I think you all look better and seem more classy now that you are on your own.

    5) You get more indie cred for being on your own.

    Have you had guest bloggers on before? It might be nice to invite your deep-sea researching colleagues to pen an entry or two. Are there any women in deep-sea biology? What’s happening internationally? Just an idea (and a way to increase the range of DSN action figures).

  10. You don’t get 100 comments per because you all don’t act like trolls. If you want that kind of traffic, start blogging about religion and politics. Your quantity will be inversely proportional to you quality.

  11. 1: Nope. 2: Annoying, but not a huge deal. 3: Not unlikely. 4: Haven’t been reading that long. But funny story- I actually applied for a job at Scienceblogs a couple months ago. During the interview, I was asked what I thought of the site. I said I wished they had an ocean science blogger, and my interviewers gave each other a rueful look. “Well, we *used* to…” 5: Science cred is more than good enough. At least, I hope so, cause I’m starting a science blog myself and don’t anticipate corporate endorsement anytime soon…

  12. 1. Whatever.
    2. Whatever.
    3. Probably not, unless you guys were all ‘yo we’re low on cash because we went on a three week bender in Quito and can’t pay our bills next month’
    4. I started reading you guys at scienceblog because someone else (Darren Naish??? ?) linked to you and I don’t really care where you get hosted (except not on your own petards if that’s no big problem).
    5. Smart people create their own crediiblity.

    Hope you boys have retained an attorney, you shouldn’t let Big Print push you around.

  13. I’ve been away, so I didn’t catch this post at press time!
    1) & 2) I have become desensitized to ads. Feel free!
    3) I would definitely buy DSN merch!
    4) I actually prefer the current incarnation of DSN the best (as opposed to SB and Discover)
    5) Honestly, being associated with printed media hasn’t changed anything. Your degrees and experience speak for themselves, and the quality of the content has always been good.

    Although you all seem to be taking this very well, I am righteously angry on your behalf. If the printed article did not give credit, then Tom Phillips is misleading his readers. It’s like a worst-case-scenario example from every Academic Dishonesty speech I’ve got from professors.

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