Visiting the Nature headquarters

It is always nice to meet someone in real life with whom one has been pleasantly interacting by email or phone. The other week I met scientist and blogger Attila Csordas when he dropped into our office on his way back to New Orleans after a conference in Cambridge. (Those familiar with London geography or indeed past posts on this blog featuring bus stops and exploding building sites will know that the Nature offices are alongside platform 1 of Kings Cross station, which is also the terminus for trains from Cambridge.) Attila has written up the first part of his visit to us in this photographic post: Visiting the Nature Headquarters, part 1: the internal Nurture blog « Pimm – Partial immortalization.

I like the way that not only did Attila uncover the "secret" of our internal blog, Nurture, but he persuaded its keeper to let him post on his blog (Partial Immortalization) its first-ever post. I was quite surprised to see which words were largest in Nurture’s tag cloud, and which missing altogether (also on Partial Immortalization). There are more installments of Attila’s visit to come….

Future of newspapers, part 94

Scott Adams on the future of newspapers:

"What I’d like to see is a newspaper that is a hybrid of social voting, such as you see on web sites like www.reddit.com and www.digg.com, but further filtered by human editors who weed out the redundant, the juvenile, and the stuff unsubstantiated by facts. And I’d like to see counterpoints to everything. This way you’d get the stories and opinions considered most worthy by the public, with some editorial quality control.

I also imagine the business model for bloggers changing. Now bloggers run ads and make money based on the traffic to their sites. In the future, I can imagine bloggers opting in for a system where they allow newspapers to grab their content any time the newspapers want, move it into the newspaper’s own content model on any given day, surround it with their own ads, and pay the blogger a percentage of ad revenue. In other words, every blogger (and cartoonist) would be self-syndicated, but newspapers wouldn’t print the same bloggers every day. They’d grab only the best writings of the day based on social voting and the newspaper’s own editorial opinions."

Makes sense to me. Of course, as a rule bloggers are stronger on opinion, review (whether an event or a product like a book) and analysis than they are on breaking news (journalism): you need publishing resources for that, last time I looked.