You can read about the details here. Interestingly, Christopher Mims has been tweeting the “secret” early history of ScienceBlogs under the #SBhistory hashtag. I was one of the original 14 in January of 2006, so I saw a lot of things go down between then and the spring of 2010, when I moved here to my comfy new digs at Discover. I’d been blogging for over 3.5 years when Chris Mims contacted me out of the blue in the fall of 2005 about some “secret project.” It was weird timing, because Hylton Jolliffe of Corante had also contacted me 1.5 months earlier, though he never got back to me after I responded to his initial email. Blogging was a fun hobby, but I wasn’t a journalist, so I was pretty skeptical about it all. Chris and I had a back & forth before we finally agreed to terms. My main reason for joining was obviously not money, but perhaps the possibility of greater access to interesting people (e.g., I met Dr. Daniel MacArthur as a commenter on my blog in the spring of 2006, before meeting him in real life years later and striking up a lasting internet friendship). I thought this tweet was very amusing because I’m pretty confident that I was the subject:
I’m not an ideologue, but any Left-liberal worth his or her salt would certainly term me a “kooky conservative” (and which blogger do you think would have had a look at the list of others invited to the network beforehand? Not too hard to guess!) After the fact I did ask Chris and a few other Seed Magazine staffers how the hell I was included on the list. Yes, I was a prominent blogger, but I was certainly on the fringe in terms of my norms in relation to the whole network. But this explains it:
Now it all makes sense. Thank you overworked intern!