Last week, I wrote about The New York Times Magazine’s exposé of “Science”Blogs. (HERE.)
That, however, was only the beginning.
Perhaps nothing sums up “Science”Blogs, its owner Seed Media, and its CEO Adam Bly better than the words of a defecting “Science”Blogger, “GrrlScientist.” On July 20th, in the snake pit itself, she wrote:
“ScienceBlogs is now ZombieBlogs, the undead, a heartless and soulless brain-eating monster that once was a beautiful living ideal.”
An ideal that never became reality, except perhaps when it published an impressive investigative report by Dr. Sarah Bridges, entitled “The Rise Against Mercury,” before going sour and endorsing Simon Baron-Cohen’s ridiculous “Geeks Get Lucky” theory.
GrrlScientist then goes on to say:
“A significant number of us have been planning a strike, starting now, and continuing until SMG takes significant steps to correct the numerous problems they've saddled us with and until they put the proper priority on supporting us -- the Sb cash cow.”
In her anger, she indicates that many of the “Science”Bloggers wanted a piece of that cash cow:
“Our lack of tech support, combined with our lack of paychecks and a total blackout on any and all forms of communication has demoralized the entire community.”
Then came the last straw:
“As if that wasn't bad enough, the PepsiCo blog popped up on our rss feeds out of the blue, without warning or input from any of us as to how this might be accomplished in a way to cause the least amount of harm to the credibility of the site and to everyone who contributes here.”
Perhaps my favorite line is where she likens Adam Bly to Captain Bligh, whose crew rebelled against him in the historic mutiny on the British Royal Navy’s ship, the HMS Bounty:
“And all this confusion is after Captain, er .. Adam .. Bly promised he would address our very real concerns and make an effort to improve communication with us.”
Then she describes Adam Bly to a T:
“But unlike the real Captain Bligh, Adam Bly is nothing more than a smooth-talking con artist.”
Followed by the true purpose of “Science”Blogs:
“Since Sb(“Science”Blogs) attracts far more traffic and generates far more money than the defunct SEED magazine ever did, it appears that sole function for Sb is to be the cash cow whose milk funds Adam Bly's pricey fantasy lifestyle as a hotshot magazine publisher living in lower Manhattan.”
Furthermore, it appears that, while the money “Science”Blogs owed Grrlscientist hadn’t been paid, the amount promised was fairly significant - enough to pay the rent:
“For the past couple years, I have been very unhappy at Sb; I've found myself worrying constantly over the future of SMG, stressed out by the lack of promised paychecks -- my landlord didn't give a rat's ass as to why I couldn't pay my rent, after all!”
Apparently, what “Science”Bloggers earned was a fairly hefty sum of money, from a blog collective sponsored by – among others –Schering-Plough, which merged with Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson and “Missing Pieces” - a mental health front group of Eli Lilly.
Grrlscientist’s characterization of her earnings contradicts the amount claimed by David Gorski when he attempted a rebuttal of Part I of my critique of “Science”Blogs alleging “It's enough to pay for my cable (including Internet access and phone) with some beer money left over.” Either David Gorski is drinking a lot of beer, or GrrlScientist lives in a dump.
I never thought I’d provide a link to “Science”Blogs, much less to a post trashing the site, but here it is: (Click HERE.)
Jake Crosby is a college student with Asperger Syndrome at Brandeis University who is double majoring in History and Health: Science, Society and Policy. He is a contributing editor to Age of Autism.