The rest of us are already huffing and puffing and in the car, saying things like 'dynasties will rise and fall; mountains will be thrust up from the ocean floor and be ground away to silt [we do love our orogenies at the M des Gs], even the continents are starting to drift apart, and still Crox Minor is lacing up her trainers' and so on and so forth in that vein. Some things change, you see, but others are eternal, and even though the face of the Earth will be changed utterly were one to hang around long enough, it will still take an age and a half for Crox Minor to get her shoes on.
All of which brings me, if in a somewhat elliptical manner, to a minor spat in a far country of which one knows little, a high-profile blogging collective in which some fifteen of the eighty-odd bloggistas have left through feelings of moral outrage, when the proprietor of that network wished to host a paid-for blog by employees of a company that manufactures carbonated drinks. It is not for me to go into details: a wealth of information - a veritable cornucopia - can be yours simply by typing 'Pepsigate' into a search engine near you. However, I'd recommend this post as a one-stop
Bora, like Rabbit in Winnie-The-Pooh, is a busy person. His blog is a never-ending carnival, link-fest, news aggregator and source of wisdom, and if that isn't enough, he (with some help from his friends and relations) has set up the enormo-phenomenon that is the ScienceOnline meatspace meetings, and the Open Laboratory best-of-science-blogging annuals. Unlike Rabbit, who is rather bossy, Bora is the nicest, kindest person you could ever meet, and, it seems, an inspiration to many. I first met him at SciFoo back in 2007, and the following year had the great pleasure of welcoming him to the Maison Des Girrafes, where he was a hit with all the Croxii, especially Heidi, who flirted with him something rotten.
Now, this is not a wake, and I'm sure the never-ending circus that is Bora's blog will roll on to even greater success somewhere else. Taking the long view, all things must pass - even dynasties, mountains and continents - and it could be that the blogging collective to which I refer has passed the noontide of its success, and will be succeeded by other things, as Bora describes eloquently in his post. Such seems to be the natural order of things.
Blogging collectives, are, possibly, inherently unstable entities, given the outspoken and often wayward natures of the participants. The aforementioned enterprise hosts (or did until recently) many bloggers whose work and personalities I like a great deal - and many others, it is fair to say, whose work and personalities I like rather less. That's probably as it should be - but it implies that such entities are not built to last. John Wilkins, the wry ol' silverback of the science blogosphere, likens such an enterprise to herding cats.
Cats, not being herded, recently.
At first I imagined he was talking about me and my editorial colleagues, or the members of my synagogue, collectives of intelligent, articulate and opinionated people who all like to talk at once, but the metaphor works just as well for science bloggers. The blogging platforms may change, and change again. But the bloggers, bless 'em, will stay the same. At least until they get a dog.
Cat, successfully herded by Dog. Yesterday.