But Sciencblogs languished while SEED circled the drain and, after the PepsiGate incident, it looked bad. What media company wants to acquire a blogging platform where the writers want contracts but also veto power over advertising? No one does that. As I said at the time, Scienceblogs.com was wrong for taking money to let Pepsi write, they should have just let them write for free and told them it is not a PR tool, they have to talk about science. That's what we do but we are about science and a lot less focused on religion and politics.
No terms have been disclosed yet; PZ put out a teaser on his blog and speculation went from there but the consensus is National Geographic finally got it, and I would contend they got the price down where they wanted - as in probably free but taking over the debt.
That leaves one large-traffic science network not owned by a media company - Science 2.0. Scientists, like anyone else, are comforted by large corporations even if they say they are not, so it isn't a surprise. But the valuation is a concern. I was shocked to hear about the price Discover got and Scienceblogs probably went for no cash at all and that is not a good thing for science writing overall. Content farms like Huffington Post and Associated Content sold for $300 million and $100 million respectively and obviously their traffic is orders of magnitude larger than Scienceblogs and Science 2.0 combined, but these valuations are silly.
Independent science writing doesn't have to be small potatoes. The audience for science in America alone is 65 million people - and no one believed a nationwide chain of coffee shops could work before Starbucks did it - so it may be that Scienceblogs no longer being the public face of science blogging will be a good thing. Like coffee in donut store chains, science blogging currently augments the core products of media companies starting blogging networks, it isn't the product for anyone but us. And we may not be the future Starbucks of science blogging because we're outside academic institutions, where most writers reside, and these major media companies want their blogging to pay for itself, so a company that does no marketing like ours may be left in the dust.
But now we have outlived virtually every competitor so you never know.