Lesbian Necrophiliacs - Why Discover Is Bigger Than We Are
    By Hank Campbell | December 14th 2008 10:53 AM | 5 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
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    Well, two reasons; reason one is that if we write about bdelloid rotifers we just make reference to bdelloid rotifers but if they write about bdelloid rotifers, they find a way to incorporate lesbian necrophiliacs into the title.   

    Seriously, who is not going to click on that title?   I am sure we can all agree that Safe For Work (SFW, because I am so internet lingo hip after getting a Facebook account) articles with 'lesbian' and 'necrophiliac' in the title are kind of rare.

    bdelloid rotifer Philodina roseola
    Who knew you were so sexy?  And deviant!  Credit: David Mark Welch

    They are fascinating critters, to be sure, but I never considered making them Friday night Cinemax worthy.   Instead, our stuff usually focuses on environmental adaptability, DNA repair during meiosis, etc.    Boooooring.

    The other reason they are bigger than we are is plain old marketing savvy, with nifty ideas coming out of their editorial meetings like ... 

    THE TOP 100 STORIES OF 2008

    And those top 100 stories will all be written by Discover!    That's terrific, though I imagine Science and Nature are disappointed that their magazines, where the studies Discover writes about are published, don't have any of their articles merit a mention in a top anything list.

    I am not sure when we will be big enough to do something of that magnitude - that would mean 2 articles per week here would have to be the best science stories on the whole internet - but we could do something smaller.

    So, for all 25 people who read anything I write, if you have ideas for maybe a Top 20 Science Stories of 2008, send them to me and we'll combine them.   They can be from writers here or anywhere else - one could even be Discover's Top 100 Stories of 2008!   Because that would be pretty darn funny.


    Hey, you can't say I haven't tried with Yeast, Sex, and You!  That one did OK. I'll make that my first nomination for the Top 20 Science Stories of 2008.

    You're on Facebook? I recently signed up, but I'm still trying to figure out how Facebook can help Scientific Blogging conquer the world.
    I remembered signing up for it years ago, when it was still just university people, because I was curious about it, but I couldn't remember what login I had.   So I signed up again last month because everyone says you have to do something with Facebook.

    What widget can we do for Facebook?  It is beyond me.   Our share/save thing for articles and blogs has it added in but no one uses it so far.     We also did our 'corkboard' which Sefanja called 'Wall' just like Facebook, so I will change the name before we get a nasty letter.   You got the first 'corkboard' message, though you don't know it since we still haven't decided how we are doing notifications (that's sooooo us) - it's right below all the friend avatars in your profile but only you and your friends can see it.

    Yeast, Sex and You!  was gold.   Discover can put those out twice a week, though.   So I tried to sizzle up the titles today, because I was all inspired, and that's why we have stuff called Brain Scan Reveals Why You Buy Jewelry For Your Wife Instead Of Gears Of War 2  - that ought to bring in the readers.
    The problem is you're trying to get scientists to write, and so many of the titles are inevitably going to be about DNA repair or meosis or linkage disequilibrium. I'll bet Discover automatically deletes any title written by a scientist and substitutes it with something sexier.

    One good thing about having a science blog and traffic stats is that writers eventually figure out how to write so that they will be read.
    Yep.  That Gears of War title is number two in popularity today but the article is completely lame!
    Becky Jungbauer

    Heck, I clicked on the title, so it definitely drew me in. I don't have one of those newfangled my facebook space accounts because I don't actually want people to find me. Unless they find me in connection to some brilliantly written blog on, of course.