People who have been around a long time know the somewhat convoluted history of Science 2.0 in general and Scientific Blogging in specific but the top question I get after people say, "Oh, you're that guy!" is "Why did you call it Scientific Blogging?"

Why not Science 2.0?   Well, there's a practical reason and a philosophical one.  The practical reason is that the way domain names work it isn't really possible.   In order to make I would have to make Science2 a subdomain of and that has been in existence since 1985.   Yes, 1985, well before Tim Berners-Lee blessed us with an elegant way to make a World Wide Web.  VeriSign owns it and they are unlikely to give it to me. is really not the same thing (though it points to my column, if you are curious - it had been purchased by a competitor who released it) and would make no difference in how easily people find us.   So the term itself does not lend itself well to ICAAN methods.

The philosophical difference is something else; Scientific Blogging is not Science 2.0 any more than a company that claims to organize some files is Science 2.0 - it is instead an aspect of Science 2.0 because the future of science requires more communication but the future of science is data and the people doing it.

Will I create an actual Science 2.0 site?   It came up again, tangentially, in a comment yesterday and the answer is ... I am not sure.    I know people will write here, and I know scientists want to communicate, but what I don't know is if the current generation of scientists want to pay for anything and an actual Science 2.0 site that incorporates communication and revolutionary collaboration while protecting researchers would be expensive to build.  Really expensive and not the kind of thing I can do in my den at night.

This aspect of Science 2.0 is no problem.   You start with something and then modify it based on experience and it just takes ads to pay for the servers but I have heard complaints about even an ad - always from people who get paid to work but who expect everything else to be free.   Getting people to pay  for a tool, no matter how great, would be a more difficult issue than getting them to pay for lab equipment because equipment is essential whereas a new way to collaborate is not.

It may be something like the issue Blu-Ray is facing; DVD is good enough, making the cost of another piece of A/V equipment a tougher sell (1).   It isn't like scientists don't collaborate already and it isn't like you can't enjoy a movie if it's not in high definition.

So Science 2.0 in the broad sense - a true successor to the way science has been done in the past and not just, as Tim Berners-Lee says about "Web 2.0", a "piece of jargon" - is always on my mind but not close to reality yet.

And no one else is doing Science 2.0 either.  If they say they are, they are selling you something.

So why Scientific Blogging?

I hate to say there was no big plan in all of this but in reality the vision I had was more of a 'boutique' than something that would be read by a million people a month.   I bought registrations for a bunch of names and I did something that seemed like a good idea and is very democratic but was ultimately a mistake.  I let people vote.

In the beginning, there were no contributors.   Well-known authors and researchers had agreed to write here before the site went up - testimony to the gracious nature of scientists is that a stranger could call them on the phone and pitch an idea for something that had never been done before and they agreed to do it - but no one was really involved and none of us were media experts.

Scientific and Blogging was the shortest route between point A and point B and that won the (albeit small) vote.    Why do I call voting a mistake?   What I did not know at the time, though I am told I was told, was that a site called was already in existence and doing well.   I would have chosen something more distinct if I had done more research.   Blogging is rather dated/faddish and it ended up not being what we do - we primarily write articles and do very little blogging.

What would I have chosen, if I knew then what I know now?  I was partial to because a 'tome' is a book of worldly knowledge (and is generally a cool word) while some people could also read it as Science To Me, which I liked, though perhaps I was being too clever for my own good.

The site name could just as easily have been or or anything else we might have voted on.   ScienceTome was used as a live test site during development of Scientific Blogging Version 2 so readers and contributors could beta test and watch it go up in real time.    Science Codex got used because we get so many press releases that I wanted a way to sort them all into categories and, because I felt clever (again) and Codex makes me think of DaVinci, I used categories from that era, like Heavens, Body, Brain, Earth, etc.    But because press releases from all over the world were right there in one elegant place, waiting for journalists to snatch them up and contact researchers and write stories, it got popular in its own right and now has thousands of readers per day.

(1) I have a Playstation3 which contains a Blu-Ray player yet, after only a year of owning it and barely using it, it suddenly developed a Blinking Light of Death.  Searching the Internet I found that not only is it common, it is expected.   And commenters say Sony will charge $150 plus shipping to fix it, even though it is a known defect.    Not only is Blu-Ray not distinct enough from DVD to warrant a special purchase, a Playstation is apparently a laughably bad investment when I have an Atari ST in my garage that is 25 years old and if I pull it out today, it will still work.