'Social science' is not like the social sciences - economics, psychology, etc. - rather it's a mix of science and 'social news.' We're in the social news business but a niche part of it. We stick to science yet we're social news because a great part of the content is decided by you: you write it, you read it and your interest in specific articles is what decides the content on the main page. The more people that like an article and comment on it, the higher up it appears on our site.
Web 2.0, Science 2.0, whatever we call it, it's catching on. From the beginning of our private beta in February until now we have gone from no readers to hundreds of thousands per month.
Because of that success, we occasionally get asked to form partnerships with other groups and if the quality is up to our high standards and it would be good for the community, we're happy to do it. So in that vein I would like to announce the creation of the 'Sites We Like' section. If you look on the right sidebar, you'll see a block headline reading that and below it is the first 'site we like.'
It's called DNA Tube and, as you probably guessed by the name, they are like YouTube, except only for biology. YouTube is certainly popular but if you want to reach a focused audience with video content, DNATube is the way to go. As nominations come in for more 'sites you think we would like', we'll rotate more through there and give everyone a chance to shine.
Speaking of other social science sites, we discovered there is a decide the best student blogger contest and one of our favorites, Shelley Batts who issues forth profound wisdom at Science Blogs is in the running. I looked over a few of the sites and she easily has the best so you can vote for the science-oriented student blogger or vote for the best student blogger and you will come up with the same answer too.
I have had some people ask me where the Digg button disappeared. We have had quite a few submissions to Digg in the last few months, some from newer people and some from among the most popular people on that site, and they were all, without exception, buried. We don't think it's a competitor doing it and in the one other instance where this happened we wrote the news site and they figured out the problem and life is now good with them. With Digg, we wrote to them and they said no problem existed so our content is probably wrong for that site. We used to have articles get popular often ( including two in one day ) but if 160 consecutive articles get buried it's better to put someone else in their place. So we removed them.
Why does it matter? Because your time is valuable. When you get to be our size and traffic level, we have marketing value to those news sites also. Being seen on our articles is an endorsement of them and having an easy way to submit articles to social news sites increases the value of those sites too. Submitting something and having it buried with no one reading it would basically be a waste of your time.
We replaced Digg with Slashdot. Do we know a lot about Slashdot? No, to my knowledge no one has ever submitted our articles to Slashdot, but in asking around we were told that, because they have editors and they are open about it, the content gets treated on its merits - no voting articles down so that someone else can submit an article and have it get popular. So if you see something you like here, go ahead and submit it using the nifty icons below the articles. If you have other news sites you'd like to see in the submission links, let us know.
Speaking of articles, John Fiorentino saw an article on our site revisiting the JFK assassination - Who assassinated JFK? Modern forensics takes a shot at the answer and wrote an article about it called Reason Under Siege. The paper referred to in the news article here is published in the Annals Of Applied Statistics and is called Chemical and forensic analysis of JFK assassination bullet lots: Is a second shooter possible?
John wrote a rebuttal called 'NAA & JFK: Can Revisionism take us home?' and it will be in the next issue of Annals Of Applied Statistics.
That's all for now. Keep reading, keep writing great science and thanks for being part of the family.